Writing the College Essay Tips

The College Essay   

Tips for Success

  1. Use your own voice.Authenticity is a must.Do not plagiarize or have someone else write your essay for you.


  2. Do NOT wait until the last minute.Make sure that you have plenty of time to let creativity flow.Rushed essays speak for themselves.


  3. Show – Don’t Tell


  4. Avoid clichés (you can’t cry over spilt milk, it is what it is, a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush, etc.)


  5. Use an attention grabbing introduction (hook).


  6. Make sure you have a strong conclusion as well.It should not simply summarize, but bring your essay full circle.


  7. Proof read and edit.Have several people review and edit.


  8. If using a quote – don’t overdo it.Just one.


  9. Do not spend a lot of time reiterating the writing prompt.


  10. Stay focused.Don’t include a bunch of stories related to the topic.Stay with one and really develop it.


  11. Avoid the 4 “D”s – darkness, depression, death, and divorce.


  12. Athletes – don’t talk about that winning or losing goal or point.Everyone uses this topic.


  13. Avoid talking about that one vacation to Costa Rica, Mexico, etc. that changed your life. Again, popular topic.


  14. Make emotional connection just as much as academic.


  15. Don’t overuse thesaurus, impressive vocabulary.Be you.


5 Most Popular Writing Prompts:

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. Talk about a failure you have experienced and what you learned from it.
  3. Discuss a time that you challenged an idea or belief.
  4. Discuss and accomplishment or incident which changed you from a child to an adult.
  5. Describe a problem that you overcame.