Writing a college essay isn’t the same as writing for your high school teacher. And if you’re feeling nervous and daunted about writing an essay, that’s good, it means you care! College essays provide a unique opportunity to share something meaningful about yourself – not to mention it helps hone your writing skills until one day, you can write the perfect college essay.
Below are five quick and handy tips to help you nail a highly engaging college essay that will stand out from the rest.
Tip #1: Choose a topic that matters to you.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write something sad or emotional. Likewise, it doesn’t have to be something impressive about yourself (unless you’re working on your resume). Do some brainstorming and try to come up with interesting ideas and topics. At the same time, pick one that will bring out your personality.
Likewise, you need to write something that won’t bore you out. By all accounts, your essay must answer the question, “What do I believe in?” It’s a pretty broad question, but it would lead you to a serious brainstorming session.
The point here is to come up with a list of things that you believe in – things you love and enjoy and want to talk about. With these in mind, you’re one step closer to finding that one college essay topic that’s worth writing about.
Tip #2: Make it unique and personal.
Don’t be just another voice among thousands that don’t make an impression. This isn’t like a newspaper article where the writer’s identity fades behind facts and data they’ve presented. Instead, you’ll want your reader to say, “Yes, this is written by a real person.”
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to write about how you’re going to end wars and famine but if you are, that’s cool too. The point here is that you’ll want your instructor picking out your piece out of a pile of hundreds of other nameless college essays.
The premise is simple: Write with your own voice. When crafting an essay, try to inject your own personality in it. Write the way you talk, show the way you think, even add humor and honesty to it. Make it uniquely you.
If you’re having trouble writing your essay, you might want to seek qualified help from a friend, family member, or better yet, an expert who’s well-versed in writing essays. Also, if English isn’t your primary language, checking out the best essay writing services customer reviews can help you find that one source to help ensure that you can be clear and concise with your writing.
Tip #3: Make it attention-grabbing.
Your essay should be able to grab the reader’s attention right from the first paragraph. Therefore, it’s important that you write the introduction in a way that’ll make the reader want to read more.
Here are proven-and-tested ways to make an attention-grabbing introduction:
- Begin with a bold statement.
- Start with a thought-provoking question.
- Include a relevant, compelling quote.
- Break the fourth wall by speaking directly to your reader.
- Include a powerful word or phrase that will pique the reader’s curiosity.
Tip #4: Make it clear, succinct, and logical.
As much as you want to stand out from the crowd, you won’t want to get the wrong kind of attention if your thoughts and sentences don’t string together in a clear and logical way. Above all else, it’s important that you make sense to your reader!
Once you’re done with the draft of your essay, reread it as if you have no idea what the topic is all about. Does it give you a better understanding of a subject? Does it make sense? Are there odd transitions between different parts of the essay? Have you provided a solid beginning and ending? Is there enough background information to support the ideas?
Try to have your essay checked by different audiences and see if they understand what you’ve tried to convey. Again, have a friend or family member read it for you. They don’t have to judge – they can simply read to see if they know and understand what’s written on your essay. What did they get from it? And if there’s anything they’re confused about, fix it right away.
Tip #5: End it with a lasting impression.
People tend to remember last things first or, sometimes, best. It is as the saying goes: “The most important things are said on the way out the door.”
The same can be said for your college essay. The ending doesn’t have to be just a summary of the most important aspects of a subject. It also has to be memorable. And the most memorable things tend to be striking and compelling, making your reader feel something. This could be a well-worded phrase or a sentence. Or maybe even a simple and honest line written straight from the heart.
Writing a college essay calls for a thirst for knowledge and wisdom, dedication, practice and discipline, and a whole lot of imagination.
Remember: Your instructor won’t want you to write about something you think they want to hear. Instead, they want to read a story you want to share.
Keep writing, keep rewriting, or start from scratch if you think that’s best. It’s completely fine! And once you’re proud of it, congrats! You’ve written your college essay, and I’m sure it’s great!