Personal Checklist for Writing a College Essay

Tips how to develop writing skills:

Study Yourself

Before getting down to writing, you need to understand what you want to describe in your essay. A college essay is the way to show the admission commission who you are. Ask these questions and create a plan of what you can write. What are your strengths? What interests or hobbies make you special? What are you excited about? What is your value?

Choose the Topic

Having created a plan of what you can write about, you should decide on one particular essay. Actually, it can be the answer to one of the questions mentioned above. Writing about all the points is a bad idea as college essays usually have limits and you will not be able to describe all your strengths in detail if you decide to write about everything. Think about one message you want to deliver and focus on it.

Show High Level of Concern

Your essay should convince the admission commission that you are a thoughtful person, who can set goals, overcome challenges, and come to the set aims. Do not be afraid of showing your position, be firm in your statements and convince the audience with your arguments. Even if the reader will disagree with you, your concern and persuasion should not leave any doubts that you are the one who they need.

Start Now

You should start writing as soon as you have understood that you are going to apply to a college. After you have explored yourself, you need to start making notes. As early your start your writing, the more time you will have for improving your essay.

Develop an Essay Outline

Start your writing with outline development. Having decided on the topic, you should make notes of what you can write about. Then, arrange the notes in the logical order as this will be your plan for writing. Try to make sure that each of the following statements either support or explain the previous ones. Such structure of the essay will make your discussion stronger.

Check the Requirements of the College

Remember that each college has some specific requirements for writing an admission essay. Despite the fact that in most cases you will have a freedom of topic choice, you still need to check some specific requirements to ensure that your essay meets all formatting rules and writing style.

Make References

The reference to the authoritative opinion is important. You may use quotes or paraphrasing to integrate the ideas of scholars, philosophers, or scientists in your essay. Just make sure that the quote supports your writing, but is not placed randomly.

Be Concise

Details in a college essay are important, but they should not be too overwhelming. Lengthy description can make your essay overloaded and difficult to comprehend. Remember that you do not tell the whole story of your life, but describe your qualities, which may meet the needs of the college.

Mind the Tone of Writing

You should understand from the first word of your writing that it is an academic paper, so the tone should be appropriate. Do not use slang words, jargon, and clichés, avoid sophisticated phrases, and at the same time do not abound your papers with terminology and too complicated constructions.

Be Honest

Since a college essay is a way to show who you are, do not try to cheat or exaggerate your skills and abilities. Be honest and try to create the feeling that you are an open person to the college commission. Write only about the aspects you know and can easily operate.

Be Open

Sometimes, students are afraid of using humor, thinking that it is a type of non-academic expression. However, if humor is a part of your life, you can stick to it. Just use it wisely. Most people have a sense of humor; you should just make sure that it is appropriate and non-offensive. 

Make a Break

Having written an essay, make sure that you have at least a couple of days before you will hand it in. It will allow you check the paper a bit later. Such a strategy is effective in having a closer look at your essay. You will also have an opportunity to check your paper from another angle.

Write Multiple Drafts

Some people may need several variants of their papers. This is also a good strategy if you are not sure what to write about. Write several drafts, edit and unite them to create the best final paper.

Type Your Essay

Handwriting is a good way to create your paper. You will feel it better. However, make sure that the final variant is typed because people may have issues in reading your handwriting.

Proofread Your Essay

Make sure that you proofread your essay. It is important to make sure that you do not have any grammar, spelling, and/ or stylistic mistakes.

Ask for Feedback

You may not notice some of your mistakes. The sentences can be confusing for others. Therefore, to have an ideal paper, you should ask for help. Ask someone to read your essay and assess it. Feedback can be helpful.

Revise Your Essay

Having received a feedback, you should want to make some changes.

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