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How To Write A College Essay That Rocks!

When applying for college, a big part of the process is submitting a college essay. While it may sound daunting to students, or seem like an assignment for English class, there are significant differences between what they’ve written for their high school teachers and the essay an admissions officer will review. To help them prepare, I’ve rounded up five tips for students on how to write a college essay that will set them apart and show the potential they could bring to the school.

5 Tips On How To Write A College Essay

1. Focus On You 

A college essay is an opportunity to focus on you. Be authentic, share your passions and let your personality come through in your writing. By laying the groundwork for what makes you unique, admissions officers will develop a better understanding of how you stand out from other applicants with similar test scores and high grades.

2. Be Descriptive And Reflect

While it might be easier to simply state a fact about yourself or briefly summarize an event, it is better to help the reader visualize that information. This is a crucial component of the admissions essay; you need to grab the reader’s attention and bring them into the story. 

Be descriptive and invoke the reader’s senses to ground them in the place or scene with you as the main character. Don’t shy away from revealing emotions and personal reflections on how the experience changed you. Maybe the experience helped you realize your career path or enhanced your sense of self. Whatever it is, give the reader an insider’s perspective to gain a deeper understanding of who you are as a person.

3. Let Your Voice Shine

When considering how to write a college essay that puts you at center stage, voice plays a huge part. Whether you are outgoing, introspective or funny, let your personality shine through and become a part of your writing style! Not only will this establish a more authentic college essay, but it also creates an image of the person who will arrive on campus.

Woman writing a college essay.

4. Start Writing Your College Essay Early

Don’t wait until the last minute. Start writing your college essay early and plan to write several drafts. Once a draft is complete, step away from the admissions essay for a couple of days. Then come back and review it with fresh eyes. Doing so will give you time to mull over your essay to make sure it conveys what you want and stays true to your story. Time away will also help you catch any errors that went unnoticed before. 

As you review your essay, The Princeton Review has four questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the essay interesting?
  • Do the ideas flow logically?
  • Does it reveal something about you?
  • Is it written in your voice?

5. Have Someone Proofread Your College Essay

High school boy writing his college essay peper.
High school boy writing his college essay paper.

The last essential step in writing your college essay is to check it thoroughly for grammar mistakes. Then, ask a parent or school counselor to proofread. This is an essential part of the process, and you’ll want to ask them to check the essay for grammatical errors, cohesive flow and the depiction of your personality and voice.

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