Admission Essay

Knowing how to write a college admission essay is critical to the college admission process. Admission essays reveal things about the student that high marks and SAT scores just can't.  But don't despair.  Listed below are some solid tips you can follow to learn how to write a college admission essay.

College Admission Essay Topic

  • Choose a topic that interests you and about which you are enthusiastic.  Your enthusiasm should be evident in your essay.
  • Be original. Find a topic that will distinguish your college admission essay from other essays.
  • Choosing topics that are controversial is fine as long as you write objectively and in a way that demonstrates your critical and analytical thinking skills.
  • Choose a topic that shows why you would be an asset to that college.

Writing Style

  • Be genuine and honest.  Don't try to oversell yourself.  This will be obvious and distasteful to the reader.  On the other hand, sincerity and conviction are also obvious, but will be appreciated by the reader.
  • Write the way you speak, but avoid using too many cliches or too much slang.  Be conversational, but not too informal.
  • Write concisely and accurately.  Maintain focus on your topic so your essay flows and is coherent.
  • Use examples, names, and descriptions to make your essay more vivid and more interesting.
  • Aim for clarity. Keep your sentences short and precise, and choose your vocabulary wisely.  Avoid long, convoluted sentences.

College Admission Essay Format

  • Follow basic essay format: an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph.  The first paragraph should introduce your topic. The body paragraphs should provide evidence to support your topic. The conclusion should summarize what you've written.
  • Follow special instructions such as word count, font, citation style etc.

Online Resources

  • There are plenty of sites out there that can help you write just about any type of essay including college admission essays, graduate admission essays, research papers etc.  Check these sites out to see what they have to offer.
  • If you need to see a sample of an essay, it might be worth it to buy a paper and use it as a model for your own paper.  A lot can be learned just by viewing sample college admission essays.

In short, knowing how to write a college admission essay comes down to two things: 1) showing the admissions officer who you are and why you would be an asset to the college; and 2) showing that you know how to write clearly, concisely, and analytically - just like a college student.

Helpful links

Writing Guides:

Recently published admission essays