How to write a college application essay


You all are aware of academic essay writing. Many of you reading this blog might already have a clear picture of how to write an academic essay. Today I am going to discuss how to write a college application essay. Before starting with it, I want you guys to forget about the introduction, thesis statement, arguments, and conclusion that you used to write in academic essays. The reason is, college application essays are quite different from regular academic essays. They are not meant for the marks, but for the admission purpose.

This blog will discuss the following things with you:

  • Few things students should know before writing a college application essay
  • Steps to follow while composing an application essay
  • Words to use while writing an essay
  • Significance of linking words in an essay

Few things students should know before writing a college application essay

A college application essay is a reflection of your true self. Your essay should make your application look like a real piece of writing. A successful essay portrays your genuine personality. It should show who you are not just academically, but on the other fronts of life as well. Many students after completing school afraid of writing this essay. But, I would like to tell you that it is not as scary as it looks. You just need to be sure of certain things while writing a good college application essay. 

So, remember a few things before starting a college application essay. 

  • Think like an admission officer, imagine yourself on his/her place. You will understand what things you need to mention in your essay. 
  • Now, think about how you can convey your background to the admission officer. 
  • Take the admission essay as an opportunity to express yourself in front of others. Students often take it as pressure and fail to express themselves. 
  • Share your goals, achievements, challenges, and victories. Never mention why you should be enrolled in college. 

Such things should be conveyed through your experiences and background story. Now begin the process of essay writing.

Steps to follow while composing an application essay


Understand your prompts as clearly as possible

The first step towards success is always understanding the problem or the question. Likewise, in the application essay as well, you need to understand the question/ essay prompts truly and completely. Students, in a rush often fail to understand the essay prompts and end up making a non-cohesive essay. Your application essay should adhere to the questions or essay prompts. Therefore, read them carefully and two to three times. 

After reading the prompts, ponder over the questions that are being asked in it. College application essay questions revolve around several things. The main aim of such questions is to spark your creativity and insights. Therefore, never start immediately. Think of the essay prompts and let them sink in and then you should generate ideas. 

Relate the question to yourself. Ask yourself how this question is applying to me. By doing this, you will be able to make a connection between your life and the questions. 

You can read more essay prompt here at the Princeton Review.

Brainstorm to get ideas for the essay

Brainstorming allows your juice of creativity to ooze out. It will help you to get a number of ideas that you can address in your college essay. The brainstorming stage is more irksome than the writing stage. This stage takes time and effort.

Self-reflection is what you need while generating ideas for your college essay. There are moments in life that break a person or make a person. Focus on those events more. You have to discuss such events that show failures, challenges, of your life. Then, talk about how you have conquered the obstacles and lessons you learned through tough times. These things help the admission faculty to learn about your conscious and subconscious self.

Here is a catch, application essays are word bounded. A common app essay word limit is 500 words. Therefore, you have to narrow down your thoughts and describe one or two impactful events. 

Make an outline for the application essay

An outline is a Skeleton for any essay. It provides a framework for an essay or any piece of writing. Therefore, outline making is an important process before you create a final copy. You must have seen all architects use blueprints, cooks have recipes, similarly, an essay writer has an outline. It is like a plan before you start the actual writing work. After completing the brainstorming stage, you have many ideas for the essay, an outline helps in arranging those ideas chronologically. 

The college application essay has a story. Therefore, it should have a proper beginning, middle and an ending. Make a list of points that you want to use at the beginning in the middle and at the end of your essay. 

Make a good strategy for your essay. How you are going to start it, depends on you. A hook statement, question, or a quote, the choice is all yours. Remember, your starting of the essay will define the tone of your essay. Try to keep it the same.

Start your writing

After successfully making the outline of your essay, it is time, you should start with your writing work. By now you have a clear picture of what to write and how to present your ideas and information. So, reach to your laptop and start writing your essay. Keep in mind the following things while writing a college application essay.

  • Start the essay with an idea and follow that idea though out the essay.
  • Keep information narrow and specific to the content. Also, don’t be erratic. Keep your essay personal or else you will lose the reader’s interest for sure. 
  • Never try to act smart and write something which did not happen. Many students commit a single mistake and get caught in the act of fake information. Yes, you need to impress the admission faculty, but for that reflect true incidents and personality. Admission officers are experienced people, they will easily catch the fake information. Moreover, they want to know more about you. Thus, be real and expressive.
  • Be concise while writing an essay. Never exaggerate things in your essay. You have a limit over the word count. Therefore, never write a 10-word explanation in 50.

Proofread your essay

Once you are done with the essay, proofread it and do the required editing. After working so hard and for so long on your essay, it is time to edit. Remember, your essay will be of no use if it is grammatically incorrect. This will make a bad impression on the admission faculty. 

