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College Application Essay Tips Students Need Now

College Application Essay Tips Students Need Now
cal LiveWebTutors cal 19 May, 2020

A total guide to prepare a perfect essay for your college application

Composing a persuasive and strong college application essay is an overwhelming task for numerous students. Your shot at being at one of the best colleges relies solely on this one piece of write up hence we think it’s completely reasonable to be a little stressed out. But do not let the worries overpower you.

To help you go through this phase smoothly, we have prepared a stepwise guide that will highlight essential tips you can follow while drafting your college application essay. These details will also assist you in understanding what exactly should be included in the personal statement so that it shines out amongst the heap of requests received by an institution. We hope that by the end of this article you’ll get familiar with the tools and information required to compose an effective college application essay.

This guide will focus on tips related to the organization step, the brainstorming procedure, ways for selecting a topic, strategizing a plan, writing the first draft, editing the prepared copy, finalizing the set draft, and repeating the process.

Step 1: Organize yourself:

The initial stage of developing a rich college application essay is determining what exactly should be done and included in the personal statement. Check out the website of the schools you’re applying to and know all about their application requirements and writing details. This will help you to identify what type of essay will be apt for your college application and hence lead to follow the best possible approach while strategizing for the same. It will also clear that if one essay could be used for different prompts or not. 

Essential tips to get organized:

  • Start at least two months prior to your first deadline and do not procrastinate the writing process.
  • As stated above, each college has its own set of essay requirements, so analyze and make a proper list of what exactly do you need to submit for each of the selected institutions. 
  • It is recommended to you to prepare a chart with the name of each school, word limit for the essay, last date for submission, and prompts you need to respond to.
  • Determine where you need to start from. It is best to write the lengthy essays first followed by the shorter ones. 
  • Save yourself some precious time and evaluate if you can submit the same essay to different schools if the prompt is similar enough.
  • Make sure that you do not reuse essays for dissimilar or college-specific prompts.

Step 2: Brainstorm sessions for developing a bright idea:

Once you’ve settled all that needs to be done, it is time for you to brainstorm some unique ideas for your college application essay. Keep in mind that there are different ways to come up with an interesting topic for your essay. We suggest you move about with whatever way you prefer and compile a list of all the possible topics and then finally narrow it down to a few selected ones. It is essential for a student to acknowledge that there is no best college essay topic as such, there can only be the best topic for himself. What we are trying to say is there is no need to force yourself to write on a topic that you feel obligated to write about as the end result of such an essay will be nothing but boring and uninspiring. Take adequate time to find a topic that actually excites you and allows you to put in some great details.

Essential tips to follow while brainstorming for your perfect essay topic:

  • Try to form an in-depth analysis of the school’s essay prompt. This will help you to come up with a relevant topic much easily. Focus on every angle of the question such as is there more than one part that needs to be answered or what according to you the authorities are trying to figure out.
  • If you have the choice to select one from a certain list of prompts,  always go for the one which especially appeals to you.
  • Analyze your answer to the prompt by imagining what would you say if the same question was asked by a friend in a specific scenario.
  • Consider the important events and experiences of your life while selecting a topic for your college application essay.  Remember that unexpected or unusual topics often turn out to be the best ones. 
  • You can also focus on a specific personality trait of yours while determining the topic for your essay.

Step 3: It’s time to confine your brainstorming: 

Now that you have a list of some of the most amazing topics you might be thinking about which one to start with. Well, here’s the deal, skim through the ideas you have gathered, and identify which one can you turn into a strong and impressive essay. Remember that it is crucial to identify a killer topic which will be at par with the requirements of the selected school. 

Essential tips to effectively narrow down your list of topics:

  • Look for a topic that you can focus on, present detailed information about, reveal exciting facts on, and share new insightful details about. 
  • Do not go too harsh on yourself if an idea does not work in the same way you thought it might. 
  • Consider the following questions to select appropriate topics for your college application essay: Does the topic matters to you? Is it specific in nature? Will you be able to discuss it in great detail? Will it highlight something different about you? and Can it be associated with the prompt?

Step 4: Finalize your approach:

Now that you have narrowed down to a particular topic it is time to mold that topic into a strong and persuasive essay and to do so effectively it is vital to determine what angle you are specifically going to focus on and how you will structure your college application essay. 

Essential tips to help you figure out your approach towards the college application essay:

  • Take a look at some successful college application essays as this will help you to understand how the personal statements are structured and assist you in getting ideas for approaching your own write-up.
  • Choose the specific angle of the topic you want to focus upon in your essay.
  • Carefully decide what exactly do you want to showcase about yourself with the information you’re sharing. 
  • Develop an appropriate, smooth, balanced, and harmonious structure that enhances the entire feel of your text.

Step 5: Start forming the initial draft of your college application essay:

The beauty of the first draft of any write-up is that a student need not worry about it turning out to be exceptionally good. It is all about getting something on the paper and then moving ahead from there. Definitely you will have to rewrite this draft so do not put in all your energy and efforts in perfecting this piece as it might go useless. It is at this stage of your writing process that you can follow any writing approach you like. 

Some crucial tips that can turn out to be beneficial while writing the first draft of your essay:

  • It is just the first draft of your college application essay so do not aim for perfection.
  • Try to write an engaging introduction that immediately draws your reader’s attention. 
  • Do not worry about the word limit or length of the write-up at this stage and try to cover all the
  • details about the topic in a creative manner.

Step 6: Relax and then move to edit your draft antagonistically:

Let’s be realistic, no scholar can develop a perfect first draft. No matter how much effort you have put in to come up with your first draft, it is mandatory to take some time and edit it. Editing is a necessary part of the writing process as it helps you to critically evaluate your work and then make the relevant changes to polish it further. 

Tips to edit your college application essay like a pro:

  • It will be convenient to approach your work objectively if you haven't read it in a while. Therefore, it is suggested to leave your essay alone for a week or so before you commence the editing process.
  • Always start the editing by looking for any structural errors in your college application essay.  this will help you to refine the structure and tone of the piece.
  • While editing you can pay attention to questions like, if the intro urges you to continue to read ahead? , determine if the development of the idea is clear or not? , Can you clearly analyze what the essay tends to highlight about you or not? , Can you replace vague statements with some specific ones? , Are there any uninteresting details clogging up the narrative? , and What can be excluded from the write-up without creating an impact on the main idea? 
  • Remember that it is always going to be tempting to hang on to what you have spent so many hours and days crafting. Therefore, be ruthless and alter what does not fits. 
  • Consult your friends or teachers or parents to read the second draft after editing the mistakes found in your first pass. 
  • Incorporate the suggestions of your peers and focus on the word choice and sentence structure. 

Step 7: Time to double-check your efforts:

Now that you are ready with your final draft, it is time to put your college application essay aside for another week and then read it again properly to ensure there are no typographical or grammatical errors in the essay. Once you’re through with this, you’re all set to submit your work to the selected colleges and schools. 

You’ve finally completed the most crucial task of your academic career so, kudos and all the best

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