How to Write a College Admission Essay

How to Write College Admission Essay

The purpose of writing an admission essay is to influence the admission officer that you are the most suitable candidate. The essay will be your spokesperson; it will communicate your writing skill, it will tell the officer how good you are at communication, it will be depicting your interests, attitudes and your goal in life, it will let the admission officer know most about you.  This article is a piece of expert help that can help you in writing your college admission essay.


 It is a key factor in the process of deciding about your college admission. Because of competition, students applying from the same schools and also other outstanding students of different schools, have nearly the same marks in tests and grades. That is why it is an application essay that can make you stand out of the crowd. When many candidates fit into the criteria of grades and scores and tests, how will the admission officer make a decision about whom to select? Your application essay will decide your destiny to get you into your dream college. You can not do anything with your grades. I mean you can not change them, the only thing in your hand is your essay. So write it to impress the admission committee and tell them what you can bring that other candidates can not.

Length of Admission Essay

Do you know how long the essay should be? If word length is not mentioned in your application then ideally 500 to 600 words long, these are the words that decide your acceptance of application or rejection. These are the words that can appeal to your admission officer so make sure to give your best.

An essay that gets you admission to your dream college

So now we should come to the point that what are the qualities of a great essay?

  1. About you

The secret of a great essay is that it should describe you. The essay should be personal. There can be many external topics for example art, music, history but these topics have nothing to do with you. Because the admission officer wants to know you, who you are, what skills you possess, and what good you can bring to the college. You must use correct grammar and good vocabulary while telling your story to showcase your language and writing skills.

  1. Be specific

You are not supposed to write everything you have done so far in your life. Remember that you have only 500 words to state, so get a focused story for example any achievement, any volunteer work, etc. but your achievements and awards are already mentioned in your application, and do not get the admission officer bore stating them again and again. Instead, tell your learning in achieving any certain achievement.

  1. Depth of passion

You do not have to be an all-rounder. What does that mean that along with academic grades there are co-curricular activities e.g music, sports, speaker, art, leadership, etc. you alone need not fit in all the categories. An admission committee looks for a class that has individuals who are masters in their passion. Although the application form has slots for mentioning your activities. But you can pick one that you are most passionate about and worth explaining in depth. That depicts you as a passionate person, your life beyond your test scores.

  1. Understand your audience

The key to writing to appeal is understanding your audience, understanding those whom you are writing to. As college receives thousands of applications, the admission officer gives a few minutes to each application on average, but that does not mean they do not read all applications. Admission officers are individuals having different traits but one common thing they all have is the ability to judge good writing skills and your potential to handle the workload. They are good at judging how you can be an asset to the college. So keep all these points in your mind while writing your application essay and impress your admission officer to get into your dream college.

  1. Avoid 4 D’s

Chris Ajemian, a college counselor, states that students should avoid 4 D’s( death, drug, disease, disorders). That means do not write negative and depressing things in your essay. Writing in person does not mean that you are talking to your friend so you do not have to reveal negative aspects about yourself. Instead thal about what positive things you can bring to your community. Stating negatively is simply putting yourself in danger of rejecting your application.

  1. Use your own voice

As you are writing a personal essay so do not try to impress the admission officer using terminologies and dictionary vocabulary. Instead, use your own voice. Write simple, write something that the reader can make a connection with. But always proofread your writing, it should be free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

Topic Selection for Your Entrance Essay

Here comes the ball in your court. Topic, the most important thing that can get you admission or reject your application. Students get stuck at this point, they do not know what to write and what not to write. Many students choose the topic first and then think about what to write about it. But the secret lies in the reverse approach, you must decide first what you want to tell about yourself and then decide the topic.


 As there are many worth writing stories and you get overwhelmed with which one to choose and get confused. The easiest way to overcome this is brainstorming. Writing your admission essay or any other kind of essay without brainstorming is nothing but a waste of time.

Brainstorming methods

Following are the four brainstorming methods that can help you.

  • Journaling

In order to find your voice and story, a journal is the most important thing you must have. Take some time to write something about yourself and your life every day in your journal. It can be an important event, any creative work, any experience of traveling, any ritual, etc. and while writing keep your journal with you it can be effective in writing about you and will depict your personality using your own voice, tone, and words.

