What Are the Best Tips for College Essay Writing?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 February 2020
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College essay writing can be one of the more stressful parts of the application process, especially for people who do not consider themselves strong writers. The best tip for college essay writing is therefore to seek help from a good writer or a even professional for guidance throughout the writing process. This person can also proofread the essay to make sure errors do not sneak their way into the final draft submitted to the college. It may be helpful to review the common essay format and be sure the writer knows how to assemble a strong paper.

Most college essays ask the writer to talk about personal events or memories that have shaped them in some way. Remember that college essay writing does not require the writer to expound on every life detail; the reader will instead look for a few key items in the essay, such as a thesis statement, supporting paragraphs that relate to the thesis, and a strong conclusion. The reader will also analyze the content of the essay: they will want to see that the writer can make a relevant argument without being verbose, and they want to see if the writer can self-analyze enough that he or she is not simply listing bullet points on a resumé.


The writer should be honest and brief during the college essay writing process, and he or she should focus the essay on one or two specific events, traits, ormemories, rather than a comprehensive list that can become tedious for the reader. The point of the college essay is to show the reader that the writer can think rationally and deeply about an issue, rather than just superficially, so the writer will benefit by focusing on one narrower topic and speaking about that topic in-depth.

As with other types of writing, college essay writing should conform to some stylistic rules that will make for a quality essay. Among the most important of these rules is to show instead of tell. Instead of telling the reader, "I worked hard in high school to get good grades," show the reader how you earned your grades: "Even though I struggled with math, spending extra time after school with my tutor gave me the skills I needed to excel, and it also helped me develop a new friendship." Giving examples is a great way to show rather than tell, so the writer should be able to describe relevant examples several times throughout the essay.



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