Winning College Application Essay Writing Guidelines

If you need to write a powerful college application essay, take a few basic steps to succeed. Gaining your entrance to any university or college keeps getting harder, because more and more people are applying for a limited number of vacancies. Can you improve your chance of being admitted? Write a great personal essay as a part of your college application because it can make a huge difference between being accepted and being rejected. How you write this paper shows the committee why you’re different from others and provides them with the necessary information about personal traits and accomplishments. Use this essay to tell the committee a story about yourself or describe a favorite activity, but make sure that you write it in a way that captures people’s attention and shows why you’re so exceptional. How should you complete this important assignment? It can be one of the most confusing and daunting parts of your college application. To get started successfully, there are certain tricks and brainstorming ideas that will guide you to writing a powerful and effective essay.

Brainstorming Ideas for Your Essay

A topic is the most important part of this assignment, and you should spend about 1 week on brainstorming possible ideas. To start brainstorming, think about a few suitable points and remember that your key goal is developing ideas. Check the following questions because they can help you develop interesting ideas for your paper.

  1. What are your personal achievements? Why do you consider them your success? You shouldn’t limit yourself only to the formally recognized ones because the most interesting essays are focused on the accomplishments that may trite, but become important in your life.
  2. Can any skill, quality, or attribute distinguish you from others? How did you develop it?
  3. Think about favorite movies, books, and artworks. How do they influence your life?
  4. What is the hardest time in your life? Did your life perspective change because of it?
  5. Have you ever struggled for something and succeeded or failed? What made you successful? How did you respond a failure?
  6. What you like doing most of all? Who would you like to be with? These simple questions help you realize what you like the most.
  7. Have you ever experienced any moment of epiphany?
  8. What is your strongest personal trait? How can your friends characterize you? Do you maintain any strong beliefs?
  9. What can demonstrate the qualities sought after by the chosen college?
  10. What are the most important community or extracurricular activities? Why did you join them? Why do you contribute to them?
  11. What are your dreams? What things, people, and achievements do you need? How does this college fit into these future plans?

Brainstorming Ideas for Your Essay

If any of the above-mentioned questions can’t help you generate excellent ideas for your college application essay, consider these effective exercises:

  1. Ask friends, parents, and other people for their help. If you find it hard to characterize yourself and personal traits, ask them to make a list of the most salient features. If the image of your personality starts emerging, think about suitable life experiences that can illustrate these traits.
  2. Think about your childhood. Although admission officers aren’t interested in reading about childhood years, consider the events that inspired your current interests because they can be the most defining parts. Analyze the reasons for these interests and hoe they shaped your personality.
  3. Take into account role models. Many students don’t have them because they were never influenced by other people. If you have role models, incorporate their discussions and their interesting traits into your application paper.
  4. Read helpful samples. Before getting started, read the past works of other applicants to understand what topics and ideas they chose.
  5. Your goal determination. Decide why you want to spend a few years of your life in the chosen college and how this degree matters for the fulfillment of your personal goals. How does education fit your needs and guide you to your fulfilling future life.

Don’t be surprised if you find it hard to get solid ideas for your application paper because this process is difficult and it takes a lot of time. Without the topic that you feel passionate about, you will fall into the trap of sounding like many other applicants who submit uninspiring and boring essays. Having personal experiences that support any chosen topic is the only way to write a winning paper. Have fun with this brainstorming process to discover something unique about yourself.

Effective Tips for Essay Writing

Even boring topics can turn into an exceptional college application essay if you use your innovative approach. There are two basic goals that should be achieved when writing this paper:

  • Persuading the committee that you’re worthy;
  • Making admission officers aware that you offer something more and standard scores because you’re an intriguing personality.

All topics require different approaches, but the following tips that help you write excellent admission papers.

  • Answer all prompt questions. If you miss them, you won’t be admitted to any college.
  • Be original. Even boring ideas can be interested if you approach them creatively.
  • Stay yourself. The committee wants to learn more about your personality and writing abilities, so write about something important and describe your feelings to make this essay unique. Stay away from the topics that you have no personal experience with.
  • Avoid using big words in your composition. They are fine, but only if you use them in the right context with a complex style.
  • Use clear imagery and vivid prose. Any application paper lends itself to imagery because it requires personal experiences as supporting facts. You should appeal to all the senses of admission officers.

Spend the Most Time on an Introductory Paragraph

Admission officers usually spend only a few minutes on reading essays. That’s why you need to use an introductory paragraph to grab their attention at once. You may think about completely altering this section after writing the main body, but take these rules into consideration:

  • Don’t sum up anything in the essay introduction because admission officers won’t need to read the rest of this paper.
  • Intrigue and create mystery. Raise relevant questions in their minds to force people to read on. Appeal to emotions to make them feel related to the chosen subject.

Writing the Main Body

This essay section should relate to its introductory paragraph. The latter one should be original, and following paragraphs should relate to it clearly. Use special transitions within and between all paragraphs wisely because many applicants keep ignoring this important rule and they fail. This simple technique allows you to preserve the logical flow of your college application essay. Furthermore, transitions provide your argument building with the necessary intellectual architecture. Discuss each important argument or idea in a separate paragraph.

Why Conclusions Are Important

A concluding paragraph is the last chance to persuade readers and impress them with your personal traits. In this essay section, you should avoid any new information because it summarizing all of your stated ideas. Don’t use stock phrases and try to consider the following tricks:

  • Expand upon a broader implication of your whole discussion;
  • Redefine the term used in the main body;
  • Link this paragraph to the introduction to establish the necessary balance by reiterating specific introductory phrases;
  • Frame this discussion with a larger context and show that the chosen topic has its common appeal;
  • End with any famous quote relevant to a basic argument.

What to Do before Submitting Your Essay

Take a short break from essay writing and try to focus on something else. For example, you can spend 1 week away from this paper to determine if you still consider your writing approach and topic worthwhile. Give your essay to others and ask them to read and review it with the following questions in their minds:

  • What is it all about?
  • Did you use the active voice wherever possible?
  • Are there any clichés?
  • Is your sentence structure varied?
  • Are all transitions used properly?
  • What is the best part of this paper?
  • Does your imagery make it clearer or more vivid?
  • Is it really memorable?
  • Are there any parts that are unclear and need more elaboration?
  • Is every sentence important to this paper?
  • What does it reveal about your individuality?

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