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College Students Essay

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Admission offices base their acceptance majorly on the screenings and test scores. However, in some select colleges where most applicants get the same score, the admission office relies on the college application essay to grant admissions to the most suitable candidates. So, after you've filled out your admission form and gone through the necessary screening processes, the college essay affords you another chance to make a lasting impression on the admission officers.

The college essay is an opportunity for the admission officers to hear your voice through your writing. Beyond your GPA and your test scores, the college essay should communicate your genuine person to the admission officers, and it is left to you to choose the what and how of sharing.

Imagine standing in front of a panel of admission officers; you have to share a significant aspect of yourself. The admission officers want to know:

  • The Who - the identity of the person
  • The impact the "who” will have on the college
  • The writing skills of the "who.”

So, in writing a college application essay, it is imperative that you communicate your personality, your goals, obstacles, triumphs, influences, your experiences in life, and the lessons you learned. The admission officers also want to know why you think the particular university or college is a good fit for you.

Then, the real challenge in writing a college application essay comes when you sit in front of a blank screen to write, and then you start deliberating on what exactly to write about your life in about 650 words. The college essay, however, is not your complete life story. You can choose a momentous occasion or experience which defines you to an extent to write on.

Writing a college essay is not a walk through a park. But you can develop a perfect college student essay sample with consistent planning, taking each process step by step. As the college application essay can spell the difference between admission and rejection, it can be an overwhelming process. Following this step-by-step guide, diligently will ensure that you develop an excellent college application essay that you can be proud of.

The pre-writing process

Starting the essay can be the hardest part of writing the college application essay. You might think that the "read all instructions” carefully rule is redundant in this case. But most students tend to gloss over the instructions in the excitement of writing an impressionistic college application essay. What does the college want in the essay? If you are unable to strictly follow the laid-down instructions such as the page and word limit, the font type and size, the admissions officers might assume that you won't be able to follow the college's rules and regulations if you are admitted. This is why you need to figure out precisely what you are required to do before you start. If not explicitly stated, read up the guidelines and requirements of the particular college for their application essays.

Analyzing the Prompts

This means that you should take your time to duly understand the question of the college application essay and the prompts involved. This can be an essential pre-writing process. Understanding the prompts is the foundation for your writing. Most college student essay questions suggest either one or two main areas of focus, which can vary from general subject matters to personal. Irrespective, the goal is to challenge you and test your creativity. This step involves you to:

  • Repeatedly read and study the essay questions and prompts.
  • Take out some time to go through the essay prompts in your mind. Run over the contours of the question and how you'd like your ideas to flow
  • Before you move on to the research and brainstorming aspect, you should mark out the exact goal the essay requires you to accomplish. Does the essay require you to argue? To defend and support? To inform? Or to narrate?
  • Even if the question is on a general subject matter, you can still relate it to yourself by deliberating on how the subject matter can/ could/will affect you.

It is recommended that you break down the question/prompts into short phrases, examine each, and then ask, what exactly does the college admission officer want to know about this subject matter? What implication will it have on your ability to fit in and excel in the college?


You can't just start writing without first brainstorming and researching ideas that can get your creative juices flowing. This stage is a pre-writing aspect that can prove to be even more tedious than the actual writing as you have to identify and peruse different ideas related to your topic so that when you start writing, you can be sure of a good flow. While brainstorming, explore different ideas and jot them down. Then systematically go through all the ideas and determine which most interest you and how you'll funnel each of them into your essay.

  • Brainstorming time is reflection time: You should draw from the well of your experiences to come up with an authentic college essay. What do relevant experiences relate to your topic? For instance, if your topic revolves around your education, you should reflect on the most striking aspects of your education. Something uniquely you that can set you apart from the other candidates.
  • Narrowing down: Remember that you do not have a lot of space to write. Narrow down your ideas and experiences to only those best suited for the essay prompts. Weigh the potentials of different ideas. Which one projects you better? Which will best capture the attention of the readers?
  • Sampling: You can examine other college application essays, especially those submitted to your choice of college. It doesn't have to be in the same subject matter; the goal is to examine the best writing strategies.

From brainstorming, you can develop the best approach to writing an insightful and perfectly organized college student essay.


