Students at every level are vying for spots at the best universities in the country and around the world. To do this, they need to showcase their best work. Writing a college essay can help get admissions and scholarships that knock thousands of dollars off your tuition. Below are important tips to make your college application essay stand out from the rest:
Start With Yourself
The first step in writing the college essay is to get your self-reflection going! Don’t start by figuring out what an essay prompt is asking for. Instead, focus on yourself and ask questions that will help you dig into your stories, motivations, and values.
Think about what’s made you who you are today—what do you stand for? What do you value? How have these things shaped your life choices? Use this introspection to guide your writing and ensure it aligns with your application’s rest.
Think About Your Story
What major events in your life shaped who you are? What qualities do those events demonstrate about who you’ve become?
Try to tie these moments into how they’ve shaped who you are today—this will help ensure that the story feels authentic and memorable. Think about how these experiences impacted how you interact with others or influenced your vision of the world around you.
Make sure there’s a connection between those past experiences and what makes sense for where you are now academically and professionally.
Keep It Simple
Many other applicants will likely write about similar topics in your college essays. Unfortunately, one of the most common pitfalls in these essays is overdoing an essay—writing too much and using fancy words that distract from the essay’s main point.
It’s important to remember that you’re not trying to impress anyone with how well you can write; you’re trying to show admissions officers what makes you a good student and potential candidate for their school.
So how do you keep it simple? Write the ideas that first strike your mind without overthinking them or adding unnecessary details. Avoid using complex sentences, especially if they aren’t necessary for conveying your ideas.
Humor is a recommended way to capture the attention of admission officers. You want to stay moderate, though: don’t make your essay a standup routine or tell a joke that doesn’t land. Instead, use humor to your advantage by writing the full, most genuine, and compelling version of yourself.
The best way to do that is with a funny opening line. It can be as simple as saying something like: “I’m not sure if I’m supposed to start this essay off with ‘Hi’ or if you prefer something more formal like ‘Dear Admissions Committee.'”
Stay on Topic
The key to making your college application essays stand out from your peers is to stay on topic. Even though you may have a lot of ideas and inspiration, you must stay focused on what makes sense for the course and the school.
The best way to do this is by being specific in your writing. Instead of writing an essay about why you want to go to college in general, write an essay about why you want to study English at a specific college.
While not all colleges are created equal, their specific qualities are likely to be similar enough that it’s easy for readers to see how your personal experiences would benefit from studying there.
Edit and Proofread
Editing and proofreading are the cornerstones of a polished essay. Of course, it’s essential to go through your essay after finishing the draft. But it’s also important to proofread it before submitting it.
This will help you catch mistakes that may have slipped through the cracks during the writing process. You can use an online spell checker for common mistakes while writing. Remember to check for grammar mistakes. We recommend hiring an essay writer for such work.
When rereading your essay, look for typos and grammar mistakes—these are easy to spot when you’re reading your work! If you feel like a professional editor could help polish up your college application essays before submission, consider hiring one!
The college essay is one of the essential parts of your application. It’s your chance to show admission officers what makes you unique and why you deserve to be admitted to their school.
With that in mind, it’s just as important to avoid making common mistakes that can detract from your writing. By following these tips, you can be sure you are making the best impression possible with your college essays.