How to Write a College Entrance Essay

When applying to colleges, you’ll have to submit an amazing entrance essay; this has to be the best paper they have ever read. Because many students don’t know how to write a college essay at the needed level, this can be a difficult task. Fortunately, the process is easier than you might anticipate. When you have a better understanding of what an admissions department is looking for in these types of essays, you can more confidently apply to the school of your choice. By keeping certain tips in mind, you’ll boost your odds of success.


Before you actually start to write your essay, take the time to familiarize yourself with the college’s requirements. Doing so will save you a lot of time during the editing phase. As you prepare, remember to follow these essential tips:

  • Know the Prompt: Sometimes a university will allow students to choose their own essay topics, while others require students to respond to common prompts. If this is the case at a school you’re hoping to gain admission to, make sure you completely understand and appreciate what the prompt is asking of you before you begin writing. Carefully review any guidelines the college has provided, and make an outline first in order to generate ideas that are relevant to the topic. By taking these basic steps in preparation, you’ll be in a better position to write a strong paper;
  • Understand the Requirements: The school you plan to apply or transfer to may have certain rules about how long or short your paper should be, what the formatting should look like, etc. No matter how well you convey your thoughts on paper, it won’t matter if you don’t adhere to their expectations. Before writing your essay, be certain that you fully understand the requirements. Not meeting them could cause you to make the wrong impression.


Far too often, high school English and composition courses don’t give students the opportunity to learn what makes a strong college application essay. As such, you may feel as if you need to learn all the essential info on your own. If you’re not confident expressing yourself in written language, this could seem like a major challenge.

One of the best ways to get more comfortable with the format is to read a sample paper. If you can’t find one, you can hire a writer to provide you with one. Referring to samples is an effective means of learning what distinguishes a great app essay from one that’s merely good.

For the writing phase of the paper, follow these essential steps:

  • Brainstorm: It pays to take some time before writing to brainstorm potential ideas. While some people can sit in front of a computer and let the ideas flow out of them naturally, others need to brainstorm potential topics before settling on the best one;
  • Write Everything: When writing your first draft, don’t try too hard to write the perfect paper. Instead, put down all of your thoughts, even if they go in several different directions. You’ll get the chance to refine them during the editing and polishing phase.


After you’ve written your first draft, read it carefully once without making any changes. Then read it again, making notes for yourself about the kinds of changes you will be making.

This is also a good time to get in touch with any skilled writers or teachers you know who can help you identify ways to clean up the paper. You want it to be perfectly organized and grammatically correct before submitting it.


Once the first draft has been cleaned up, it’s time to polish your work, making sure it stands out from the crowd. These tips will help you get the best results:

  • Be Personal: While your high school English teachers may have discouraged you from using words like “my” or “myself” in an academic paper, your college application essay is a different type of assignment. In some ways, it’s more of an introduction letter, in which you teach the reader a little bit about your life. Again, make sure you’ve chosen a relevant topic, but don’t be afraid to write about your experiences;
  • Catch the Reader’s Attention: After spending years learning how to construct an essay according to a standardized template, you’re probably used to writing bland introductions that make a general statement or statements to give your reader a sense of what the paper will be about. However, to write a successful college essay, you want to grab your reader’s attention in a unique way. You could do so by asking questions in your first paragraph, or vividly describing a memory. Although you should consult with someone who has strong writing skills during the process, remember that unlike your other assignments, there is no “proper” or “right” way to start this type of paper;
  • Try to be Unique: The person that is going to be reading your paper will have read many others in a brief span of time. Eventually, certain subjects lose their effect. Referring to an example paper can help guide you in the process, but as you read through examples, take note of any topics that frequently come up. To make a good impression on your reader, it’s important to stand out. Try to choose a unique topic, one that won’t bore them;
  • Link Your Topic to Your Goals: The reader wants to know why you wish to attend this school in particular. This essay gives you a chance to share that information. Perhaps one summer you worked a job that inspired you to pursue a career in that field. Maybe you had a profound experience during the tour, one that instilled in you a strong sense of enthusiasm. While this paper does involve focusing on the “self” more than your typical essay, that doesn’t mean you should write about something that’s so off topic that it doesn’t relate at all to the goal of the paper, which is to express why you believe you should attend this school. Luckily, when you remember this tip, choosing a topic becomes easy to do. After all, you know better than anyone else why this college is appealing to you.

This infographic will break down for you the basic information you should remember when composing your essay.

Keep these points in mind throughout your experience as a student. They may also be helpful if you choose to apply for a scholarship, as most scholarships involve writing some sort of essay. In the meantime, if you’re not entirely comfortable with the process, search for a reputable online writing service to help you generate a strong college application paper. This is a very important piece of writing, and you want to deliver the highest-quality work you can. Whether you’re struggling to come up with potential topics, don’t know how to properly format the essay, or simply don’t believe yourself to be a skilled writer, there are plenty of reasons to seek help. Prepare for your future with assistance from someone with more experience.