  • Personal inventory

In your personal inventory, you can write about your history; the events that chronologically happened in your life, starting with the earliest till the recent one. These historical events of your life can create a picture of you. Personal inventory can also include the awards and accomplishments you feel proud of. Another thing is activities that can be included, how you spent your free time and do not forget to mention people who affected you. And your skills and passion are also an important aspect of your personal inventory and course family. Show you have a strong base in terms of family.

  • Show, don’t tell

You can ask any friend and family member to describe your personality using any three adjectives. And then incorporate those adjectives into your writing, but do not just state them. instead, show them by telling your experiences and anecdotes. Showing is more powerful than telling because it leaves an impression on readers’ minds.

  • Create a life map

A consultant at college essay, Liz Leroux, advises to tap a few blank pieces of paper together and use markers to draw illustrations that represent your life moments. Start working at the bottom and go up the paper. This technique can force your brain’s left side to work with the brain’s right side. This way you can remember things that are forgotten for a long time because the right side of the brain stores memories.

  • Working on a topic

The Admissions Committee gives topics to judge how much enthusiasm you have to attend college. Topics may have different angles but are ultimately designed to demonstrate interest. Topics of demonstrated interests are included in the application but some colleges ask you to write on the topic of your choice.

  • Common prompts
  1. You can be asked to write about the impact of any significant experience or achievement upon you.
  2. You may be asked to discuss the importance of any personal, national or international concern.
  3.  You can be asked to write about any personality who influenced you the most.
  4. You may be asked to write about the impact of any creative work upon you.
  5. You can also be asked about what you can bring to the college.
  6. You can be given the choice to write on a topic of your choice.
  • The process of writing

Once you have decided your topic, now it is time to write in such a way that can impress the admission officer. It is time to impress with your writing skill. Two things you should keep in mind while writing. First focus and second planning. With a clear focus, you will write only those things that are necessary to clear and do not try to explain unnecessary details. Then planning comes next. Make an outline that can help you in organizing your ideas, making them clear, and make the points relatable to each other. With focus and planning, you can not go off your topic.

  • Create the outline of your essay
  1. Keep your journal, inventory, and other notes in hand and follow the below-mentioned points.
  2. Group similar ideas together. make headings of major topics. make subheadings of minor topics
  3. Arrange and rearrange your topics until they make a logical progression
  4. After completing the outline you must refine it by rereading it. Look for focus and brainstorming details and your goal for writing the essay.
  • Make your essay clear and vivid

Write with clarity that the reader can get into imagination with. And add depth to your points. Discuss in detail, give at least three supporting details, you can include examples but do not overdo.

  • Writing introduction

The introduction is the most important part of your essay. Imagine you are reading a story in a newspaper and read the first paragraph but it does not attract you, will you read the rest? Obviously not, same is the case with your admission essay you have to hook your reader, the introduction must be compelling enough that it can lead the reader into the story. Design your introduction of an essay to entice.

Some tips to hook your reader are as following

  1. Engage emotions
  2. Be intriguing
  3. Anecdote
  4. Start with a question
  5. Start with some surprising or unusual fact
  • Body of the essay

Use your outline and it will be the easiest way for you to go. write the body in a flow. Make use of transitions from one sentence to another and one paragraph to another. Develop your ideas in a logical manner. Develop a connection with the intro part of your essay. Write your first draft and look for any missing things. Edit it later you can also get feedback from your friend or family and improve it if required. Avoid redundancy and do not make overuse of any phrases or transitions.

  • Conclusion

Things you must avoid writing the concluding part are avoiding summarizing your essay and avoiding cliches. Instead, follow the below-mentioned strategies

  1. Make sense of what you have written.
  2. Echo some before-mentioned introduction but do not repeat.
  3. Write any, relatable to your essay, famous quote.
  4. Present your discussion in a wider context.
  5. Connect your essay to your dream of getting admission to college.

The General Format of Your Essay

Check for the requirement of formatting of your respective institution. Because if you do not cater to those guidelines you may risk your application for disqualification. As a general rule, spacing of 1.5, font of Times New Roman, size of 12 pt, and margin of 1 inch is considered standard.

Tip for Writing Skill

For your college essay and any other kind of writing, you must watch what you are reading. Because reading influences the way you write. Add some good readings to your reading diet because there is famous phrase garbage in, garbage out.