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7 tips for writing the best college essay


Writing an essay on your own can be difficult, especially when it’s the first time you’ve done it. This is the first chance for many college students to step into the spotlight and tell the world about themselves. If you want to make the most of your opportunity and write an amazing essay that will make you stand out in the admissions office without using an essay writer, here are seven tips on writing the best college essay.

1) Start early

This may seem obvious, but a solid essay will likely take more time than you think. It’s usually not a good idea to write your first draft during exam week. You want to give yourself plenty of time to proofread, tweak, and improve what you’ve written. A month or so should be enough—depending on how many schools you're applying to and how much time your application requires (do some research here). Starting early also gives you plenty of opportunities to bounce your ideas off a friend or family member who can give you feedback and help identify any weak spots in your essay.

2) Know what you want to say

College essays are not a place to show off your creative side. They’re an opportunity to sell yourself and convince an admissions officer that you belong at their school. You should start your college application essay by considering: What do I want to say about myself? What qualities do I want to highlight? How can I make myself stand out positively? There is no right or wrong topic, but try not to regurgitate simply what’s on your resume. Be honest, specific, and authentic. Maybe you want readers to know more about how active you are outside of school.

3) Don’t worry about length

Before you even start, you should know that there’s no need to worry about length. Admissions officers don’t penalize you if your essay is longer than an arbitrary word count limit. Length isn’t everything. Many people think of brevity as a virtue in itself—it forces writers to be clear and precise and keep irrelevant information out of their essays. So when it comes time to write your essay, remember: say what you have to say, but only what you have to say. Anything else is just distracting noise.

4) Focus on transitions

Your essay is a chance to stand out, so you want to impress your admissions officer with your story. To do that, make sure to keep transitions in mind when it comes time to write. Transitions are important because they allow your reader to know how one idea connects with another and helps maintain clarity in your message. We see students who place two related sentences back-to-back without any transition connecting them, which can often lead to confusion on the part of readers. An easy fix? Use phrases like in addition, as a result, or because to help bridge ideas together.

5) Emphasize your strengths (weaknesses are irrelevant)

In your essay, focus on your strongest qualities. If you are an athlete, write about what sport you play and how that makes you a leader or motivates others to achieve. You could also talk about when you stepped up and innovatively solved a problem. Whatever you do, make sure it is genuine to who you are because that will be reflected in your application. The admissions team wants to know what sets you apart from other students applying to their school, so show them! Focus on how they can benefit from having someone like you around campus.

6) Get personal

The college application process is daunting, and it’s easy to let that paralyze you into a state of inaction. But sitting down to write your application essays may be one of your most effective ways to make an impression on admissions officers, so treat them with respect. Take time over each sentence you write (minor or major) and make sure you aren’t slapping on words haphazardly—so many applicants try to bluff their way through with big words or vague generalizations. Still, those tactics undermine their efforts by making them seem rushed and half-hearted. If you have trouble getting started, think about things from your perspective.

7) Use someone else’s story but make it your own

Think about an experience you had in your life, and tell a story. If it’s a good story, all you need to do is find some other pieces of your own story to fit into it. Think about what you like most about your story—maybe it’s how you stood up to someone or how hard you worked towards something—and then think about what parts of that experience were hardest for you. Your vulnerabilities are just as important as your strengths, so if there was a part of that experience that made things difficult for you, be sure to incorporate those details into your essay!

How to write a good college application essay? Tips for writing essays, Education, College Admissions


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