"When you fail to plan, you plan to fail" Although this is very much cliché, most students often overlook the importance of planning and outlining the order of their thoughts. After brainstorming, you have a rough draft of what you intend writing. But how do you want to present your ideas? What should be in your introduction, then body and conclusion? By strategically outlining the prospective presentation of your essay, you'll save yourself a whole lot of frustration.

  • Present your story/ideas to have an attention-catching introduction, a carefully developed body, and a conclusion. This natural progression ensures that your readers find it easy to read your essay and comprehend the logical flow.
  • Strategy: From the ideas in your rough draft, what tone will your essay take? Will you have a quote, a story, a dialogue, or a question as your opening?
  • Writing Style: Some candidates try to sound smart, and so they choose ideas that do not interest them. As a result, their college essay doesn't look original. After choosing ideas which interest you, you should have a layout to determine how to express the authenticity in your ideas.

You can also outline the time you intend to spend on each section, maybe, a paragraph by day. This will help keep you focused on your college student essay writing.


The challenge of college student essay writing can be daunting. Hence, the importance of starting early. Examine your competence, speed, and schedule. In how many days, weeks or months do you think you'll be able to develop the perfect exemplar college essay? It is recommended that you start your writing process early, probably about two months before the submission date. Moreover, as the submission date approaches, there is a mounting pressure which will inevitably affect your essay if you start writing late.

The writing process

Finally, you can put pen to paper to compose your exemplary college application essay. You have the ideas you want to write about, and you have the outline, hop on your computer and start writing. The writing process, however, has some strategies you have to stick to develop the perfect college essay. 

Attention-Grabbing Introduction

The first few sentences of your college application essay are very important. The admission officers have a lot of essays for college students to go through. If your introduction doesn't catch their attention, there is a high probability that they gloss over your essay. You only get one first impression, and that's your introduction. Once you lose the attention of your reader, it is challenging to regain. So, you have to ensure that your introduction is engaging. You can start with a hook. The hook can be a controversial question related to your topic which the readers will want to know how you answer it.

However, in a bid to come up with the perfect introduction to the college essay, some candidates end up stuck on the introduction. In such cases, it is recommended that you work in reverse order. That is, you can write the first draft of your essay, and with your pivotal concerns in mind, you can go back to draft an attention-grabbing introduction.

The Different Perspective

Your essay should tell the admissions officers something different about you. It should include details that are not obvious from reading your application. Admission officers are on the lookout for an authentic and creative quality of thinking. Do not use clichés and ideas that have been used several times. Your admission essay should reflect you, so base it on your genuine beliefs. As much as it is a great idea to check out previous college student essay samples before you write, do not let the previous samples influence your writing so much that your ideas reflect theirs.

Cohesion and Coherence

Creativity is necessary for an excellent college application essay. But creativity is not an excuse for lack of organization. Cohesion refers to how the elements of your essay flow, the logical connection in your essay. There is no point in a creative essay when readers cannot connect the ideas into a coherent whole. Your essay should flow from an introduction to the body of the essay and the conclusion. You can ensure that your essay is coherent by utilizing transitional phrases that connect all the ideas in your essay.

Give College Student Essay Examples

A college application essay is an impressionistic statement about you, and it is a glimpse into the working of your mind and your world view. Everything you write in your college essay should credibly reflect your worldview. So, even if your question is on a general subject matter, you should be able to maneuver the discussion to reflect your personal beliefs and experiences with the subject matter. So, instead of stating facts, you can give standard college student essay examples from your experience. 

Post-writing process

After working hard to complete the writing of your college essay, you do not stop there. To ensure that your application essay is of standard quality, you need editing and proofreading. The editing and proofreading of your essay are almost as important as the writing of the essay itself. A single lexical, grammatical, or typographical can signal a careless attitude to the admission officer. You can avoid this by giving yourself some rest time after writing before going back to edit the essay. When you go back to the essay, you'll be able to identify errors with fresh eyes.

  • Ensure that you cancel out all acronyms and abbreviations.
  • Avoid inconsistencies in tense and spelling
  • You can read your essay out loud to ensure that you individually identify the errors

It is recommended that you give your college application essay to a second party for proofreading.


Numerous candidates answer the same question that you do, and only a few admission officers go through these essays for college students. Writing an exemplary college application essay which contains genuine and uniquely creative content is of paramount importance. Consistently following the three stages of an excellent college application essay listed above: the pre-writing, writing, and post-writing processes will ensure that you develop a winning college essay.

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