How to write a great college essay

How to write a great college essay

A college essay is often a scary place for students looking to make their last couple of years in an elite institution of higher learning. The last thing you want to do is write an essay that proves you are not able to manage your own life, or worse, fall into a trap that requires you to follow directions exactly. Luckily, there is a way to get back on track and finish your degree within 12 months. It doesn’t have to be all about the research and thesis statement; in fact, it probably isn’t necessary. Most college students regularly look up ways to help themselves forget about their past lives and focus on the future by writing a great college essay. You see, the real test of a person’s ability will come from them, not from their skills in a scholarship or English composition – it will be what questions they can answer with an informed opinion and demonstrate a clear interest in knowledge. Here are some ways to write great college essays:

Plan and prepare

Before you begin the process of writing a great college essay, you need to plan and prepare for it. This means writing the essay as if it were a report, research project, or paper. It may even be a treatment or critique of something you have been assigned. You want to make sure that you have the facts, information, and citations correct before you begin. If you are just starting out as a writer and not sure where to begin, there are many online forums, books, and websites where people are already discussing what topics and writing styles are needed for your particular style of writing. If you are a recent college graduate with limited knowledge of English language usage, you can also use the Internet to search for related topics and ideas.

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Use your own research

As you are planning the content for your college essay, it’s helpful to start by looking back at your own research and findings. If you have been in college longer than 5 years, you may already have some knowledge of some of the basics. If not, you can always look up information online. In addition to your research, you should always be prepared to show sense. You should know how to cite your sources, make sure your conclusions are legitimate, and write a clear and strong essay. You can also check out topics and authors that might be a good source of ideas for your own paper. Furthermore, you should always feel free to borrow ideas and concepts from other people’s papers and books, regardless of whether you have read them in whole or part.

Show sense

As you are planning and creating your college essay, it is helpful to remember that showing sense is a must for any written work. You do not need to list all the wonderful things your college experience has been like the many people you have met or the numerous connections you have made. Your college experience should be limited to facts and figures, and college essays and you should show the sense in that. If you are reading a report or an essay on your college experience, try to show sense by providing citations, organization, and a clear point of view. If you are interpreting a book or article, try to show sense by knowing the author’s purpose and what the characters and setting of the book or article represent. Also, be sure to keep your comments civil, and use your own language if you are writing in a foreign language.

Go to a fair amount of literature on the topic

As you are creating your college essay, it is helpful to know the literature and trends on the topic. This can be done by looking up topics on library databases (e.g. LibraryThing,,, etc.), or by searching online. Be sure to keep your writing moderate, and use subject-specific vocabulary if you are trying to use a general writing style. Finally, you should always feel free to borrow ideas and concepts from other people’s papers and books, regardless of whether you have read them in whole or part.

Be specific about your response, or examples of it

As you are planning and creating your college essay, it is also helpful to be specific about your response, or an example of it. For example, you may want to say that your college experience was great, or that you had a great time at your new school. This can feel great on paper, but it will be really hard to write well during the actual writing process. Always be sure to indicate what type of response you are seeking, and why. For example: “I would like to add that my experience at [insert College Name] was great and that I also have a great time at [insert New School Name] every quarter.”


The end goal is to write a great college essay that demonstrates your ability to manage your life and your studies. You should be able to write an essay that will inspire and terrify your classmates, and that will have a meaningful impact on your life. Some of the most important things you can do as a college student are to plan your time, and college essays eat healthily and learn the basics. The rest will come later. So, get started today!