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How To Write A College Essay: A Step By Step Guide

by Akram

Are you applying for admission to a college? Many colleges ask to write a personal statement to know about the candidate. So, they ask to write a 500-660 words college essay for the applicants. If you apply for admission and don’t know how to write a college essay, this article is for you. 

Usually, colleges ask to write an essay for the following three reasons:

  • They want to know the person who is applying.
  • How can the person contribute to the college community? 
  • How clearly can applicants convey their plans and goals?

So, if you are not sure how to write a college essay, this post will help you understand the types of college essays, structure the paper, and the writing process. 

Types Of College Essay

Typically, an applicant, while writing a personal statement or college essay, will fall in any of the following categories: 

  • Type A: If you fall in this category, you have faced significant challenges in your life, and you know what you want to pursue in your career. You have a clear vision of your future, and you want to write about it in the college essay. 
  • Type B: If you fall in this category, you have not faced major challenges, so you don’t want to write about anything about your personal challenges. However, you have a clear idea of what you want to do, so you want to write about your future plans.
  • Type C: If you belong to type C, you have gone through several challenges, and you want to write about them, but you don’t have clarity about your career. So, you don’t choose to write about your career. 
  • Type D: In this type, you have neither faced any significant challenges nor any clear vision of your career. 

Now try to resemble yourself with which type that best describes your path. Once you are clear about the path you want to choose, you can easily learn how to write a college essay. 

How To Write A College Essay?

Write a College Essay

I guess you have chosen a particular type of essay for writing your college essay. If you fall into the either A or C type, use the narrative structure to write a compelling college essay. 

On the other hand, if you fall into a type B or D, use the montage structure to write a good college essay. Before you prepare a structure for your essay, you need to brainstorm your ideas that will help you figure out different ideas. 

Brainstorming Ideas

Brainstorming Ideas

Do you know that the brainstorming process is more difficult than actually writing an essay? It will flesh out new ideas that will guide you on what you will write in the essay. So, here are some brainstorming tips for writing a good college essay. 

  • Self-Reflection: The first step to figuring our writing ideas is to take aside time for self-reflection. Reflect on the areas which you think you are good at. Try to recall the experiences, events, and opinions from friends. Ask yourself about your strength and identify what makes your stand apart from other applicants. You need to think about it and figure what defines your strength deeply. 
  • Write Down All Ideas: Whatever comes to your mind, note them down without analyzing whether it best describes your strength or not. You would be happy that you might have forgotten those ideas if you didn’t write them. 
  • Narrow Down The ideas: Now, you need to narrow down the list of ideas that match with the college essay prompt. Which ideas you think can be best for you to write and make it a compelling piece. 
  • Choose An Idea: Pick an idea that you have narrowed down. You should have enough background information, real examples, and evidence to make your essay reliable. After you select an idea, create a structure for your essay. 

Read Also: How to Write an Informative Essay: A Step by Step Guide

How To Structure A College Essay?

structure a college essay

After you brainstorm and pick an idea for your essay, you need to create an essay outline. Think about architects; what do they refer to as constructing a building. They have a blueprint that guides them to build the structure. 

Essay Outline

Essay Outline

In the same way, you need to have a plan to write a compelling college essay. Typically, every great essay comprises the following three sections. 

  • Introduction: This is the beginning of your essay and the most important to catch the audience’s attention. 
  • Body: It includes the supporting details with real examples of your main idea. It can be up to two to three paragraphs with a single idea in a single paragraph. 
  • Conclusion: In the concluding paragraph, you restate your personal statement and try to convince the reader. 

Since there are three main sections of an essay, you need to build a proper strategy for each section. 


How do you want to start your essay? Do you want to start with a question or anecdote or a dialogue? Make sure that you are using your original tone and voice while writing your essay. Don’t try to experiment with other styles; you need to stick to your style and voice. 

Style And Voice

It’s particularly important that you need to follow your style while you are writing about yourself. When you plan a layout ahead, you will not lose your voice and writing style in the process. Every idea will naturally come to your mind when you have an essay outline

Write The Essay

Write The Essay

You exactly know what you have to write by now. It’s better if you prepare a rough draft without worrying about grammatical mistakes and other parts.

It will not affect your flow of ideas. Keep these four things in mind while writing a college essay.

  • Engage the reader from the beginning to the end.
  • Make it personal and be original; you can also add humor if it’s appropriate.
  • Be very specific about your main idea and provide essential details, including examples, events, and reasons. 
  • Be concise, don’t over-explain while writing. 

Want To Learn More About Essay Writing?

I hope the above article has helped you to learn how to write a college essay. Leverage this guide to write an excellent personal statement that will help you get the admission opportunity. If you want to learn more about essay writing, check my other articles on different types of essays. 

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Most of the students do not like to write essays. The reason behind it is they do not know the tricks and the tips to write an excellent essay in their schools or any professional set up. Our primary objective is to guide the students so that it helps them write essays flawlessly. 

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