5 Tips to Write the Perfect College Application Essay

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Write the best college application essay with these tips. 

Every student that wants to go to college in the U.S. needs to go through the college application process.  But the fact that everyone goes through it doesn't make it any easier. 

According to admissions experts,  66% of applicants are accepted into college each year in the U.S., which means it's not impossible to get in,  but this is still a highly competitive process, which can be stressful and overwhelming for many. 

For that reason,  looking for help when feeling discouraged can be useful to tone the stress down and make sure you are going the right way. 

Since the worst part for most students is the college application essay, below we share with you some tips to help you write an essay that will give you the advantage you need to up your game. 

It's time to show off your writing skills!

First of all, we would like to clarify that, even though the title says "Perfect Essay", there's actually no perfect way to do it.  However, there are some tips that will help you shape your essay the right way. 

5 tips to Write the college application essay

When writing the college application essay, students have the opportunity to really show who they are and why they are the right candidates for a spot at the college they are applying to. 

This is their opportunity to make their case, to speak to the admissions officers, which is why it’s such an important step.

Application essays must make a good impression, since we need them to boost our chances of being accepted. Conveying the message you want in only a couple of hundreds of words can be pretty hard, but it can be done. 

1. Take as much time as possible

It's vital that you start as early as possible.  

Even though we are the main characters in our own story, telling it isn’t an easy thing to do. Taking the time to process what you want to say and put it into words is vital. 

The best time to start would be the summer prior to your senior year. This way, you'll have enough time to plan what you want to write about and find the words that will help you convey your message.

2. Pick Your Topic Carefully

“What should I write about?” is the most common question among college applicants. 

Choosing your topic can be a daunting part of the writing process.

There are several prompts which are intended as a guide, but they aren’t always helpful. In general,  they tend to be broad, open-ended questions that may make the process even harder.

Narrowing these questions until they have a more specific prompt that’s tailored to their own experience is the best way to approach the topic-choosing stage. You can write about your hobbies, dreams, strengths, expectations, experiences and how they make you who you are, how they shaped your mindset.

Bear in mind that you are not meant to write about a major achievement in your life, which is a pretty common misconception. Yes, you need to stand out from the crowd, but many times ordinary, everyday life topics, if well written, are the ones that stand out most. 

3. Length and precision are key

Once you have chosen what you want to write about, the writing process begins. But there’s another tricky part: How long should the essay be?

Typically, schools give a suggested word count for application essays, but this isn’t always strict. Students have some degree of freedom and flexibility when it comes to how many words they write, but finding a balance between too little and too much is vital. If you can stick to the word limit, you will make sure you keep the reader’s attention until the end. 

In addition to length, you want to avoid being vague as well as being wordy. Finding the right words to convey the nuances you intend in your message will go a long way, as playing with words can be tricky. 

4. Make the process your own

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to writing an application essay. What works for you may not work for others. This process is so personal that it’s vital that you take the time to learn what you feel comfortable with. 

If you feel like outlining will help you, jump right into it! There are plenty of techniques out there to guide you through this process. Make sure you find the ones that suit you best and apply them to your essay writing.

The application essay is meant to show who you are and why you would be a right fit for a certain college or university, but in order to write about who you are, you need to get to know yourself first.

As such, this is a self-discovery essay, and you’ll learn what you feel more comfortable with during this process.

5. Don’t forget about revision and edition

Going through your essay once it’s finished is key. You need to give as much importance to the revision and edition stage as you gave to the writing stage.

Once you finish writing, make sure you have time before the deadline to read and reread your essay. Clearing your mind and letting a day or two go by before you revise will help you go back to your essay with a fresh perspective, and you might find mistakes you didn’t find before or meaning nuances that aren’t as precise as you’d like them to be.

With these tips, we hope your essay writing process is a little bit less stressful.

If you need more information about the college application process, you’ll find more articles here

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