Extended Office Hours for Spring Registration: January 9-January 26

Writing an Application Essay

Most colleges and universities ask you to write an essay for admittance. When writing your college application essay, you should keep in mind the following:

Review the Question
• Make sure that you read the question thoroughly.
• Fully understand what the question is asking.
• Make sure that you answer the question.

Brainstorm for Ideas
• What makes you different from every other student that is applying to that college?
• What kinds of employment, hobbies and activities have you participated in?
• How have you grown as a student?
• What are your strengths?
• What are some words that may describe you? Are you serious, responsible, intellectual, organized, creative, persistent, open-minded, mature, a risk-taker, caring, insightful, enthusiastic, resourceful, flexible, optimistic, etc.?

Make Lists and Charts
• It is extremely important to organize your brainstorming items.
• You might want to draw a timeline to organize your employment history and activity
• You can use charts to organize your thoughts into specific categories.

Write the Essay
• Make sure that you are relaxed when you begin writing your essay.
• Imagine that you are speaking with an admissions counselor and your essay represents what you say to that counselor.
• Use vivid words to describe your experiences.
• Use a Thesaurus to find new and exciting synonyms for words. Make sure you use them properly.
• Vary your sentences. Make sure each sentence sounds unique.

Organize Your Essay
• Once your essay is written, make sure that it flows properly.
• It should have an introduction, body and conclusion.
• Use transition between your thoughts.
• Does your introduction capture the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay?
• Does the body of the essay convey your thoughts and answer the question?
• Is your conclusion concise and to the point?

Revise Your First Draft
• Now that you have your first draft, read it thoroughly a number of times.
• Bring it to The Counseling Center or to one of your professors for review.
• Check spelling and grammar.
• Make sure that the essay conveys the message you are trying to portray.
• Read it aloud to a friend. This will help you in determining if the essay flows properly.

Write Your Final Essay
• Make all of your corrections.
• Print out a copy of your essay on nice paper.
• Attach your essay to the application with a paperclip, or submit electronically.