When applying for college, one of the application requirements is an essay. In this blog post, we have outlined how to write a college admission essay professionally that can get you a spot for an interview.
Applying for college can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t go through the right channels. And by this, I mean when you don’t talk to your teachers or counselors about it or don’t surf the internet for answers and just want to get the information by yourself.
It would only lead you to get inadequate information and that is where the fall of your college application begins. College application requires adequate and up-to-date information, else you just might be doing everything wrong.
Typically, to apply for college or university there are certain requirements that you must meet which also include certain documents that you must submit. Such as a letter of recommendation, statement of purpose, essay, and many more.
Requirements often vary by specific degree programs, study level, and student’s location. Whichever one you may fall into, an essay is usually required and it is a huge plus in your college application. Through the essay, you get your demonstrate your critical thinking skills, language proficiency, problem-solving skills, and a whole lot of your abilities.
In case you don’t understand how important an essay is to your college application, take a look below.
Importance of A College Admission Essay
Remember how I mentioned earlier about requirements you need to meet to be admitted into colleges? Those requirements are generally measures of your academic performances such as high school transcripts, GPA from the previous school attended, and other test scores and your achievements.
An essay is the only thing that sets two students with the same academic performance apart. With a powerful, well-constructed essay, a student can be better than the other even though their test scores and achievements are on par. And this is how colleges select the ideal applicant.
Through the college admission essay, you get to have the opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd. This even comes in handy in cases where admission is highly competitive, a compelling essay helps you stand out of the horde of other bright applicants and make a difference.
Even with your exceptional academic performance, the college you are applying to still doesn’t know who you are and that is really what they are more interested in, knowing you, that’s right. Through an essay, the school will meet you, know you, understand you, and invite you over for an interview.
Admission officials of higher institutions are looking for an essay that shows who you are, therefore, write about something that is uniquely you. It gives you the chance to speak directly to the admissions officer.
So, this is basically how important an essay is to your college application.
How Long Should a College Admission Essay Be?
Typically, the college you are applying for should provide you with an essay topic and the number of words it should be. But always expect the article length to be a minimum of 250 words to a maximum of 650 words.
It’s not very much to express yourself, so just dive right into the main topic and discuss the main points. These points you discuss are the gap between acceptance and rejection.
How Do You Start an Introduction to a College Essay
Writing the introduction of an essay is a challenging task and you can’t even skip it because it is also the most important part of a college essay. Thousands of college essays are read by admissions officers every year, therefore, an essay can be reviewed in as little as 5 minutes.
For beginners, make your essay introduction compelling enough to draw in the reader to keep reading. Don’t give too much away at the beginning, this would make the reader easily guess the rest of your essay, rather, create an unexpected opening that captures the reader’s attention, raises questions, and keeps them glued to the rest of the essay.
To do this, move your most compelling experience to the forefront or introduction and structure your essay around it.
Practice this as many times as possible and make people around you read it. Also, you can request help from your teachers, parents, and friends.
How Do You Structure A College Essay?
The typical structuring of an essay is, to begin with, an introduction that contains your main points. From here, proceed to provide examples or evidence to back up your main point and then conclude the essay based on what has been demonstrated.
What is the Format for a College Essay?
The college you are applying to should always provide you with a format and if it isn’t, follow the simple guide below:
- Use a font that is easier to read like Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambria, or Arial
- Use standard font size, 12 points is pretty standard
- Your essay should be 1.5 or double-spaced to make it easier to read
- Use 1-inch margins all around.
And that is how you get your college admission essay format. You may also contact the school admission officer to get the correct format.
How to Write a College Admission Essay – Step by Step Guide
All application tests have been completed, tests have been taken, and now, it’s time for you to demonstrate your personality and show off to the admission officials through a great college admission application essay. It is going to take you days to write and just a few minutes to read for the admission officer, therefore you need to make your work as captivating as possible to keep them interested.
Using only 250 to 650 words to express your uniqueness to the admissions office and get a chance at getting acceptance can put a lot of pressure on you. But if you do it right by following the step-by-step guide on how to write a college admission essay discussed here, you will create an engaging essay with either 250, 500, or 650-word count.
Here, we have critically discussed the steps to produce a well-structured compelling essay.
1. Carefully Read the Instructions
Colleges that request essays or personal statements from college applicants usually give instructions, such as essay topics for you to choose from, word count, font, format, and general structuring of your essay. Following the instructions or guidelines of the essay is just as important as writing it and where your chance of getting accepted or rejected lies in.
This is one of the first steps to take on how to write a college admission essay. It may seem redundant to you that this is the first step and doesn’t need to be talked about. But trust me, it is important to note. With all the excitement, stress, and pressure that you would experience during this period, you may completely forget to read the instructions.
Also, when you write your college application essay without following the laid out rules, the college admission officials will simply assume you will be unable to follow the directions of the school’s program and instantly put you up for rejection. These instructions were laid out for a reason and you need to organize your essay to meet up with the instructions.
After carefully reading the instruction, you can start organizing the outline of your application essay and be ready to start writing.
2. Begin with a Strong Hook
I discussed somewhere above how to start an introduction to a college essay and mentioned something about starting with a compelling introduction, it is also the same as starting with a strong hook. Your introduction should start with something really exciting that will draw the reader’s attention and don’t want to make them stop reading.
