Tips for Writing a College Essay

Every student, keen on continuing the education in university, sooner or later faces the necessity to write a college essay and that’s where most of the troubles begin.

Some students feel completely at loss being unaware of all the requirements; which is why here we provide several helpful tips on how to write a good college essay to attract the eye of any reader.

Preparation to writing a good college essay

The right time for students to start writing a good college essay is during the summer holidays, just before the main studying semester, as this is the time when home tasks and additional assignments do not occupy the biggest part of the time and your powers.

Beginning in time will also provide students with enough time for creating some rough copies of an essay before college application deadlines, which can start from the pre last month of the year.

Students can check on the Internet the main essay regulations for the colleges they want to enter, such as word frames and essay themes. A lot of students can begin with the Common App, an application court recognized by around 1000 schools.

Besides the main paper, some academies ask candidates to introduce some additional writing tasks. Students are usually requested to interpret why they want to enter a specific school or academic sphere in these additional documents, which has to be smaller than the main essay.

Students will wish to dedicate more time to the writing process if the schools they want to enter require additional essays.

What is the size of a college essay has to be?

However the Common App – which students can apply to a few academies – says that there are no severe word frames for the main essay, normally it has to be not more than 700 words.

The Common App official page affirms: “Usually, we do not stop reading your essay when it is over 650 words, but we cannot guarantee you that it will still keep our attention in the same way as the beginning”.

The words frame is much more limited for additional academic essays, it is usually not more than 300 words.

Learn how to write a college paper

  1. Pay close attention to the thesis statement. The introduction is very important because it is the part that has to hook the attention of a reader. Thus, the beginning of your essay should be exciting and organized appropriately. The cornerstone of this stage is a thesis statement, which is a brief description of the key ideas that you are going to reveal in the body paragraphs. It is absolutely necessary and inescapable.

    Accordingly, it is important, that the insertion to the college essay conquer the viewer’s attention and make him wish to read more. What makes a good college essay?

    There are various college essay tips to capture a viewer.

    • Begin with an interesting question.
    • Start with a brave affirmation.
    • Add a provocative citation.
    • Allocate the viewers in the center of the story. Place your audience in the middle of current events or a discussion.
    • Provoke the viewer, starting a direct discussion with him/her.
    • Inform the viewer what you do NOT wish to perform in your work.
    • Often even the only one word that is instead of a full paragraph can impress and attract the viewer.
  2. Keep your focus of the essay narrow. Students, who haven’t done that task before, tend to make their essays over-packed with too many experiences or facts, which only ruins the impression from the piece of writing. It is a sound idea to choose one particular experience or idea around which you have to unfold the story of your essay by adding relevant arguments or illustrative examples.
  3. Be genuine in your essay. When we think about the writing prompt for students, a very extremely simple but yet invaluable piece of advice comes to mind – be sincere while writing your essay. The college admission board will definitely appreciate your own ideas and feelings on the topic more than some imagined or borrowed thoughts.
  4. Stop trying so much. Robinson tells: “One of the most common mistakes students do is putting all their efforts to surprise”. Also, he adds: “Believe that it is those every day, concrete themes that are much more attractive to read about”.

    As Robinson said: “Colleges are exhausted from reading about the period when you became a ballroom dance champion in your city or when you were doing repairs at a local nursing home”. Be originative!

    Besides, your writing style has to be unique and unrepeatable. “These works should read like intelligent, attractive 17-year-olds created them”, tells Lacy Crawford, ex autonomous academic application consultant and writer of Early Decision. “A feeling of possibility and self-awareness is what it is amusing.”

  5. Keep the rules. While the regulations on the applications may seem common, and sometimes repetitive after applying to different academies, Rawlins says that every rhyme has a root.

    “They should be informed that the college set plenty of rules and regulations and they have to keep them!” he tells. “We have thought a long time of phrases you have to use. We want you to follow it.”

  6. Make your paper proper and stunning. Time frames should look nice as well. You can make your work stunning by taking care of a few moments. Use an easily readable font. Think well whether or not bold typeface could make your work acceptable. Do not make a mess around the top of the page, but keep the balance in the middle of each page and close to margins. Give the essay hint at the beginning. Logically share the paragraphs, either by defining each paragraph or by using the block method, saving all the words on the left side but adding extra area between paragraphs.

