Crafting an Unforgettable College Essay | The Princeton Review

 

writing a college essay

Aug 11,  · Links to Full College Essay Examples. Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over of these (plus some essay excerpts!). Common App Essay Samples. Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. Apr 25,  · Writing a College Application Essay That Schools Can't Resist. 5 Tips for Writing That College Application Essay About a Significant Experience. University of California's 8 Personal Insight Questions. Tips and Strategies for Responding to Common Application Option #1. Get insightful tips on how to write an effective college application essay and set yourself apart from other applicants. Get insightful tips on how to write an effective college application essay and set yourself apart from other applicants. The College Board. Access. Sign In.


How to Write a Great College Essay, Step-by-Step


College AdmissionsCollege Essays. Writing your personal statement for your college application is an undeniably overwhelming project. Your essay is your big shot to show colleges who you are—it's totally reasonable to get stressed out.

But don't let that stress paralyze you. This guide will walk you through each step of the essay writing process to help you understand exactly what you need to do to write the best possible personal statement. I'm also going to follow an imaginary student named Eva as she plans and writes her college essay, from her initial organization and brainstorming to her final edits. By the writing a college essay of this article, you'll have all the tools you need to create a fantastic, effective college essay, writing a college essay.

So how do you write a good college essay? The process starts with writing a college essay the best possible topicwhich means understanding what the prompt is asking for and taking the time to brainstorm a variety of options.

Next, you'll determine how to create an interesting essay that shows off your unique perspective and write multiple drafts in order to hone your structure and language. Once your writing is as effective and engaging as possible, you'll do a final sweep to make sure everything is correct.

The first step in how to write a college essay is figuring out what you actually need to do. Although many schools are now on the Common App, some very popular colleges, including University of Texas and University of California, still have their own applications and writing requirements. Even for Common App schools, you may need to write a supplemental essay or provide short answers to questions. Before you get started, you should know exactly what essays you need to write.

Having this information allows you to plan the best approach to each essay and helps you cut down on work by determining whether you can use an essay for more than one prompt. Writing good college essays involves a lot of work: writing a college essay need writing a college essay of hours to get just one personal statement properly polishedand that's before you even start to consider any supplemental essays. In order to make sure you have plenty of time to brainstorm, write, and edit your essay or essaysI recommend starting at least two months before your first deadline.

The last thing you want is to end up with a low-quality essay you aren't proud of because you ran out of time and had to submit something unfinished. As I touched on above, each college has its own essay requirements, so you'll need to go through and determine what exactly you need to submit for each school. This process is simple if you're only using the Common App, since you can easily view the requirements for each school writing a college essay the "My Colleges" tab.

Watch out, though, because some schools have a dedicated "Writing Supplement" section, while others even those that want a full essay will put their prompts in the "Questions" section, writing a college essay.

Writing a college essay gets trickier if you're applying to any schools that aren't on the Common App. You'll need to look up the essay requirements for each college—what's required should be clear on the application itself, or you can look under writing a college essay "how to apply" section of the school's website.

Once you've determined the requirements for each school, I recommend making yourself a chart with the school name, word limit, and application deadline on one side and the writing a college essay or prompts you need to respond to on the other. That way you'll be able to see exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it by. If you have one essay that's due earlier than the others, start there. Otherwise, start with the essay for your top choice school.

I would also recommend starting with a longer personal statement before moving on to shorter supplementary essayswriting a college essay, since the word essays tend to take quite a bit longer than word short responses.

The brainstorming you do for the long essay may help you come up with ideas you like for the shorter ones as well. Also consider whether some of the prompts are similar enough that you could submit the same essay to multiple schools.

Doing so can save you some time and let you focus on a few really great essays rather than a lot of mediocre ones. However, don't reuse essays for dissimilar or very school-specific prompts, especially "why us" essays.

If a college asks you to write about why you're excited to go there, admissions officers want to see evidence that you're genuinely interested. Reusing an writing a college essay about another school and swapping out the names is the fastest way to prove you aren't, writing a college essay.

Emory and Reed both use the Common App. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few.

Describe how you express your creative side, writing a college essay. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time? Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, writing a college essay, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

Even though she's only applying to four schools, Eva has a lot to do: two essays for UW, four for the UC application, and one for the Common App, plus the supplements for Reed and Emory.

