6 Tips for Writing a College Essay

One thing stands between you and the school of your dreams—a college paper. It seems simple, almost harmless, but we all know the struggle behind this task. Writing can be daunting and challenging, even during your favorite classes. However, with high stakes, a paper becomes a fortress with no doors in sight.  

Students feel lost and intimidated just by the thought of starting a college essay. What can they say? What will turn the odds in their favor? What are the rules to success? Panic no more. These are the six tips for writing a college essay you must learn before your college application. 

Be Yourself, Unapologetically

Most students are used to writing papers about themselves. Throughout their education, they learn not to put ‘I’ on an academic paper. Your opinions don’t matter as much as facts and data. Yet, the tables turn regarding college application essay content writing. It is about you and what you’ve accomplished, thought, and dreamt about.

The first big challenge on students’ application journeys is the need for personal involvement and authenticity. They need to look deeply at their lives and choose what aspects may pique the board’s interest. Meanwhile, you have to be true and honest. The admission board can see right through any lies or exaggerations. So, be sure to stay true to yourself, embrace your accomplishments and weaknesses, and put a part of yourself on paper. 

Start Early, Avoid the Panic

The key to a successful college paper lies in time management. It may not be the truth you want to hear, especially if you are already past the comfortable time frame for writing. Still, the more time you give yourself to write, the better your paper may become. So, focus on the deadline and planning before thinking about the context. 

Lack of time and procrastination are your biggest enemies. You want to give yourself room for inspiration and free writing, along with time for revisions, editing, and proofreading by people you trust. You may even hire a review aggregator if you leave enough time for it.

Show, Don’t Just Tell

Instead of just listing achievements, tell a story. Take the reader on a journey through your experiences. Share moments that shaped you and helped you grow. These can be moments that have taught you valuable lessons. For instance, don’t list your awards or achievements in certain fields. 

Tell what those accomplishments taught you, how they changed you, or what they mean to you. See? Showing their effect on you is a completely different approach than just mentioning them. Paint a picture with words so the reader can understand your journey.

Embrace Your Imperfections

Writing a paper about yourself may be hard for several reasons, one being overly focused on your flaws. You should convince others that you are worth a shot. Your paper should convince them of your abilities, talent, eagerness to earn, and right to be there. However, can you convince others of it if you struggle to believe in it yourself?

Nobody is perfect, and that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to accept the parts of yourself you deem unfit or imperfect. They are no less wonderful. We all face setbacks, challenges, or failures in life. It is how we overcome them that matters. An admission board will appreciate your honesty and humble approach. 

Revise, Revise, and Revise Some More

Your first draft is just the beginning. Crafting a paper you are proud to send may take several attempts. It can be frustrating, but you shouldn’t strive to do everything perfectly on the first try. Brainstorm. Create several mind maps followed by more precise outlines. Compare your drafts and see what you like and dislike about each one. 

Revisions are a big part of any writing process. Of course, it is much harder to read a personal paper. Still, you can start by choosing an approach and style. Once you have that, look for typos, awkward phrasing, inconsistencies, and areas where you can improve. Polish your paper till it shines and sparkles. 

Seek Feedback, but Trust Your Gut

Finally, once you have a paper, consider giving it to people you trust for proofreading. Send it to friends, parents, or your favorite teacher. Gather people’s feedback and see their insights. Just be sure to stay true to yourself. After all, it is your story. So, see what you can make of their feedback, but stay true to your instincts. You can’t afford to lose yourself correcting a paper to everyone’s taste. 

Bottom Line 

Writing a paper that should praise you and your accomplishments can be the most challenging piece of writing you’ll ever have to do. Yet, it is very doable when you put your mind and heart into it. Make sure you have a compelling story to tell. It should be honest, authentic, and powerful. Most importantly, your voice should be on those lines and between them. Trust the process and try to enjoy it! Good luck!

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