Want to learn how to write a college application essay? Writing a college admissions essay is one of the more challenging aspects of the college application process. Unfortunately, writing a great college essay is not like writing a term paper. If you want to submit an effective essay, you need to make an effort to breathe life and personality into your writing. Below are 8 steps you can take to ensure that your college essay is the best it can be.
1.) Take the Time to Understand the Question
Most college application essays are written based on a question or prompt. Colleges typically provide essay questions that suggest one or two topics to focus on. One of the most important aspects of writing a college application essay is to make sure that you truly understand the question and properly address it in your essay. Read the question carefully and let it sink in. Think deeply about what is being asked before you start brainstorming and consider how the question applies to you, personally.
2.) Brainstorm Ideas
Brainstorm all of your ideas, so you know exactly what you are going to be writing about. There are many experiences and events in your life that you can draw from when writing. Reflect on those experiences and jot down any and every idea that comes up. It is important to take good notes when brainstorming, so you can come back to thoughts that you would forget about otherwise.
3.) Pick a Topic
Once you are done brainstorming, comb through all of your ideas and narrow them down to three options that you think are the best fit for the essay prompt. Pick an option that demonstrates your abilities, perseverance, beliefs, and other redeeming qualities.
4.) Write an Essay Outline
The next step to writing your essay is to create an outline. A college essay should have an introduction, body, and conclusion, so it progresses naturally and is easy to read. An outline will help to give your essay structure and allow you to determine where each idea should be placed.
5.) Start Writing
After you have created an outline, start writing your essay. At this point, you should already know what you are going to write and how you are going to write it. Write in your own voice and keep the focus of your essay personal. Be specific and avoid clichés. You should strive to maintain focus on the main idea of your essay by supporting it with vivid details, facts, quotes, and events.
6.) Proofread Your Work
The last thing you want is to submit an essay riddled with typos and grammatical errors. You should let your writing sit for a while before proofreading it in order to approach it with a fresh perspective. It is best to read your essay out loud, because it increases your chances of finding errors.
7.) Get a Second Opinion
Once you have finished editing your essay, you should ask another person, such as a parent, teacher or essay editing service to read over your essay. This second party will be able to ensure that your writing is clear to an outsider. He or she might be able to provide suggestions on how you can make certain parts better, and they may pick up on grammar mistakes that you originally overlooked.
8.) Make Revisions
After you have gotten feedback, go back to your essay and apply all of the corrections that you received. Give it another review to make sure that you are satisfied with your work. You might also want to pass it back to your parent or a friend for a second once-over just to make sure that your changes are on point before you go on to submit it.
If you want to learn how to write a good college essay that sets you apart from the crowd, follow the above steps. Writing a college application essay requires significant time and effort, but when you are done, you will feel extremely accomplished. Good luck, and good writing!