Tips for Writing a Good Essay

Tips for Writing a Good Essay

The first thing to note is that most universities in the United States require their students to do an essay during the admissions process. This is an important step in the application process in order to obtain a scholarship in the United States. 

The essay is not simply a requirement to demonstrate the writing skills of students applying to universities. It is also one of the most important ways for prospective students to stand out from the crowd. 

It is a great opportunity to speak directly to the university’s admissions office. This “letter” is your chance to impress admissions and boost your chances of getting into college, but of course, you only have several hundred words to do it. So being precise with your words can be a big challenge. 

How to write an essay?

From the initial brainstorming to the final editing, in this post we will show you the steps to follow so that your essay gives you the best chance during the admission process

1. Format and length

Each university may have different requirements in terms of subject matter, length etc., so it’s a good idea to look on each university’s website to ensure you take the proper steps. Fortunately, in most cases there is a common format, which is accepted by over 750 universities across the country. This format does not allow for more than 650 words in length.

Some universities also ask for additional essays so that they can review your writing ability/style. Don’t despair. Often, in these shorter supplementary essays, students are simply asked to explain why they have chosen to apply to that university or department. 

2. Choosing a topic

The first, and often the most difficult step, is to choose your topic. Usually, each university provides several suggestions regarding essay topics. They tend to be open-ended, so that students have the freedom to write on a wide range of subjects. 

Our recommendation is that you concentrate on a more specific, focused topic and that you write about an experience or hobby, which may reveal something personal, such as your way of thinking, your values or your strengths. 

According to experts, it is important that a college essay tells a story, and that it offers an overview of what the student is like as a person. So, even though there may be a multitude of open-ended topics to choose from, in the end you will be writing about yourself and your life. 

Tip: If you get stuck during the brainstorming process, you can always ask your family or friends for help. They know you well, and can help you find the right topic to tell your story. 

The essay should reveal something to the college admissions officers that they don’t already know about you, so make sure the content is not covered elsewhere. 

3. Writing the essay

Most experts recommend making a general outline of the essay before starting the first draft. Of course this can be helpful, but there is no specific way to get it right. The writing process is unique to each student. 

The first draft of the essay does not need to be perfect. Don’t limit yourself; let your imagination run wild, you will have time to perfect it. While writing, keep in mind that the language does not have to be extremely formal. Imagine that you are writing to your favorite teacher. 

Try to hook the reader in with the first sentence, so starting with a compelling attention grabber can be a good option. However, don’t compromise the rest of the essay by locking in completely on the hook of that first sentence. 

4. Editing and submitting the essay

Admissions officers want to know about your life and personality, as well as your writing skills. So you will need to display each of these elements. 

Something you should never do is send the first essay you write, you will have to go over it several times. It is important during these reviews that you check to make sure your writing shows your personality. It is vital to justify the beliefs and thoughts you have expressed in your essay. 

Tip: When you finish your essay, it is a good idea to seek help from others. Leave it with a friend, your parents or siblings so that they can take a look at it with fresh eyes and catch some mistakes that you haven’t seen.