Many students will have fewer requirements to complete, but those who are applying to very selective schools or a number of schools on different applications will have as many or even more responses to write. Since Eva's first deadline is early decision for Emory, she'll start by writing the Common App essay, and then work on the Emory supplements. For the purposes of this post, we'll focus on the Common App essay.

Colored paper clips: functional and fun! At least if you love organization. Next up in how to write a college essay: brainstorming essay ideas. There are tons of ways to come up with ideas for your essay topic: I've outlined three below. I recommend trying all of them and compiling a list of possible topics, then narrowing it down to the very best one or, if you're writing multiple essays, ones.

Keep in mind as you brainstorm that there's no best college essay topic, just the best topic for you. Don't feel obligated to write about something because you think you should—those types of essays tend to be boring and uninspired. Similarly, don't simply write about the first idea that crosses your mind because you don't want to bother trying to think of something more interesting.

Take the time to come up with a topic you're really excited about and that you can write about in detail. Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn writing a college essay background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step.

Writing a college essay the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges.

Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now :. One way to find possible topics is to think deeply about the college's essay prompt. What are they asking you for? Break them down and analyze every angle. Does the question include more than one part? Are there multiple tasks you need to complete?

In cases where you have more than one choice of prompt, does one especially appeal to you? This question is basically asking how your personal history, such as your childhood, family, groups you identify with etc. It offers a number of possible angles. You can talk about the effects of either your family life like your relationship with your parents or what your household was writing a college essay growing up or your cultural history like your Jewish faith or your Venezuelan heritage.

You can also choose between focusing on positive or negative effects of your family or culture. No matter what however, the readers definitely want to hear about your educational goals i. As you try to think of answers for a prompt, imagine about what you would say if you were asked the question by a friend or during a get-to-know-you icebreaker.

Writing a college essay all, admissions officers are basically just people who you want to get to know you. The essay questions can make a great jumping off point, writing a college essay, but don't feel married to them. Most prompts are general enough that you can come up with an idea and then fit it to the question, writing a college essay.

What experience, talent, interest writing a college essay other quirk do you have that you might want to share with colleges? In other words, what makes you you? Possible topics include hobbies, extracurriculars, intellectual interests, jobs, significant one-time events, pieces of family history, or anything else that has shaped your perspective on life.

Unexpected or slightly unusual topics are often the best : your passionate love of Korean dramas or your yearly family road trip to an important historical site. You want your essay to add something to your application, writing a college essay, so if you're an All-American soccer player and want to write about the role soccer has played in your life, you'll have a higher bar to clear.

Of course if you have a more serious part of your personal history—the death of a parent, serious illness, or challenging upbringing—you can write about that. But make sure you feel comfortable sharing details of the experience with the admissions committee and that you can separate yourself from it enough to take constructive criticism on your essay.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? The last brainstorming method is to consider whether there are particular personality traits you want to highlight.

This approach can feel rather silly, but it can also be very effective. If you were trying to sell yourself to an employer, or maybe even a potential date, how would you do it? Try to think about specific qualities that make you stand out.

What are some situations in which you exhibited this trait? Looking at the Common App prompts, Eva wasn't immediately drawn to any of them, but after a bit of consideration she thought it might be nice to write about her love of literature for the first one, which asks about something "so meaningful your application would be incomplete without it. In terms of important events, Eva's parents got divorced when she was three and she's been going back and forth between their houses for as long as she can remember, so that's a big part of her personal story.

She's also played piano for all four years of high school, although she's not particularly good. As for personal traits, Eva is really proud of her curiosity—if she doesn't know something, she immediately looks it up, and often ends up discovering new topics she's interested in, writing a college essay. It's a trait that's definitely come in handy as a reporter for her school paper.

 

College Essay Examples for 14 Schools + Expert Analysis

 

writing a college essay

 

Aug 11,  · Links to Full College Essay Examples. Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over of these (plus some essay excerpts!). Common App Essay Samples. Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. Aug 25,  · Writing your personal statement for your college application is an undeniably overwhelming project. Your essay is your big shot to show colleges who you are—it's totally reasonable to get stressed out. Writing the college application essay can be one of the most daunting parts of applying to college. To help you get started, we've published these college essay guides from arabno.gq, with thoughts on brainstorming ideas, choosing a topic, and how to write an effective and powerful essay. .