How to Write an Application Essay

June 8, 2021 support
How to Write an Application Essay

Table of Contents

Are you looking to find your way into one of the top colleges or universities of your choice? Are you concerned about making an impression on the admissions committee? Writing an application essay may seem one of the toughest tasks for you because you don’t know what the admissions committee expects from you. Whether your application will be impressive enough to set you apart is what freaks most of the students. This essay will focus on how to write an impressive application essay and find your way into the college/university of your choice.

What Is A College Application Essay?

Before embarking on knowing how to write impressive college application essays, it is better to find out what a college application essay is.

A College Essay is your chance to convey your voice to the admissions officers that add to your grades and sets you apart from others. It is a chance that college authorities have to know about you. Therefore, it will be wise to grab this opportunity and add a personal touch to your application, giving you an edge over others. Don’t ever attempt to write on a general topic that you don’t feel strongly about, as it will not serve the purpose you want to achieve. It is best to choose an event that has had a strong impact on your development as a person.

Why It Is Important to Know How to Write An Application Essay

A college admission essay is your only chance to make an impactful impression on the admissions committee. It is your only chance to outshine other candidates. Therefore, it is important to know how to write it. It may seem too complicated for many of you out there for various reasons, so they may look for somebody who write an essay for money. It’s time you stopped freaking out. This article will make writing an application essay easy for you. All you need to do is read on and find out how to write excellent application essays without much ado.

Here are some quick tips to guide you through the application essay writing process.

Application EssayStructure & Format

Writing an application essay is a test of your writing skills. Like all other kinds of essays, the admissions essays also have the same structure of primarily three sections; introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The trick is in knowing how to organize the information you want to give and what should be placed under which section.

How to Write an Outline 

The best way to organize a college admission essay is to create a basic outline. Here is a sample of an outline that will help you create one for yourself.

Paragraph 1: 

  • Thesis statement — a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention straight away.
  • The incident you wish to write about.
  • The feeling that incident generated in you.
  • Any other sensory description.

Paragraph 2:

  • A consequent incident
  • What happened in the incident — factual details
  • Sensory details
  • Its effects on your life

Paragraph 3:

  • A supporting activity that has helped in the development of your interest.
  • How you help society through the activity

Paragraph 4:

  • Reinstatement of the thesis statement
  • Reinstatement of the reason for finding a place in the college/university
  • Final statement — clinches the attention

How to Start An Application Essay

The first paragraph is the most important of all the paragraphs. The main purpose of this paragraph is to grab the reader’s attention straight away. If it is a drag in the beginning only, chances are the admissions officers won’t even read the whole of the college essay. The first paragraph should immediately establish the purpose of writing the essay. Keep the thesis sentence simple yet catchy to be able to retain the readers’ interest. Some of the colleges give you a prompt or a question to answer in your essay. If you find it difficult to create an attention-grabbing statement, the easiest way is to address the question. It will straight away establish the purpose of your essay.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

Once you have written down the first paragraph of your college admission essay, here comes the next step of writing impressive body paragraphs. Consider each paragraph as a mini-essay in itself. It has all the components that a whole essay contains; a topic sentence, supporting details, and a concluding sentence. The topic sentence serves the same purpose in a paragraph that a thesis statement does in an essay. So, it must state what the paragraph is about. Give vivid factual and sensory details in support of your topic statement elaborating upon it. Finally, write a concluding sentence that is supposed to help transition from one paragraph to the other. Introduce paragraph breaks to keep your writing lucid and flowing. Do not cram a lot of information/ideas into each paragraph. Keep them focused.

How to Write Conclusion for An Application Essay

Your concluding paragraph is the second most important paragraph of application writing. It must have the concluding punch line that leaves the reader truly impressed with your aim. It must be a reinstatement of the views you have presented in your earlier paragraphs and must state how getting admission to the college/university is important to you.

Tips for a Great Application Essay

Here are a few tips for you to follow when attempting to write a great application essay.

  1. Don’t Rush

Make sure that you don’t put off writing the college essay till the end. You will end up producing a confusing piece of write-up that will surely not impress your reader. Start early, so you have ample time to make necessary revisions and prune your writing to perfection.

  1. Follow the Instructions 

You must read and follow the given instructions carefully because if you fail to do so, chances are you will make a negative impression on the admission committee. They will look at you as irresponsible and somebody who probably wouldn’t care much about college rules and regulations.

