College Application Essay Writing Process

May 17, 2019

The admission process in colleges is very complex, and there are dozens of factors that can influence the board’s decision to accept or decline your application. A college application essay is one of the most important ones, as it is your first chance to introduce yourself to your dream college using your own words. With an application essay, you are building your own narrative, which is exactly why so much is at stake with writing application essays.

College Application Essay Writing Process

Even though you regularly hear tips on how to write a good college essay throughout high school, many students still find it very difficult to sit down and write a convincing admission essay. They are at loss about the things to include in their essay, the language to use, and imagining the potential audience for their paper. If you want a 100% guarantee that your essay will hit all the marks, try our service of

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with 24/7 support! If you want to try your hand at writing, here is how to start a college application essay.

Telling Your Story to Colleges

In many countries around the world, students are not required or even expected to attach an admission essay together with their application to college or university. That is why you should actually consider yourself lucky: not many people get the chance to impress the admission board right from the start.

In short, the people responsible for admission to colleges are not looking for outstanding achievements or incredible ambitions. They want to see people who are motivated to continue their learning, who have the skills and personality to make good students, and who can add something valuable to the vibrant pool of first-year students once they join the college. It means that your job is to convince them that you match all three requirements, and the best way to do it is through showing who you really are, not who you aspire to be.

You should always keep in mind that for the people reading your essay, it is going to be the 1000th or even 10000th application essay they read in their life, and most of those previous works have been unimpressive and forgettable. Give them something to remember you by, but don’t resort to telling lies — the truth will come out sooner or later. That’s why you need to research not only how to start a college essay about yourself, but also how to make it count.


Perhaps, the most crucial step in your writing process will be choosing the things to write about — in other words, brainstorming. The best idea may jump at you sooner than you hoped, but in most cases, brainstorming will take a while. The best way to go through the brainstorming is to take the 4-stage approach:

  1. Think. At this stage, you need to think of any important events and experiences from your history, as well as think of the ways you and your loved ones would describe you and what are the things you would the admission board to know about you. Analyze what makes you different from thousands of other applicants and what your strong sides are.
  2. Write everything down. As you think of new ideas, don’t hesitate to write them down. Your notes may seem messy at first, but once you spend a few hours brainstorming and have plenty of ideas to choose from, you’ll be glad you wrote everything down.
  3. Filter through your ideas. You may have thought of some great ways to describe yourself, but some of them may not be actually suitable for application writing. At the same time, some of the less conventional ideas may be an excellent choice for a standout application essay.
  4. Choose a central idea. Even though you may have a dozen fantastic things to write about in your essay, there can be only one main idea that you will build your essay on. Choose the strongest idea and leave the other great ideas as a foil for your story.

How to Write a College Essay Introduction

Logically, the answer to the question “How to start a college essay?” is an introduction. In reality, however, experienced writers leave the task of writing a college application essay introduction until the very end for one simple reason: you never know when you get a great idea for a fantastic introduction, and it can be very frustrating to completely rewrite the piece because you’re not 100% happy with it.

That is why most guides will advise you to make writing the introduction of the final step in your writing process. Working on your essay in reverse order will bring great benefits for the quality of the paper!

College Essay Introduction Components

So how to write a college essay that will help you meet your objectives? Make sure your essay introduction contains the following components:

  • A hook. The first sentence of your essay should be so attention-grabbing and captivating that the reader can’t help but read your story until the very last word.
  • An intriguing story. Your college admission essay is going to be short, which means you should put extra effort into the storytelling and wording to make an impression on the board.
  • An insight. It’s not enough to tell even the greatest story in your application essay — you should also explain how your experiences made you who you are today and, therefore, an excellent choice of a student for this college.

First Sentence of Your College Essay

The first sentence of your application essay should either end in a cliffhanger to intrigue the reader or provide a setup for a bigger scene throughout the essay. Both types of opening sentences are very effective when it comes to encouraging the person responsible for admissions to continue reading your story.

Write The Essay

By now, you probably already have a perfect picture of your application essay in your head. All that is left to do is make it real by finally writing the essay.

When writing a college admission essay, it’s important to always stay on point. Don’t include too many secondary details and off-topic comments, so that you don’t lose the attention of your readers. It’s also best to be brief whenever possible. If something can be said in 10 words, there is no point in using 30 to tell the same amount of information.

The only subject of your admission essay should be your own experience and personality. Using someone else’s ideas or even rewriting someone else’s essay, as well as trying to seem better and more accomplished than you really are won’t bring you the desired results, but will harm your admission chances instead.

First Section of Your College Essay

If you look at “how to start a college essay” examples, you will see that most of them start with a bang. This first section of the essay is your first chance to impress the readers, so make sure every word counts, regardless of the type of introduction you decide to go for.


Editing and proofreading your application essay is a very important step that helps you deliver high-quality work free of logical and grammar mistakes. The best time to proofread your work is after a couple of days since you’ve finished writing the first draft so that you could look at your writing with a fresh set of eyes.

Watch out for embarrassing mistakes like getting your college name wrong or mixing up the years from your biography! If possible, ask someone you trust to proofread your essay for you — that way you will maximize your chances of submitting an absolutely flawless work.

Tips for a College Application Essay

These 7 tips will make your application essay nearly perfect if you follow them:

  1. Write about something that matters to you personally.
  2. Analyze the events from your past instead of simply retelling them.
  3. Use humor only if you are convinced it’s genuinely funny.
  4. Give yourself enough time to work on your essay.
  5. Avoid simply listing your achievements, there are other places to mention them.
  6. If you have been asked a specific question, provide a specific answer.
  7. Have at least one person read and proofread your work.

Sample of College Application Essay

These examples created by our top writers will give you a clear idea regarding what to write about and how to format your essay. You can also

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Common app essay
college application essay example

This is only a sample. To get an original paper click here

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Sample essay for college application