How to Write a College Admission Essay: Format, Prompts, General Tips

November 14, 2017 How To Write
How to Write a College Admission Essay: Format, Prompts, General Tips

So you have been looking to apply to a university, and they have asked you to complete a college admission essay there is no need to worry! Here at Essay service have put together a handy free guide to help you get into your chosen college.


Contents


Easy to use college admission essay format

If you have never completed an application before it is not a problem as they all use a similar design. You will be given college admission essay prompts or questions which are usually the same for most universities. Then you will be asked to complete an essay based on your chosen prompt.

Basically, it doesn't matter too much which question you chose but what is vital that your writing is up to the job!

Once you have chosen your desired prompt, then it comes down to your essay. This should be something you have previously thought about and already written in advance as being prepared before the deadline will be hugely beneficial.

There are two ways in which you can plan your college admission essay outline:

Prompt then plan method - In this way students first read the prompt then plan out the article based on the desired question.

Backward Brainstorming - Students should first write an essay that they feel is meaningful and inspiring and then ponder the prompts later.

Pre-writing stage

Before diving into your college admission essay, it is always a good idea to take a step back from your ideas for the questions and plan out what you want to write. This will make the process of writing the work much faster and easier in the long run.

  1. Firstly organize the most positive aspects that you want to say. Brainstorm all the points then you can develop the best ones later after deciding what to keep.

  2. Set a word limit for each point. Once you have decided on a total word limit for the whole article break down each point or paragraph and keep to the approximate amount of words.

  3. Create a rough draft. Once your brainstorm and ideas are in place with desired word limits, you can then write a first draft which can be added to later.

College admission essay prompts for 2017 - 2018

Most questions are the same every year but with minor changes to the wording for example. This year two new prompts have been added to the selection and now is the time to start planning your work so you can get your application handed in as soon as possible to give you the best advantage.

Two new prompts:

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Five revised prompts:

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

College admission essay template

Here is a template to use as a guide for your work, fill in the information for you and remember to keep it interesting.

college admission essay template

  1. Introduction - Introduce the topic and yourself, include a “hook.”

  2. Body of text - Make this your evidence of you, backup with examples.

  3. Conclusion - Finish with some positive, thought provoking sentences.

Introduction

It is vital to write an interesting yet informative introduction to your college admission essay and also yourself. Including a “hook” will only benefit you and not make the admissions officer bored to tears of reading a pile of admission papers. Think of something perhaps thought provoking and makes the reader want to read more of the article. The introduction should somehow make you stand out from the other applicants, it's only a paragraph so do not waste the precious word count. Remember the reader will get a feel for the applicant in this first impression. So do not let your application fall into the unaccepted pile before being read. Once you have introduced yourself and the topic without going into too much detail, you can lead onto the body of the work.

Body of text

Make sure when writing down the main body of the essay you separate each point into paragraphs and support all the evidence with examples. For instance, if you have to write about how dedicated you are to something then provide examples and say what certificates you achieved for this. Keep your writing interesting and vary the length of the sentences. Also, try to use transition words and phrases between sections and sentences so that the reader will still be intrigued and the college admission essay does look like a list of facts about you. It is important to make a focused article and try not to drift off topic otherwise it could look like an ordinary resume.

Conclusion

When writing the college admission essay conclusion try to tie up all the evidence previously stated into one or two important ideas. Make the last statements in the conclusion memorable so to leave a good impression on the reader and even use the best vocabulary available. Do not over word your sentences to sound more intelligent. Advanced vocabulary should be used to spice up the work, but if overused it can make it pompous so check that the level synonyms are fitting to the topic and your own writing style.

Top tips to get into your chosen college

So we have put together the most helpful college admission essay tips to give you the best chances of beating admission.

  1. Start early. Now is the time to begin writing and applying for college and the sooner you get your application handed in, the better the chances to get accepted.

  2. Be yourself. Always demonstrate the best points of yourself but do not make up details that are not true, they will find out and possibly just from reading the work.

  3. Thoroughly analyze the prompt. The actual essay is not the most key element so do not get distracted and make sure you fully understand the question. Also coming back to the prompt later to get new ideas might help.

  4. Show rather than tell. Students forget to demonstrate and backup their achievements which then counts for nothing in the end, put down why or how you are what you say to be.

  5. Be vivid. An essay should be like a story with good descriptions so be clear and paint a good picture with your words. Do not write a mundane college admission essay.

  6. Try to stand out. Remember there are lots of other students applying so make sure you can show that you are different from everybody else and be controversial in a good way.

  7. Be careful with humor use. Being funny can be good in certain situations but you do not know the admissions officer and therefore do not know how they will respond. Only use humor if it’s necessary then double think it.

  8. Proofread. This is vital, make sure you proofread it and do not simply hand it in after a quick spell check. Let others give a second opinion even a teacher or other professional. After you have got some corrections and feedback do not be scared to make multiple revisions of the work.

College admission essay common mistakes

  • Making it too long. Include all the important details about yourself but remember to not make it too long as there are many other students applying at the same time as you. A guideline for a college admission essay length would be minimum 250 words and 650 max.

  • Submitting a resume. Write with transitional words and phrases to make it look interesting and keep the focus on the essay rather than listing achievements.

  • Repeating yourself. Do not bore the reader by overstating achievements, keep it intriguing and only say something once.

  • Telling a college what you think they want to hear. Only describe yourself in an interesting way, after all, you are unique. Do not write false facts you think they want to hear.

  • Over embellishing accomplishments. Only include true achievements as any false information may be detected and can affect your application. Admissions can check any stated certificates as well as possibly detecting any lies.

  • Waiting until the last minute. This is the perfect time to start as admissions are just opening now, the later you submit the application it will decrease the chances of getting accepted. Also handing in on the deadline day could leave the application getting lost and not even being looked at.

Still need more help?

If you still feel that you need extra college admission essay help then do not worry as here at Essay service we have a dedicated team of writers from various academic backgrounds to make your custom essay for you. We are not just a college admission essay writing service but can also proofread any text and give recommendations to improve your essay so you will be accepted to your chosen college. There are also a complete listing of free guides and blogs to help you with all other writing tasks.

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