6 Tips for Writing College Application Essays

Students everywhere dread filling out college applications mostly because of the essay portion.  When you sit down to write yours, you are trying to figure out the best way to highlight your accomplishments while also standing out from the thousands of other students doing the same thing.  Whether the question is unordinary and makes you think outside of the box or is a standard question about your accomplishments, there are a few things to keep in mind that may help your chances of impressing the college application readers.

Below is a list of tips to help ease the anxiety and be more successful when it comes time to write that essay.

1. Keep it Short

The people working in college admissions have a TON of essays to get through.  While you want the essay to be detailed and well written, there is no need to over do it.  Keep it short and to the point, the readers will appreciate it.

2. Avoid Fluff

You want to touch on all the great things you have done in your life, just make sure that you do not exaggerate.  Be honest with your achievements and positions.  There is no need to embellish these things and you will feel better about getting into the school you want to honestly.

3. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Reread and reread your essay.  Ask parents and teachers to read over the essay.  Make sure that there are no errors because they will not go unnoticed.  Even one small error will have a negative effect on whether or not you are accepted to that school.

4. Avoid Humor

You never know how someone will read your essay and respond to it.  It is best to avoid using humor or sarcasm because chances are the person reading it will not get it and could possibly be offended by what you say.

5. Write vividly

Use descriptive language to help the reader visualize what you are writing about.  You can also make it more personal by adding specific names, for example, the teacher that inspired you or the family member that helped you make an important decision.  Your English teachers did not make you practice descriptive writing for nothing!  Use what you have learned about writing essays and apply it to your college application essay.

6. Be Opinionated

Do not come across closed minded or arrogant but be sure to show that you can take a stand for something and have your own opinions, especially if the topic you are given allows for that.  Having a question that requires more of an intelligent response instead of just a highlight of your accomplishments is a great chance to really show how smart you are.

There is no magic formula for successful essay writing.  Hopefully by following these tips you can stand out from the rest of the applicants and get into the college of your dreams!

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Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski is a senior at Central Michigan University studying public relations and English. Laura enjoys being busy, juggling work and school, and has plans to one day spend her time traveling abroad. When not busy, Laura, the middle child of three girls, enjoys shopping and spending time with her friends and family.
Laura Szatkowski

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