Getting into the school of your dreams is closer than you think if you follow our eight tips on writing a college essay. Use these as a checklist. Once you can say you have completed everything to the best of your ability you will have a winning essay.
- Brainstorm. There are many benefits to brainstorming, although this is the step most often skipped. A lot of people think it is a waste of time, but I encourage you to have a visual: imagine project planners with large white boards writing out their ideas. Without this brainstorming process, the ideas they have would be a lot smaller. Brainstorming allows you to think big.
- Research. Make sure your topic has enough of a foundation to write a lot about it. If you cannot find a lot of reputable sources for a topic you choose, you may want to consider a different topic. Nothing is worse than an essay that is too thin or poorly researched. You want to have a credible backing for everything you say.
- Watch your tone. This is one of our most crucial tips on writing a college essay. A friendly, conversational tone may be fine on a blog, but does it have a place in your college essay? That is for you to decide. Make sure there is no sarcasm or a sense of over-confidence in your essay.
- Edit. Give yourself enough time to complete this process thoroughly. Check your paper for grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors. Ensure your formatting is correct. Sometimes it is helpful to take a break between the writing stage and the editing and revising stages to give yourself a chance to look at your paper with fresh eyes.
- Revise. Do not think that your editing copy has to be what you send in. You can add more, take more out, rewrite a whole part, and do whatever you want to do. This essay is your own. Follow these tips on writing a college essay, and you will have a great finished product.
- Submit early and complete. Please, please, please take care to send in a complete application. You may think this goes without saying, but you could not imagine how many incomplete college essay applications get sent in each year. That is an immediate way to get yourself put into the ‘no’ pile. Sending your essay in early will show that you respect deadlines and the hard work that goes into reading all of these essays. You have a better chance of yours standing out if you send it in before the deadline when they will have so many essays coming in at once.