How to Write a College Essay

How to write a college essay
A college essay is a personal composition written by college applicants that helps the admission officers to handpick the most befitting students for admission. Many college institutions require applicants to prepare college application essays to accompany their application forms. Admission officers look for unique personality traits, in every college application essay they go through, to establish who should join their institution.  The admission officers relied on the college essays since test scores, and grades of the applicants may not form the ultimate criteria for filtering applicants.

A college entrance essay needs to be concise, clear and assertive to ensure it portrays the intended picture of the applicant, that’s why students sometimes use custom writing services like essayzoo to get help with writing. As a student, you ought to ensure that the college entrance essay sets you apart from the other applicants so as to stand a chance to land an admission. The purpose of a college essay is to find the most desired traits other than grades and test scores needed by the college from its new applicants. A good college essay must show your unique qualities. In this article, important college essay tips are illustrated and discussed in detail.

Topic choice

There are myriad of college essay topics from which a student can use to practice writing college essays. A student should be driven by the passion to write on any topic that resonates well with his/her personality. For any college application essay, the format is dependent on the topic or the content of the essay. Here below are some practice college essay prompts and topics for college essays students can use to improve their essay skillset.

  1. Describe a person you admire
  2. Why do you want to join our college?
  3. Describe your biggest achievement yet
  4. Describe an experience you were unsuccessful in achieving your goals
  5. Describe an experience that changed your life
  6. Why do you think you want to spend the next four years in this college?
  7. Why should this college consider your application?
  8. Describe a literary piece that inspires you
  9. What is your strongest motivation for work?
  10. Describe an event in your life you would wish you could go back and change if any
  11. What are your plans during and after college?
  12. Describe your unique skill or talent
  13. What is your biggest failure yet?
  14. Describe a funny story you keep telling your friends or family members and why you think it keeps coming up
  15. What do you love most and why do you love it?

The aforementioned college essay topics can help students to sharpen their college essay writing skills. More good topics for college essay can be found on the Internet, books, media, etc. A good student is open to college essay ideas which are very instrumental in building their college writing skills.

Essay structure

The structure of a college essay must be adhered to ensure the essay communicates the intended message. The outline for a college essay is very important in guiding how to write the essay. Whenever the author encounters a major problem, the outline for college essay acts as the guidebook. The outline maps out your ideas before putting them down, thus avoid possible confusion during the preparation of the final article. Before you write a college essay, you need to plan on what to include or exclude in your essay. The draft is a necessary guideline to writing a great essay. When writing a college admission essay, the applicant ought to organize his /her thoughts and ideas in a logical and coherent way. Avoid clichés or any other unnecessary filler materials when writing a college admission essay. A draft is necessary before you write a college essay to avoid such mishaps.

An example of an outline using 5-paragraph essay format:

What do you plan to do after you graduate from college?

  1. Introduction
  2. Background information: I was born and raised in Harlem, where I lived with my single mother.
  3. Thesis statement: The thought of graduating from college makes me enthusiastic and expectant to go out to practice entrepreneurship and partly indulge in community service.
  4. Body paragraphs
  5. Paragraph 1:

Hook: Growing up in dilapidated condition on the outskirts of Manhattan shaped my world and influenced my perception about humanity.

Other supporting sentences

  1. Paragraph 2

Hook: My interest in business came when I was in 7th grade in Greenfield Elementary school.

Other supporting sentences

  • Paragraph 3

Hook: The people and experiences I have gone through have shaped my vision for the future.

Other supporting sentences

  1. Conclusion

Concisely, am looking forward to clearing college and setting out there to actualize my dreams.

Other concluding sentences

Tips concerning introduction writing

How to start a college essay is a critical step that must be well articulated to capture the attention of the reader.

  1. Use a hook to capture the attention of the reader
  2. The introduction for college essay must create a smooth transition to the subsequent paragraph without losing the interest of the reader.
  3. It must have a thesis statement
  4. The thesis statement should not be buried deep into the introduction
  5. The topic sentence of the introduction must be captivating

Tips on thesis writing

The thesis statement must be featured in the introduction to hint the reader on what to expect in the essay.

  1. The thesis statement should be clear and very specific while avoiding filler or vague words.
  2. The thesis statement does not need to come late in your essay as it is likely by then the reader might not see it.
  3. The thesis statement should be connected to the topic of the essay
  4. Avoid general thesis statement
  5. Indicate where the thesis starts using phrases like; In this paper…….

Tips on body paragraphs

  1. The body paragraphs do not necessarily need to be long, but each must communicate a different idea.
  2. Each body paragraph must create a smooth transition to the next paragraph to ensure the reader’s attention is not lost.
  3. College essay body paragraphs must have hooks must be well articulated to capture the attention of the reader.
  4. For each paragraph, a lead sentence is necessary, followed by several sentences supporting the lead sentence.
  5. Avoid mixing points in a single paragraph.
  6. A coherent and logical flow of ideas throughout the essay is critical for writing a college essay.

Tips on conclusion writing

It is also important to understand how to finish a college essay in a great style that summarizes the contents of the essay.

  1. The conclusion should sum up the contents of the essay
  2. The conclusion should refer to contents previously written in the essay
  3. The conclusion of a definition essay can also reassert the thesis statement.
  4. The conclusion should also be short and made up of a few sentences.
  5. Include a short summary of each key point used in the essay

Sources for essay choice

Sources for the essay can be books, documented events, the internet, media, etc. Such sources must be referenced using the most appropriate referencing style or any recommended style. A bibliographic information page must be attached at the end of the essay for further reference on any material used in preparing the essay. Any material used in preparing the essay must be acknowledged and indicated in the list. Any unacknowledged source amounts to plagiarism and it is likely to cost an applicant the admission if found committing it. The internet, library, media, documented books, peer reviewed articles, publications all qualify to be sources for a college essay.

Finalizing essay

A revision is a critical process in writing a college essay. It is advisable that after writing the essay to allow it to be read by other people to help you with the revision. Peer review of the essay can bring fresh ideas and help to correct possible errors that might have escaped the scrutiny of the author. Essay proofreading might also expose possible errors that could be spotted by the admission officers and deny you admission.

Make citations

Making citations also must be consistent with the sources used while writing the essay. The citations must be credible and relevant to the topic of the essay. It is also important to ensure all citations adhere to standard rules to avoid possible misunderstandings that might cost you an admission chance.

Concisely, it is important to understand how to write a college essay as it is likely the only thing that can stand between you and your dream college admission. This article has expounded on some of the best practices and tips for writing a great college essay.