    If you have plenty of mistakes in your work, it cannot be attractive. Double-check attentively for all kinds of mistakes. Make sure your main punctuation is proper.

    Did you divide dialogue properly from the main text? Did you use capitalization properly? Have a look at our article on the most general mistakes in academic works for tips for writing college essays.

  7. Check the essay before turning it in. Students believe that writing a good essay for college ends with typing the last dot. Frankly speaking, that is half of the work, another one lies in the fact that the essay should be proofread thoroughly and many times if you want to impress the college admission board in a positive way.

The last tools! If you are facing problems with writing a good college essay, you might decide to go to where you can ask how to write a good college essay and have a look at free examples, or check the platform for ways to start a college essay. Finally, if English is not your native language, you might need to check what makes a good college essay and some useful tools on how to improve your English skills to stay plain and logical in your writing.

Trying to put your personality in 650 words isn’t an easy task by itself, but when it’s the thing that also determines your future, the pressure can be too much. The key to success is to dedicate enough time to this activity because that’s not something you want to slack and do half-heartedly. So start early and use the following tips.

5 rules for effective writing

  1. Add to your application The most basic and important information about you has already been stated in your application so make sure you don’t repeat anything in the essay. Instead of providing dry facts, think about the things that can express your personality. They are experienced and observations that have shaped you into the person you’re now.
  2. Straight to business 650 words is a very small number when the task in front of you is to describe your complex personality. That’s why you don’t have the luxury of including any trivial information and describing your whole life story. Instead of rambling about everything at once, choose a particular event or experience that stands out and turn it into the reflection of your true self.
  3. Don’t tell directly You want to focus on a certain trait of your character, for example, your adventurousness. Don’t say it! Write a series of occurrences and encounters that will make the reader conclude, “this person is really adventurous”. If you simply state it, it will look like you’re milking it, but when someone guesses it from your essay, it looks very genuine.
  4. Attract attention The first impression is the most important, so make sure you give a strong one. The reader is likely to make a decision regarding you after the first paragraph. You need to grip the reader’s attention to make him/her read the rest of the essay carefully. Only this way, you will be able to stand out from the crowd.
  5. Stay yourself Imagine your close friend is reading your essay. Would he/she recognize you from it? If yes, you’ve managed to stay true to yourself, but if no, you need to work harder. There is nothing worse than a soulless essay and you are the only person who can bring your writing to life by expressing your own personality in it.

However intimidated you’re by writing your college essay, the earlier you start, the sooner you’ll understand how to write a good essay. So waste no time and follow these tips to get the best college essay.

DOS & DON’TS in academic paper writing:


  • Use private data: show, don’t say.
  • Be laconic.
  • Make different sentence composition and use conversions.
  • Use dynamic voice verbs.
  • Give the answers and keep the instructions.
  • Look for a few positions.
  • Stay concentrated as you are limited with words.
  • Review, review, review, and edit.


  • Write chronologically – it can be monotonous.
  • Do not write what you consider admission officers wish to see or hear as well as use language that is not typical for you.
  • Protect your position without background and any proves and samples.
  • Write the same that in your activity abstract.
  • Use jargon.

Your nature is the most difficult thing for admission officers to estimate. Writing a good college essay is your opportunity to show who you are – your hobbies, lifestyle, and honesty Stay yourself!

How to feel more confident in writing college essay

Why is vital?

Because it provides admission officers not only with information about grades and achievements you get but reflects your personal traits as well as demonstrate your writing skills.

FEEL NERVOUS about the RESPONSIBILITY that lies on your shoulders? Well… Best writing tips are here for you to simplify the process of creation and make you feel more confident!

Best essay writing tips

Bear in mind that a college essay should resemble your personality and should help the admission officer to get to know who he/she is dealing with. This case of essay writing is not about impressing someone with your achievements or some pompous ambitions that are aimed at astonishing the reader but do not show genuine YOU. It is about suggesting the reader a chance to understand your inner world, to uncover your “private YOURSELF” and your ability to stay as much honest as possible.