If you want to make changes or corrections in your essay, never do it immediately after finishing it. Give yourself some time and start with a fresh mind. You can take an online proofreading editing service as well for this work.

After completing the proofreading of the essay, it is time to give someone else to read it. Ask your friends or family members to have a look at it. Also, read your essay aloud. This will let you know about the typos and grammatical errors. This technique will help you to catch punctuation errors as well.

Wind up before submission

Now you have a complete work in front of you. It is a moment of celebration for you. Therefore, enjoy it. When you submit your essay, remember to add a name, email account, ID number, and contact information. Moreover, keep a copy save to you as well.

Get a college essay help from professional writers if you are not satisfied with your writing. They will guide you and provide you with an excellent application essay.

Words to use while writing an application essay essay


Now you have understood how to write a college application essay, its time to focus on essay words while writing an essay for admission. 

Words have a significant role in essay writing or any type of writing. A collection of some excellent words can enhance the quality of your essay and make it more appealing. Whereas, if you are not focused on essay words, your ideas are useless. To make your essay expressive, you need the right words for it. Here is a list of words to use in an application essay.

  • Adaptable
  • Adept
  • Articulate
  • Assertive
  • Born leader
  • Capable
  • Careful
  • Caring
  • Creative
  • Detail-oriented
  • Determined
  • Diligent
  • Driven
  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic
  • Focused
  • Genuine
  • Gifted
  • Goal-oriented
  • Hard-working
  • Honest
  • Independent
  • Innovative
  • Inspirational
  • Intellectual
  • Involved
  • Level-headed
  • Logical
  • Mature
  • Motivated
  • Organized
  • Original
  • Passionate
  • Patient
  • Persistent
  • Principled
  • Reliable
  • Respectful
  • Responsible
  • Scholarly
  • Sensible
  • Sensitive
  • Sincere
  • Studious
  • Strong-willed
  • Supportive
  • Take-charge (person)
  • Thoughtful
  • Trustworthy
  • Unique

Use these words judiciously in an application essay to make a good impact on the readers. 

Significance of linking words in an essay

Now, there are a few more words that you need to use in essay writing. I am talking about linking words. Linking words help in establishing a connection between ideas in writing. If used correctly, expressions get clear and bind the reader with the piece of writing. Here is a linking word list one can use while writing an essay.

  • At this point in time
  • Concurrently
  • Earlier
  • First of all
  • Following this
  • For now
  • Hence
  • Meanwhile
  • In the first place
  • Previously
  • Thus
  • While
  • The next step
  • Lastly
  • In the end
  • By the end
  • In the beginning
  • Nor
  • First
  • Last
  • Lastly
  • Further
  • Again
  • In addition
  • As well
  • Then
  • Moreover
  • Besides
  • Specifically
  • To illustrate
  • For example
  • To demonstrate
  • Such as
  • For instance
  • As revealed by
  • Finally
  • Along
  • By the same token
  • Uniquely
  • Like
  • And all
  • In line manner
  • Still
  • Likewise
  • Along with
  • Not only … but also
  • Equally
  • Likewise
  • As with
  • Just as … so too
  • A similar
  • Comparable
  • In the same time
  • Just as
  • Same as
  • By the same token
  • Such as
  • For instance
  • In other words
  • An instance
  • As revealed by
  • To show that
  • In the case of

These are a few examples of linking words. There are many more types of linking words students can use while writing an essay. These words will surely help you by bridging a gap between your ideas and sentences.

Having trouble in drafting a perfect college application essay? is always here to help you in all types of essays. College application essays should be perfect as it is a one time chance a student can have. Therefore, a mistake in it can cost the student a lot. Therefore, if you are planning to take admission in a college and not having a flair of writing a perfect application essay, take help from us. We will provide an essay that will land you in your dream college for sure. Moreover, you will get the following benefits along with essay assignment help from us:

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Whether it is an academic essay or college application essay, we provide original work. Our essay will represent your true self that will further help you with admission.

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By Susan White

Hi, I am Susan White. I am a Senior Marketing Executive and Content Editor at For the past few years I have been working with this company. I hope you liked the post above from one of our team members. If you want to share any improvements or want some more on this blog, please share your request on our email have been in this academic industry for a very long time. You can know more about me from my LinkedIn profile. Below are some of my achievements that I prize:- Successfully published five academic research papers in the marketing field - Assisted hundreds of students get best grades in their courses - Regularly helping my colleagues do their best at their job - Toured several places around the world in the past five years! - A proud mother of a kid! :)Thank you again for reading this article. I look forward to your feedback and continued support.