Most of the students are familiar with academic essay writing. You only need to write a strong thesis statement, engaging introduction, a few paragraphs with proper evidence and wrap your essay with a neat conclusion. That's it! If you think the college essay is going to be somewhat similar to the academic paper, you are wrong. Writing a college essay is totally different from an academic piece of writing.
Your college essay application is beyond your high school performance, grades, qualifications, test scores, and the co-curricular activities you are good at. It speaks the real personality of the student i.e. who you are and what your interest is. Luckily, the college essay isn't a daunting task since the students get to write their interests and achievement.
A college essay application can include your objectives, triumphs, challenges, life incidents, inspirations, interests, life goals, lessons learned, and everything that describes your real self. Additionally, you also have to convince the supervisors that you can make a perfect fit for the university. Depending on the strength of your essay application, the supervisors decide whether or not they should let you in the college.
How to Write an Outstanding College Application Essay?
Let's face it – every student struggles to write an essay, especially if there is no specific topic assigned. As a result, you end up bragging. Students exaggerate things in the hope that they can create a creative and extraordinary write-up. If that's what you are planning to do, then think again! This is because supervisors can quickly judge your writing by reading the first page. They know if the incidents and achieving you have mentioned in the application are real or imaginary. Here’s how you can write a college application essay that will stand out.
1. Take Time to Understand the Prompt
The last thing any student would want is to have their college application essay rejected just because they couldn’t write it according to the prompt. Take some time to understand the prompt and the question properly. That’s exactly what you have to write about. Once you are done writing the essay, proofread the whole write-up to ensure that the content is in line with the prompt.
College essay prompt can either be personal or a creative topic. No matter what the topic is, the main objective of the supervisors is to check your creativity and knowledge. How well you craft an essay on the given topic? How well you understand the topic? How well your essay relates to the prompt? Your essay won’t prove useful if it distracts the audience from the prompt.
First things first, read the question at least 5-10 times to understand its meaning and what it demands. Are you being asked to defend, encourage, or expand the prompt?
Here’s the most challenging part of crafting the college application essay. Brainstorming is the process where students have to collect the ideas and facts they are going to write in the essay paper. You cannot jump to the ultimate essay copy before outlining the necessary points. Here are the essential questions you must address in the essay:
- What are my strengths and weakness?
- What makes me unique from the other applicants?
- How can I benefit the institution as a whole?
- What makes me eligible to get admission in the university?
If you start writing the essay directly on the final sheet, you will miss out on many points that you’d have otherwise written. Take some time to think and outline all the necessary events and ideas that you want to mention in the essay. Once you have listed these events, narrow down your options to four main concepts that relate well to the prompt. Choose the topics that can engage your readers and catch the attention of supervisors.
3. Write the Essay
Once you have all the ideas set in your mind and outlined in the rough paper, you can begin with the essay. The best part about the college application essay is that it doesn’t demand any specific evidence or a strict structure that you have to stick to. Though your format should match the university’s requirement, the content can be as per your wish. A college application essay can be around 700 to 1000 words – depending on the institution. Make sure that you stick to the word count. Here are some points you must keep in mind while writing the essay:
- Try to write more than 80% of your essay in the active voice: This is because the active voice is highly engaging and easy-to-understand. On the contrary, the passive voice seems impersonal and quite objective. As it is a college essay, you don't have to sound professional. Active voice is, therefore, recommended.
- Balance the Personal and Professional Tone: Just because it is a personal essay, you cannot use words or abbreviations like wanna, gimme, IDK, TBH, and etc. It must be written in the appropriate language. Similarly, you don’t need to use complicated vocabulary to sound an expert. By using complex synonyms, you are risking your essay.
- Do not Plagiarize: It is a no-brainer fact, but plagiarism is a big NO! It is a personal essay. You cannot copy it from the internet and expect professors to allow you in the university. In fact, the first thing any professor would do is check your essay for plagiarism.
- Never Brag: There’s no way you can get admission by bragging. Your essay must look neat and real. It doesn’t matter if it is simple, it should speak the truth. Your story must be unique and interesting to read.
4. Proofread the Essay
Check the essay on grammar tools to ensure that it is free of grammar and spelling mistakes. Apart from creativity and knowledge, writing is another skill that the supervisors take into consideration while ranking your essay.