How To Write a College Essay
If you’ve been anxiously wondering how to write a college essay, My College Guide is here to save the day!
For over twenty years, we’ve been helping students figure out everything college–and we’ve got great advice on writing the perfect college application essay.
How To Write a College Essay
Follow the Rules
Every school is different. Some want a short essay. Some want a long essay. Some may even accept a college video essay! No matter what your favorite schools are requesting from you, make sure you read the directions before you get started. If they say they want 500 words total, do not hand over anything over 500.
What Do You Care About
What does college admissions need to know about you that they won’t find out from your application? They know all about your involvement in your school and your general busyness. But what is it that’s really important to know about you that they won’t find anywhere else? What has made you into the person you are–and why should a college care? Explore that and you have your essay topic!
Keepin’ It Real
You might feel as though your life story just isn’t enough and that you need to fib a little in order to sound interesting. Don’t do it! Stay truthful and be honest. College admissions read hundreds of applications! They’ve seen it all before–so don’t go out of your way trying to impress them. They will see right through it! Use your own particular writing voice and be true to yourself.
It might be tempting to write about a very controversial topic and sometimes that’s okay. The key to remember here is that college admissions are a diverse group of folks who have done this before. Your essay is a chance for you to prove that you will be a thoughtful, balanced student at their school. You want to be the person that they will consider a great addition to their college campus. If you come across as more “hot headed” than “intellectual” you may have a problem.
Dot Your I’s
Proofread, proofread, and proofread some more. When you are done, proofread it again! It can be easy to miss a space or throw in an additional letter–spell-check doesn’t catch everything! Just don’t ask everyone for their opinion. Too many editors change your voice and believe me, college applications can tell the difference between the writing voice of your mom or dad and a college-bound senior. Remember basic grammar rules, avoid using a passive voice, and you’ve got this one in the bag.
Getting into College
There you have it! Now that you know how to write a college essay, you can get started–and knock off one more thing from your college admissions list.
If you have any questions about the college application essay, we’re here for you. Browse the extensive archives on our site, ask our college admissions guru, or simply leave your question below. We’ll do our best to help you out!