Planning And Writing Your College Essay


The best essays always have a careful planning stage. Not only does it result in a better essay, but you can also accomplish it in less time and time is an important commodity for every student.

Students are usually in college because they want to be there. You have finished high school and now your goals are on the way to being met because you’ve applied to college. It’s a higher level of academic endeavor and thus you must take each assignment seriously. The college essay is the way to impress the admissions committee. It’s a way to introduce yourself and let them know why you think you should be accepted. Colleges require such papers because it reveals to them the person that you are, your values and beliefs and your personal choices.

Expectations of a college essay

  • What are your goals for the next 10 or 20 years? Where do you see yourself?
  • If a friend were to describe you, what would she or he say?
  • Once when you became frustrated because of a problem or dilemma, what did you think or do in response?
  • If someone gave you 5 million dollars to give away, who and where would you give it to and why?
  • How have you solved some of life’s difficulties?

The college is trying to examine your decision making process. Make sure you give them a clear path in your writing so they can see what you’ve done as a problem solver.

Planning tips and writing style

Your college essay should be written in the first person. That means you will be saying “I, me, we, etc.” After you’ve completed your writing, you need to have someone else proof read it. This isn’t a time to argue. Even the greatest writers overlook their own mistakes. To get them corrected requires a new set of eyes.

Read other college papers. See what other students have done to write a successful essay and learn from their styles and formats. Stay away from rhetoric that’s overly emotional or flowery. Use wit and good vocabulary.

Take the time to write directly from your heart. Your college essay is an extension of you.