5 Tips for Writing a Great College Essay

5 Tips for Writing a Great College EssayWriting a top essay takes time and patience. Even the best novelists in the world spend years reading books before they sit down to write. By reading examples and practicing the writing process, students can improve their chances of getting into college. Although the application and transcript are important, the college essay carries a lot of weight in the admissions process.

1. Read Examples

No one is born a perfect writer. To become a good writer, students must learn how college admissions writing is carried out. Since few students have actually read a college admissions essay before, it is important to read through some examples first. There are plenty of example essays in high school libraries, the counselor’s office and online websites that students can use. As students read through essays, they should look for the ways that the writers structure their arguments. They should also consider the ways that writers showcase their experiences and achievements through anecdotes.

2. Brainstorm

The best essays are created out of the best ideas. Students should begin by brainstorming potential ideas for their admissions essay. This can be done by reading samples or brainstorming some of the life experiences that may be used. Students should spend some time brainstorming the things they want to say. With a pen and pencil in hand, students should set a timer for ten minutes. During this time, they should write down as many possible ideas as they can. Afterward, students can always remove the ideas that are not interesting or possible to write. Once the list has been narrowed down to one idea, the writing process can begin.

3. Create an Outline

An outline is the best way to ensure that the essay follows a clear argument. The initial part of the outline should contain an overview of the topic. This paragraph will cover the entire argument of the paper. Afterward, each paragraph should contain a topic sentence. These topic sentences operate like miniature thesis statements that build on the main idea of the paper. Beneath each topic sentence, two or three anecdotes should be added along with supporting facts to bolster the narrative.

4. Get a Style Book

The most common academic writing styles are APA, MLA and Chicago. Each writing style requires different formats and citation styles. In order to get accepted into college, the student must follow the writing style exactly. Since this can be extremely challenging to do, successful students purchase a style book or borrow one from the library. After the student is admitted to college, this style book can be used on their future assignments as well.

5. Take Time to Edit

To become a successful writer, students must edit and proofread their papers thoroughly. Reading aloud can help spot grammar errors and typos that would normally be missed while reading. Students can also reach out to a tutor, teacher, friend or a high school counselor to ask for editing help. Most people are terrible at seeing their own mistakes because the human mind sees the essay the way it was intended to be written. Due to this, getting extra help is the key to editing the document thoroughly.

It takes time and effort to write the perfect college application essay. Students should prepare for writing by reading as many books, magazines and example essays as possible. When it is time to actually write, the preceding five tips are designed to simplify the writing process as much as possible.