Writing an Impressive College Essay

When writing your admission essay for college, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is your goal. Ultimately, the goal of your college essay is to impress the admissions committee and get them to accept your application to their college or university. Here’s what an admissions dean has to say about the importance of your college essay when trying to impress the admissions committee. Here’s an excerpt from the The Choice blog of the New York Times:

Prospective students will often ask me if a good essay will really get them accepted. The truth is that while no essay will make an unqualified student acceptable, a good essay can help a qualified applicant stand out from the competition. A good essay just might be what turns a “maybe” into a “yes.”

As you can see, there are a lot of college applicants who have good grades and credentials, but these are not enough to guarantee their admission. Your admission essay will still hold weight in your application package. This is simply because admissions officers aren’t necessarily looking for people with amazing grades, but they are looking for those who can enrich the school environment and improve the educational atmosphere.

More admission essay tips

Perhaps the best way to impress the admissions committee is to get to know the school that you are applying to. Try to get an idea of the school’s educational beliefs and their educational model. Aside from simply visiting the website of the college, you may want to actually visit the college and take a tour of the campus so that you can get an idea of what it is like there. This venture may even help you find more reasons for wanting to attend the school. This will give you an idea on how to approach writing your essay, considering the fact that the admissions committee probably shares these same beliefs and frame of mind. Here are additional pieces of advice:

# Write about yourself. A great history paper on the Civil War might be very well written, but it doesn’t tell me anything about the writer. Regardless of the topic, make sure you shine through your essay.
# Use your own voice. I can tell the difference between the voice of a 40-year-old and a high school senior.
# Focus on one aspect of yourself. If you try to cover too many topics in your essay, you’ll end up with a resume of activities and attributes that doesn’t tell me as much about you as an in-depth look at one project or passion.

This simply means that your entrance essay should be all about you, your personality, and why you have what it takes to succeed in the school you’re applying to. In the end, if you want to impress the admissions committee, the best thing you can do is be yourself and let your unique personality shine through in your essay.


Make sure that the topic you’ll use for the essay will appeal to your readers. Another college blog has this to say about making a good essay:

What you think is a good essay really may not be a good essay at all. Remember that college application essay readers look at thousand of essays….Also, application essays are not the same kind of essay that your English teacher assigns and grades. You may get all A’s on your essay in English class and still miss what the college application essay demands.

This means that even if you poured in your best effort into writing your application essay, it shouldn’t stop there. Take time to edit your essay carefully. Look not only for technical errors but also for issues on writing style, clarity, and coherence. Have another person critique your essay for content and significance to your application to college.

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