  • Pick Up a Topic
    Before you even start writing, it is necessary to brainstorm your ideas, values, and believes, and to choose the topic that matters to you. You are free to describe any experience, any life situation, anything, that interests you and gives a clear understanding of the type of character and of the position, for which you stand.
  • Let the Writing Process Get Started
    It’s ALWAYS scary to start to write, but as soon as you have started, the process will seem less complicated than it used to. Let your first draft include all the ideas that conjured up in your head. Do not expect your essay to be impeccable from the very beginning. It is time-consuming, detailed work and you have to put enough effort till the time there is a masterpiece in your hands.
  • Rewrite Your Essay Till You’re Proud of It
    After you have completed your first draft, it is high time to improve your essay. First of all, make it structured and develop three main essay parts, which will include the introductory paragraph, the main body (approximately three paragraphs), and the conclusion. The next step is to make your essay consistent and logically connected. Give your essay a focus, the main idea, which will be a breeding ground for further development of correlated viewpoints. It’s a nice idea to show your work to other people and get some feedback that may meliorate your college essay.

It is always easier to complete the task while having some background knowledge. Follow our pieces of advice in order to reduce anxiety when it is time to write a college essay!

5 hooking techniques for good college essays

  1. Think Small
    Try not to think about how to improve your writing skills on a macro-scale. Instead, focus on small and endearing instances of special emotional tension. Winning a football game or getting an award for your science project are general experiences. Tell the people something personal enough to matter.
  2. Don’t Be Afraid of Using First-Person Voice
    Most tips on basic writing skills suggest you should not use narrative techniques in essays. However, it is more than appropriate if you are trying to hook people in with your writing. You are trying to explain why you are worthy of being admitted to the school of your dreams, so talk directly to the person making a decision.
  3. Convey Your Feelings through Senses
    Details make your writing come alive. Simply stating that you felt happy or sad does nothing for your writing. Instead, try to describe the things you saw, smelt, or heard at the moment when emotions overwhelmed you. This way the person reading your essay will be able to focus on you.
  4. Use Adjectives
    Descriptive writing can be truly beautiful when done right. Connect the admissions committee to your story by explaining your experience in minute detail. They should get the feeling of being present in the moment you are depicting.
  5. Get Emotional
    A college admissions essay is not the same as a research paper. You are allowed to be as emotional and painfully honest as you want. Speak from deep within your soul and people will respect that your sincerity.

To try out whether these techniques actually work, open your word processor and start writing!

Our team can write an essay online on any topic.

Begin your work properly

The specialists recommend writing your college essay only when you are done with all the academic projects and exams. In such a way, you will have enough energy and writing inspiration to create an impressive piece that will bring you the expected outcome.

The best strategy for writing a college essay is to start early. Having a considerable amount of time on writing, revising, and proofreading your paper, you will be able to create a good piece that will impress the admission board members.

Before you start writing your paper, you should clearly understand what is expected of you. Do you need to write an essay on a free topic emphasizing your strengths? Or you have to answer specific questions? Pay attention that in order to do everything right, you should understand every single aspect of your guidelines.

Also, you may look for the great samples of the college essays available on the web as they will help you get some insight into how such an essay should be written. Most probably, you will be asked to write an essay explaining your interest in the study in a certain educational institution or program. When working on this paper, you need to be as creative as possible. Keep in mind that the admission committee members read a lot of college essays on a daily basis and if you want to impress them, you need to write a truly amazing paper explaining why you are a perfect match.

College essay writing handy suggestions

The first and the most important step in writing a college essay is choosing the right topic. Very often, the students have a specific theme to discuss in their essays. However, in some cases, they are free to choose the topics on their own demonstrating their creativity.

Pay attention that your college essay is not an autobiography. You should not only tell about your life. But keep in mind that your main goal is to demonstrate that you possess the skills and qualities that will help you become a successful student at the educational institution you apply to. Thus, we recommend you to narrow down your focus to your achievements, experiences, and skills obtained in your previous study and extracurricular activities. If there are some personal qualities you would like to mention, feel free to do that, though make sure they are relevant. No matter what college or university you choose, you need to be honest and positive. Having many years of experience, the admission officers can easily recognize fake facts.

One more advice: do not underestimate your college essay. Very often, it is the main decision-making factor because it can help the admission committee members to accept your candidacy. In your college essay, you should focus on the facts that are not mentioned anywhere in your application.