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college essay editor

Below are valuable insights to help you with writing the college essay. Everyone is unique and each essay is going to be different, but if you follow these general guidelines, you will be well on your way to an unforgettable college essay!


Note that this page focuses more on mindset than concrete writing steps. To set the tone, let’s take a look at the below graphic.

college essay help

Interesting, isn’t it? Now let’s create some beautiful music!



Overall Strategy

  • This is your one opportunity in the application to speak directly with admissions. Use this opportunity wisely! 

  • Maintain the proper mindset right from the beginning of the essay writing process, and never forget the goal you are aiming to achieve with the essay.

  • Keep in mind that you really have to “wow” the admissions committee.

  • Don’t just present yourself as a strong candidate, present yourself as an extraordinary one!

  • Give the admissions officers compelling reasons why they should admit you.

  • Convey how wonderful, amazing, talented, and brilliant you are.

  • Be interesting, be captivating.

  • The message presented in the essay must be clear, forceful, and riveting.


Beginning the Process

  • Devote plenty of time to brainstorming. 

  • Consider every single aspect of your life and your history, no matter how irrelevant it may seem.

  • Think about what makes you unique as a person, what differentiates you from your peers.

  • What is important to you in life? What are your passions? What’s special to you? What do you value most?

  • Have a theme, a main idea, a backdrop for the essay.

  • You don’t need to have extraordinary experiences in order to have an extraordinary essay.

  • Your personal perspective is very important. Make sure to effectively share this perspective.

  • Sometimes it’s not as much about the specific topic you are writing about as it is how you talk about it and what you have to say about it.



  • Keep in mind that the first draft is not going to be the final draft; don’t worry about making it perfect. 

  • Initially, focus on the content and the organization of ideas.

  • Tell your story in your own voice.

  • Don’t be too abstract, and don’t make it all about conveying information.

  • Help the reader understand who you are; help them to get to know you and your personality.

  • Don’t just talk about your experiences - comment and reflect on them.

  • Show depth of thought.

  • Show maturity, growth, insights, and perspectives.

  • Convey your passion, your energy, and your enthusiasm.

  • Try to elicit feelings and emotions from the reader.

  • The first sentence or two, and the last sentence or two, are the most important. Be sure to spend extra time on these.



  • Make sure your writing is impeccable.

  • Sentence structure, grammar, and vocabulary must be perfect.

  • The specific language used is very important and can make a big impact.

  • Remember, this is an admissions essay, not an English assignment - the diction must be different.

  • Be mindful of the tone of the essay.

  • Move your reader emotionally through the effective use of language.

  • Be personable in your writing: not too formal, but not too casual either.


Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Don’t try to guess what the admissions office wants to hear; be yourself, and be genuine. 

  • Don’t forget that this is an essay about you – don’t spend too much time talking about others.

  • Show your brilliance and intellectual prowess, but not to the exclusion of all else.

  • The essay should not be a compilation of accomplishments and activities; it should not be a resume.

  • Try to avoid a topic that is too cliché.

  • Make sure to read the prompts very, very carefully, and don’t try to force an answer on the prompt. Instead, make sure the essay really nails the prompt.

Additional Tips

  • The primary essay and the supplemental essays must present a coherent and unified message without overlap of content. Taken as a whole, they should present a complete and consistent picture of who you are.

  • Don’t cut and paste essays from one application to another. Even though the prompts may be very similar, the essays must be tweaked to make sure they directly address each prompt.

  • Be sure to get as much feedback as possible from others, but you must be the final arbiter.

  • For prompts that ask for the reasons you want to attend a university, it’s fine to include some generalities, but most of the reasons should be as specific as possible. Spend the time necessary to do the research, and then show your interest in the school and discuss why it's a good fit.

what's next?

Let’s put all of this knowledge and expertise into practice and work together to create that phenomenal college essay!

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