Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. Updated April 25, Nearly all colleges rate application essays as either important or very important in their admissions process. A poorly executed essay can cause a stellar student to get rejected.

If English isn't your greatest strength, seek help. Ask a favorite teacher to go over the essay with you, or find a friend with strong editorial skills. If you can't find expert help, there are many online essay services that can provide a careful critique of your writing. Continue Reading.

Common Application Essay Prompts: Tips, Samples


Be careful to balance your pride in your achievements with humility and generosity towards others. You also want to avoid sounding like a whiner -- use your essay to show off your skills, not to explain the injustices that lead to your low math score or failure to graduate 1 in your class.

 

Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay

The most engaging and compelling essays tell a story and have a clear focus. Through carefully chosen detail, your writing should reveal your passions and expose your personality. A thoughtful and detailed narration of a difficult time in your life tells far more about you than a list of competitions won and honors achieved, essay tips for college applications. Add a Touch of Essay tips for college applications While it's important to be thoughtful and mature, you don't want your college application essay to be too heavy.

The tips below will help you win big with your essay. Avoid the List on Your Application Essay Essay tips for college applications college applicants make the mistake of trying to include all of their accomplishments and activities in their application essays. Such essays read like what they are: tedious lists. Other parts of the application provide plenty of space for you to list extracurricular activities, so save your lists for the places where they belong, essay tips for college applications.

 

essay tips for college applications

Your primary task is to answer the essay prompt thoughtfully; the smile you bring to your reader's lips is just a bonus and a tear can sometimes be effective too. Many students have been rejected for failing to take the prompt seriously and writing essays that end up being more foolish than clever. Focus on Tone Not just humor, but the overall tone of your application essay is remarkably important. It's also difficult to get right. When you are asked to write about your accomplishments, those words on how great you are can make you sound like a braggart.

Some colleges ask for a supplemental essay, or several, as a way of getting to know an applicant better. Read on to discover tips on how to tackle these writing supplements and see a sample essay Author: Kelly Mae Ross. On the flip side, exceptional application essays can help students with marginal scores get into the schools of their dreams. The tips below will help you win big with your essay. Also be sure to check out these tips for the 7 personal essay options on the Common Application, this advice for improving your essay's style, and the sample essays. 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.

They show a lack of care and quality control in your written work, and your success in college partly depends upon strong writing skills.

They are looking for good citizens for their campus communities. Mechanics Matter Grammatical problems, punctuation errors, and spelling mistakes can hurt your chance of being accepted. When excessive, these errors are distracting and make your application essay difficult to understand. Even a few errors, however, can be a strike against you.

 

Reveal Your Character Along with the essay, most colleges rate "character and personal qualities" as extremely important in their admissions decisions. Your character shows up in three places on the application: the interview if you have oneyour involvement in extracurricular activitiesand your essay. Of the three, the essay is the most immediate and illuminating to the essay tips for college applications folks as they read through thousands of applications.

essay tips for college applications

 

In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of + actual sample college essays from 14 different schools. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. Some colleges ask for a supplemental essay, or several, as a way of getting to know an applicant better. Read on to discover tips on how to tackle these writing supplements and see a sample essay Author: Kelly Mae Ross. On the flip side, exceptional application essays can help students with marginal scores get into the schools of their dreams. The tips below will help you win big with your essay. Also be sure to check out these tips for the 7 personal essay options on the Common Application, this advice for improving your essay's style, and the sample essays.

35+ Best College Essay Tips from College Application Experts

 

Try to lighten up the essay with a clever metaphor, a well-placed witticism, or a little self-deprecating humor. But don't overdo it. The essay that is filled with bad puns or off-color jokes will often end up in the rejection pile. Also, humor isn't a substitute for substance, essay tips for college applications.

On the flip side, exceptional application essays can help students with marginal scores get into the schools of their dreams.