  1. Make a Strong Introduction

In the hoard of admission applications that colleges receive, the admission officers will have a cursory look at these essays. Therefore you must be able to catch the attention straight away. Write a gripping introduction so that the officer is forced to dwell a little more on your essay. Read a few admission essay examples to get a better idea.

  1. Ensure Your Presence

Remember, the college application essay is all about you. The committee doesn’t want to read an essay about a general topic. They want to know about you. So, make sure that your voice is evident in the essay.

  1. Don’t Use Cliché’s

Don’t use language that you wouldn’t generally use in your write-ups. Avoid using clichéd language. Your essay will become a drag of you do.

  1. Keep to the Suggested Length

Make sure you don’t exceed the given length for your essay. Generally, a college application essay is limited to 250-850 words. To better understand how to keep your essay crisp and concise, it is a good idea to read up on a few college writing essay examples.

  1. Read Sample Essays to Get Inspired

It is always good to read a few college application essay examples to help trigger your imagination and creative skills.

  1. Edit & Proofread

Editing and Proofreading are an important part of any writing process. Don’t be afraid of rewriting your draft, as it will only ensure that the end product is worth submitting. You may also ask a friend or family member to read your essay for your college application.

Short Example of An Application Essay

Here is an admission essay example to give you a good understanding of how an impressive application essay should look like.  

Since childhood, I have been a dreamer, and that has helped me develop a keen understanding of arts and literature, which was further developed by the interest in reading books that my mother instilled in me from an early age. As I grew up, I became a member of the Literary Society at Oxford Academy. I wanted to write and express all that I gathered through my reading escapades. Being an active member of the Literary Society, I have participated in various Shakespeare plays and displayed my acting skills. I also write occasionally, and some of my articles have been published in the College Magazine Aurora. Seeking admission to your esteemed University in the Department of English has always been my dream. With a penchant for reading classics and a natural gift of writing, I wish to explore the world of literature by studying it at the University of Yorkshire. 

Some of my favorite novels are Wuthering Heights, The Age of Innocence, Anna Karenina, and Little Women. I am an active member of the Arthur Library, which has a huge collection of books. To hone my writing skills, I often write on social issues and send them to notable newspapers for publishing. Some of my articles have been published in various magazines and newspapers. They were well-received. I will be a good fit at your institute because of my sound knowledge of the subject and the thirst for exploring more. I wish to learn the subject from honorable teachers at your University. They have immense knowledge and experience. I wish to establish myself as a professor later, and for this particular career ambition, I need to secure admission to a notable and reputable organization like yours. 

Being an avid reader has opened my vision to the suffering of humanity. It has forced me to participate in social activities from time to time. I have worked in homeless shelters as a volunteer and served them. My interests have always been to serve humanity through my work. I have also organized a ration drive to provide food to the homeless and the needy. To manage this, I, along with a few of my like-minded friends, have managed to talk to different restaurants and food chains. We collect extra food that usually gets wasted and distributes them among the needy. Every day when our work is finished, we go out and serve the masses. 

My argumentative skills have pushed me into the debating world, where I have participated in debating competitions both within my school and inter-school competitions. I have won many awards and accolades.

Literature is my passion, and through my admission to the University of Yorkshire, I wish to hone my intellectual and literary skills. After all, doing what you love is indeed a dream come true. 


Here are quick answers to some basic questions for your essay for college admissions.

  • How do you start an application essay?

Start by making a bold statement or an interesting quote to make a statement of your purpose. Show yourself. Write with a voice. Compel the reader to be intrigued by the presence of ‘you’ in the introduction of your college essay.

  • How do you format an application essay?

Appropriate formatting is the key to an impressive application essay. Make sure that you have formatted your essay properly before submitting it. Keep a 1″ margin on all four sides. Indent the first line of each paragraph. Keep an easy-to-read font like Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri. Use 1.5 or 2.0 line spacing to keep your essay easy to read. Make sure that your document isn’t justified but left-aligned.

  • What makes a good application essay?

Your presence in the application essay is what the admissions officer is looking for. So, the best way to write a good application essay is to be genuine and write a reflective essay about a personal event or incident that has shaped your views. Be honest and let the best of you shine through your words.

  • What do you write about in a college essay?

A college essay is an insight into your personality. Therefore, it must be a reflection of an impactful incident in your life that has shaped your views and transformed your choices. Please find out more about how to write a great college application essay from our service