College Application Essay Writing

 The college essay is your opportunity to “talk” directly to the college’s admissions committee and speak for yourself about your life, your goals, passions, values, strengths, talents, and sometimes, about the obstacles you have faced. It is here that the admissions committee evaluates the effectiveness of your writing and gains insight into the real person behind the facts.

(Suggested Read: Type of Application Essays; 5 Application Essay Do's and Don'ts)

Here are some of the basic areas you may want to explore.

Essay structure - Introduction, body and conclusion;

Factors to consider for writing an application essay- preparation, structure, content, format;

Essay writing approach- Seven steps on how to approach writing your college essay;

Essay structure

The Introduction

Is the first sentence of your essay and it plays the dual role of setting the theme of your essay and engaging the reader. Your essay introduction should-

The Body

This is the most important part of your essay because it provides the evidence (examples, details, facts) to support your topic.

The Conclusion

This serves to refocus and reaffirm the validity of your essay.

Example: if you’re introducing your idea of the perfect career, “something in the field of science” or “I’d like to be a doctor,” is not going to capture the reader’s attention the way- “I want to become an oncologist so I can join in the fight against leukemia, a battle my friend Bob has fought every day of his life,” is much better, and lets the reader know something not only about what your career goal is, but why it’s your goal.

Factors to consider in essay writing

1. Preparation

2. Content and Style

Tell your story in your own voice, making your essay personal and real. Write so that the reader will care what you have to say. Give thought to your essay’s content:

3. Structure

4. Format

There are four basic types to choose from when deciding how best to tell your story:

Essay writing approach

Step 1: Who Are You? Take time for some reflection. It is not always easy to write about yourself. Take a step back and think about who you are and what makes you distinct. To tell admissions officers about yourself in a true and convincing way, first, you need to "mine" various areas of your identity to discover what makes you an unique individual. Consider these questions:

Step 2: How Do You Begin to Decide to Tell Who You Are?

Step 3: First Draft. When you have decided what you want the admissions committee to know about you, you are ready to begin your first draft.

Step 4: Review Your Draft.

Step 5: Sample Essays. You may want to read some sample essays to see how others have presented themselves, but if you do so, do not model your essay to be like one you have read.

Step 6: Re-write until you are satisfied. Everything you have ever learned about good writing applies here.

Step 7: Final Checkpoints. Ensure the following-