College Admissions Essay: The Only Guide You Need to Nail It

Writing an admissions essay is tough and stressful. It is the paper that predetermines the success of your application and the following 2-4 years of your life. So, not knowing where to start is natural.

If you are also feeling stuck, there is a simple solution. Just like you can find a reliable academic writing service to write my dissertation with best authors and get professional help, you can also get expert help with admission essay writing. It will help you save plenty of time and significantly increase your acceptance chances.

And if you want to master the art of admission essay writing on your own, read on to find a detailed guide by a professional essay writer!

What Is the Purpose of an Admissions Essay?

To many of us, seeing an essay amongst other documents in the admission package isn’t surprising. Today, most schools require it. But why does it matter so much?

Most documents you have in your application package are centered around your grades, test scores, and other academic achievements. This information is important for the admissions committee. But it doesn’t identify YOU. An admissions essay is there to give schools a different perspective on who you are beyond academic commitments. It is a representation of your unique personality and a chance to get noticed by admissions officers.

The core goal of such papers is to show what makes you different from other applicants who might have similar academic backgrounds as you.

How Long Should an Admissions Essay Be?

One of the first questions facing students when they get to writing their admissions essay is – how many words are perfect for this kind of paper?

The first thing you should do before answering this question is check the specific requirements and guidelines provided by the college of your choice. Sometimes, there might be a specific word count that you are expected to meet.

However, in most cases, you will find out that “no specific word limits” apply to admission essays. The issue here is that if you make it too short, your paper might look too sloppy. And if you make it too long, you risk that admission officers will never read it till the end, and you will lose your chance to grab their attention.

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So, what should you do in this case?

According to professional writers and admissions committee members themselves, the perfect length for an application essay is between 400 and 600 words.

Admissions Essay Writing Step by Step

Now that you know the general recommendations, let’s go over the process step by step:

Step 1: Explore the Prompt and Requirements

Start by studying the requirements a school has. Carefully analyze what is expected of you and pay special attention to the deadlines.

When done with the requirements, study the provided prompts and (if necessary) choose a topic you want to cover in your essay.

Step 2: Make an Outline

Take some time to brainstorm ideas relevant to the chosen topic and write a detailed outline before you jump in. Keep in mind the proper essay structure and the word count we specified earlier.

Step 3: Write Your Essay

After your outline is ready, you can start writing. Here are a few tips that will help you write a winning admissions essay:

  • Write about something that matters;
  • Tell your unique story and reflect on it;
  • Keep it personal and honest;
  • Keep the prompt in mind and answer the question;
  • Use hooks and transitions to give your essay a smooth flow.

Step 4: Edit!

One of the most important tips for admission essay writing is to start early enough to have time for writing multiple drafts and polishing your paper to perfection.

Ideally, you should have someone else review your paper and share their opinions and comments. It can help you spot mistakes that you’ve possibly missed.

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Essay

Now that you have a clear idea of how to write a compelling admissions essay, let’s go over a few common mistakes, avoiding which you will make your paper truly stellar.

1. Repeating the Prompt

Many schools will give you a 100-200-word prompt for your admissions essay. Your task is to answer this prompt in your paper. However, what you don’t want to do is repeat this prompt, whether in a direct or paraphrased form. If you make this mistake, it might look like you are lazy and don’t respect the admissions officers’ time.

2. Relying on Cliches

It’s very easy to stuff tired cliches into your essay. However, when you feel the urge to do so, you should try to avoid this. Cliches look banal. They don’t add any context, personality, or interesting points to your paper, so they’re just a waste of time.

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3. Getting Too Personal

Admission essays should be personal, but it’s vital not to cross the line with this. Trying to stand out from the crowd, students often make their essays way too personal by discussing too intimate and inappropriate details. It is something you should never have in your paper. Remember that some topics or experiences can be immoral, disrespectful, and just inappropriate to share in your essay.

4. Listing Your Academic Merits

Another common mistake students make is getting too focused on their academic achievements to make an impression on the admissions committee. If you want to do this, remember that other documents in your application package already tell a lot about your academic merits. An essay, on the contrary, is a chance to show who you are beyond school walls and tell admission officers something they don’t know about you yet.

5. Lying

It is quite obvious. Still, many students make this mistake. They lie or exaggerate to create a “better image” of themselves in the eyes of the admissions committee. Such an approach never does any good. So, never be untrue in your admission paper.

The Bottom Line

Writing an admissions essay is one of the most stressful parts of applying to college. A good paper can pave the way to the college of your dreams. But a bad one can ruin everything you’ve been working on for so long. And that’s why knowing how to craft a memorable and compelling essay is so important.

Luckily, after reading this guide, you have an actionable plan for writing a winning admissions essay. Use these tips to ensure success. Good luck!

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