Tips on How To Write the Best College Essay

Writing a college essay can be a challenging, but rewarding task. College admissions essays are an important part of your application, as they provide admissions officers with a glimpse of your personality, experiences, and abilities. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write a compelling college essay:

  1. Understand the Prompt: Start by carefully reading and understanding the essay prompt provided by the college or university. Make sure you know what they are looking for and what specific questions or topics they want you to address.
  2. Brainstorm: Before you start writing, take some time to brainstorm ideas. Reflect on your experiences, achievements, challenges, and personal growth. Think about events, people, or moments that have had a significant impact on your life.
  3. Choose a Topic: Select a specific topic or story that aligns with the prompt and reflects your values, interests, and character. It should be something that allows you to showcase your uniqueness.
  4. Create an Outline: Develop a structured outline for your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your essay flows smoothly. An essay typically consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  5. Write a Compelling Introduction: Your introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide a clear thesis statement or a sense of what your essay will be about. It can be an anecdote, a question, a quote, or a personal reflection.
  6. Develop the Body: The body of your essay should support your thesis and provide evidence, examples, and details. Share personal experiences, thoughts, and insights that relate to your chosen topic. Be specific and avoid vague or general statements.
  7. Show, Don’t Tell: Instead of simply stating facts, use descriptive language and vivid storytelling to make your essay more engaging. Show your personality and character through your experiences and how they shaped you.
  8. Be Authentic: Be yourself in your essay. Avoid writing what you think admissions officers want to hear. Honesty and authenticity are key.
  9. Reflect on Your Growth: Emphasize personal growth or lessons learned from your experiences. Admissions officers are interested in how you’ve evolved and how you’ll contribute to their college community.
  10. Edit and Revise: After completing your first draft, take a break and then review your essay for clarity, grammar, spelling, and style. Edit for conciseness and make sure your essay stays within the word or character limit specified by the college.
  11. Seek Feedback: It’s a good idea to have others, such as teachers, peers, or family members, read your essay and provide constructive feedback. They can offer valuable insights and catch errors you might have missed.
  12. Proofread: Carefully proofread your final draft to eliminate any remaining errors. Ensure that your essay is polished and well-written.
  13. Follow Instructions: Make sure you adhere to any specific formatting or submission requirements provided by the college. Pay attention to deadlines and word limits.
  14. Maintain a Positive Tone: Keep a positive and optimistic tone throughout your essay. Avoid complaining or focusing solely on negative experiences.
  15. Be Concise: Admissions officers read many essays, so be concise and make every word count. Avoid unnecessary filler or repetition.
  16. Final Review: Before submitting your essay, read it one last time to ensure it meets the prompt, represents your best self, and is error-free.

Remember that your college essay is a way for admissions officers to get to know you beyond your academic records. Be genuine, share your unique perspective, and demonstrate why you’re a valuable addition to their institution. Good luck with your college essay!

Reach out to Gooroo for college essay writing help from one of our top college expert Gooroos! They can work with you to write your college essays, finalize your school list, resume writing, and much more around college readiness.

About the Author



Sadia is an experienced STEM and college advising tutor at Gooroo. Gooroo is a tutoring membership that matches students to tutors perfect for them based on their unique learning needs. Gooroo offers math, English, ESL, Spanish tutoring, and more.