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A Guide to Writing a Great College Essay

If you’re in the process of applying to a college, you’ll have to write a stellar essay. Having a guide to writing a great essay can be very valuable.

Although admissions committees put the most emphasis on your grades and test scores, they also pay attention to those recommendation letters, awards and extracurricular activities.

But even when they pare down the applicants by those standards, they’ll still have too many for the amount of spaces they have. That’s when your essay may help push you over the top.

Your essay is your chance to tell your story. You need to show them exactly who you are. If you are honest and genuine, and write an essay that comes from the heart, this will be your best chance to be noticed.

Here are some steps to writing a college essay that will make the admissions teams sit up and take notice:

  1. Choose a Topic that Means Something to You 

Think of a book, an experience or a person who has made an impact on your life- and use the essay to explain why how you were impacted.

  1. Read the Instructions Carefully 

This may seem obvious, but read the instructions about how to do the essay. Different colleges may want the essay done certain ways. 

If you don’t follow the directions, the college admissions committee may assume you can’t follow directions sufficiently to survive college courses. 

  1. Consider Many Topics Before You Choose

Answer this question: what do you want the college to know about you? One essay coach recommends making a list of your answers to that question – and think of an essay topic that will answer as many of these questions as possible. 

Checking out a website like College Essay Writers can help you narrow down your topic, and give you some great tips for the essay.

  1. Should You Choose to Write About a Challenge

Many of the best college essays write about a challenge the prospective student has overcome. But this is not the only thing you can write about – and some personal challenges are better kept to yourself

  1. Don’t Just Tell the Story – Describe How it Made You Feel.

The admissions committee will especially want to know what you learned. They read many essays that recount humdrum stories. Dig deep; and make it worth their time to read it.

  1. Be Careful with Humor

Although making an admissions officer laugh will score you points, be sure you choose your humorous moments carefully. You need to be sure your humor will be funny to an adult – and never choose limericks or off-color humor.

  1. Start Early and Write a Few Drafts

Once you write your essay, let a few days pass and review it before submission. Does it flow naturally and tell your genuine story? Be sure it is your best work and it is grammatically correct. 

  1. No repeats or contradictions 

Make sure your essay doesn’t contradict anything in your application. You should also be sure your essay doesn’t repeat itself.

  1. Have someone else proofread your story 

Choose a teacher or counselor whose opinion you value. And, before you submit it, check it at least three times for grammar errors. 

Following these guidelines will help you write a quality essay, and can boost your chances for admission.

Best wishes in your quest for college!