A helpful tutorial on how to write a good college admission essay

When you are writing a college admission essay you can ensure that your essay is a good one by following these steps:

  • Step 1: Be concise

    Most college application essays have a suggested minimum number of words but no maximum number of words. That being said: many students will try and fill page after page of content when in reality, the review board does not have the time nor the inclination to read beyond one or one and a half pages of content. So try and attach your personal limit of 700 words per essay.

  • Step 2: Be honest

    You do not want to start the negative trend of embellishing your achievements or your titles. Just stay honest. Being the treasurer of your 4-H club is fine. Don’t lie and put “president” when you weren’t. You don’t have to be the star of everything you did and you will feel much better about yourself if you don’t strain yourself and lie.

  • Step 3: Be individual

    Before you start writing, ask what things you have in your past or traits you possess that distinguish you from the thousands of other applicants. Explain what distinctive things you have about your person and why they set you apart. That is the entire purpose of the essay anyway.

  • Step 4: Be coherent

    Don’t let yourself babble on as you are writing your essay. Don’t try and cover everything about yourself in a single sitting. This is a waste of your time and the reader’s time. You might have a lot of participation items on your outline, but if your word limit only covers three of them adequately, then stick to three of them, but pick your best three.

  • Step 5: Be accurate

    Do not use spell check alone. Make sure the mechanics of your writing are accurate and that you use conventional punctuation and that the names and dates you use are all accurate and correctly spelled.

Make sure that as you write, your essay is vivid and that it is a great story. Include details in your writing that will set the scene for the reader and that will make the characters in your story more human. You want the reader to appreciate the story and the people in it as much as you do. Doing this helps you to be likable. This is important for colleges because these academic centers view themselves as communities and to get in you have to prove that you would be a likable addition to the community. To do this, avoid using humor. This might seem like a good idea in theory, but remember that everyone views humor differently and what is funny to you and your friends may not be funny to the strangers on the review committee.