Writing A Great College Admission Essay: A Quick Guide

If you are in high school, it is time to get started on your college admission essays. This can be an incredibly stressful act to complete, especially since most colleges seem to require something different, or at least a different topic. Not all of the schools to which you apply will ask for a specific topic to be covered. Some of them will give you a list of potential topics to cover, which you can choose yourself, and others will simply give you the freedom to pick any topic that you want to cover.

No matter what, you have a great deal of pressure on you to make sure that the essay you produce is top notch.

  • Do not use a cliche. When you are writing, remember that this paper is a chance for the school to get to know you as a person, not just your academic achievements. So do not fall on an old cliche rather than write something original.
  • Do not use this as a place to repeat your academic accomplishments. The review committee has your rest record on hand so they know all about your grades. Use this time to address yourself personally and how your individual personality would best fit into their school. Remember that colleges view themselves as communities and they want to know why you would make a good contribution to their community.
  • Be honest. Not every student can be the president of every club. Each organization needs secretaries and treasurers, etc. So if you held one of those titles, do not be afraid to tell them. Be proud of every title you held. Do not lie. They will have your information on hand so remember to be truthful.
  • Keep it simple. The people reviewing your essay are sitting in rooms reading over essay after essay. Many schools have a minimum limit for the essays but not a maximum limit. Just because there is no maximum limit does not mean you should write twenty pages. Have some courtesy for the people reading your paper. Answer the prompt entirely. If the prompt requests that you write an essay wherein you describe someone who mentored you and how they contributed to the person you are now, do not just describe your best friend or your favorite English teacher. Describe them and talk about the influence they had.