It should be inviting, interesting, engaging, and captivating. It should show the reader what your essay is about and catch their attention from there. The introduction is how you, as a college applicant, tell the admission officials that you are unique and demonstrate how you stand out among the other applicants.
You could begin the introduction with a story that demonstrates a part of your personality and character, just a tip to draw in the reader. Remember, don’t give out everything at the introduction simply offer an insight that will help the admission officers get to see how unique you are and want to know more about you.
3. Demonstrate Your Uniqueness of Authenticity
This is the third step on how to write a college admission essay professionally, read on to see what it entails.
Now that you have aced the first part, which is the introduction, and have captivated the reader you need to keep it that way. It should be more engaging, captivating, compelling, and all to keep the admissions officer interested.
To do that, use your inner voice and your essay should be based on your specific beliefs. Remember, these colleges are looking for authenticity and quality thinking skills in applicants. Therefore, do not use common or traditional phrases or ideas. Just be yourself and do you.
I’m sure you still remember that the college admission application essay is your opportunity to demonstrate who you are. Therefore, don’t leave out anything concerning your existing knowledge of your chosen program and how it will achieve your goals, determination, skills, and ambition.
Write about the things you’ve learned and your growth so far, how your skills and knowledge can positively affect the school, and experiences that are unique to you. This is the biggest part of the essay and includes many paragraphs and word count.
Note that the essay has a word cap, so don’t waste it by retelling an event. Make each word valuable.
4. Provide Appropriate Examples to Back up your Idea
This is the fourth guide on how to write a college admission essay professionally.
This essay you are about to write is to demonstrate to the admission officers the practical aspect of your mind, that is how your mind works and your perspective of the world. Now, you need to ensure that your essay supports that viewpoint.
Take your time and relate the essay question to yourself and then you can start writing from that perspective. This means that whatever idea you express isn’t just you stating facts, but go ahead and add specific details and examples to develop your ideas.
To do that, provide specific examples from your unique experiences, write what truly motivates you, and how you were able to develop a certain belief.
5. Organize your Essay
Our fifth step on how to write a college admission essay is to carefully organize your essay.
Aside from organizing your essay to meet the instructions, you also need to organize your essay to flow in a specific direction. This should be common knowledge already and you should know better than to just write a bunch of meaningless words.
You can write about different things but it should be meaningful, well organized, and shouldn’t relate outside of the subject matter. Make them flow in direct order.
Before you start writing, create and organize an essay structure or plan. It should be divided into the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Note that your conclusion is just as important as your introduction, therefore, make it strong and go out with a bang!
6. The Proofreading Stage
Finally, this is the last stage on how to write a college admission essay professionally and it involves everything proofreading and reviewing.
“To err is human…” is a statement that works all the time in the content writing space. You must always make mistakes while writing content and a college admission application essay isn’t left out. Indeed, you cannot avoid making mistakes such as grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc. but it is also true that you can avoid these errors and create an error-free essay.
What I’m saying in essence is that it is possible to create the perfect essay where there aren’t any sorts of errors. And this final stage is what will help you.
The proofreading stage is where you read and reread your essay over and over again. During this process, you get to note the errors you missed out while writing it and correct them. After correcting, you review it again to ensure you are missing nothing out.
The proofreading stage is not a solo stage, you will have to give it to others to proofread for you and help you point out errors that you might have missed. To achieve this, simply make out copies and give to your parents, siblings, teachers, and close friends and tell them to use another colored pen to encircle where they see an error.
After some days, collect all the copies from them and compare the notes. Attend to the most common errors. However, if you don’t want to spread out your essay to everyone, maybe for some reason you are sensitive about the content, then seek professional help, and by that I mean your teacher or school counselor.
School teachers and counselors are professionals at assisting high school students with their college essays and you should let either or both of them know about your essay so that they can start assisting you from the onset.
Employ all of these six stages on how to write a college admission essay, along with the tips I have provided below, and you will create an immaculate essay that any admission official won’t want to read. And from there, you have passed a very important requirement and boosted your chances of getting accepted.
Tips on How to Write a College Admission Essay
When writing a college admission essay, there are a couple of things you need to know to guide your writing and I have provided them here as tips to make your college essay stand out.
- Before you start writing your college admission essay, research the school you are applying to. Understand their values, cultures, visions, goals, and objectives.
- Start writing your college admission essay early so that you can send in your application earlier when there isn’t any rush. This would give the admission office time to gently go through your application which also includes your essay.
- Revise, edit, and rewrite your essay to a point of comfort
- Ask for help from teachers, family members, and/or friends.
- When writing your essay consider questions like;
- If I didn’t write this essay, would I be interested in reading it?
- Does this essay tell my own story?
- How can I make this essay sound more like myself?
- What significance does this topic have to do with me?
- Is my writing creative?
- Keep your essay creative and engaging to the very end and to achieve this, simply employ the following;
a) Be concise
b) Create a clear writing style
c) Show, don’t tell
d) Use a unique voice
e) Don’t use passive voice
f) Keep the topic focused
g) Highlight yourself
Employ these tips plus the 6 stages on how to write a college admission essay and you produce an outstanding result.
This wraps up the article on how to write a college admission essay professionally and I hope it has been helpful. Best of luck with your application!
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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.
When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.