How to Write a College Application Essay

How to write college essays

Writing a college application essay can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and mindset, you can craft an essay that stands out from the rest. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of writing a compelling college application essay that showcases your unique qualities and experiences. Whether you’re a high school student just starting to think about college or a senior in the midst of application season, these tips will help you create an essay that leaves a lasting impression.

Understanding the Prompt

Before diving into the writing process, it’s crucial to thoroughly understand the essay prompt. Take the time to read and analyze the prompt, paying attention to the key elements and requirements. This will ensure that your essay directly addresses the prompt and maintains a clear focus throughout. Here are some example prompts to give you an idea of what you might be writing about:

Example college essay prompts
Example essay prompts from

This is your time to show the university what you have to bring to the table. It’s not only about why you want to attend that school but, how you’ll leave it better than you found it.

Brainstorming and Outlining

Once you have a solid understanding of the prompt, it’s time to brainstorm ideas and create an outline for your essay. Start by reflecting on your own experiences, achievements, and goals. Consider what sets you apart from other applicants and what you can bring to the college community. Jot down any ideas that come to mind and organize them into a logical structure.

You know who’s a pro at essay outlines? Our good pal Ace of course! Follow the link below to have Ace create an essay outline for you.

Create my essay outline with Ace

Writing the Essay

With your outline in hand, it’s time to start writing. Remember to maintain a casual tone throughout, allowing your personality to shine through. Use transition words to guide the reader smoothly from one idea to the next. Additionally, opt for the active voice to make your writing more engaging and dynamic.

Start your essay with a captivating introduction that hooks the reader and clearly states your main thesis. From there, use each paragraph to develop your ideas, providing supporting evidence and examples. Be concise and to the point, avoiding unnecessary fluff.

Editing and Proofreading

Once you have finished writing, it’s crucial to edit and proofread it thoroughly. Start by checking for grammar and spelling errors, ensuring that your writing is polished and professional. Read through your essay multiple times, making revisions as necessary to improve clarity and coherence. 

Here’s an important tip, no matter how many times you revise it, have someone else look it over and offer feedback. It could be your parents, teachers, or other classmates. The more eyes you have on your paper, the more polished it will be!

The Wrap-Up

Writing a college application essay may seem like a daunting task, but by following these tips and guidelines, you can craft an essay that showcases your unique qualities and increases your chances of admission. Remember to stay true to yourself, be authentic, and let your passion and personality shine through your writing. Good luck!

Need some more college-prep advice? We got you covered, check out the following blog posts:


  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As Numerade's copywriter, Rob uses their extensive background in education to inform and shape the topics and content posted to the blog for educators, parents, and students alike.