The college application process differs from one institution to another. But almost every standard college requires you to submit an application paper.

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The paper provides insight into your personality instead of relying on numbers and percentages. It is an avenue to show what differentiates you from the crowd of other high-scoring candidates. Imagine a scenario where various applicants score similar SAT or ACT scores and GPAs.

Admission officers use the essay to determine the value you will bring to their community. As a result, students applying to higher education centers spend time stressing over structural requirements to stand out. Follow these college essay tips to craft a well-written admission paper without underselling yourself or going overboard.

How to Format a College Application Essay Step by Step

College papers are concise and straightforward. It is usually around 500-word limits. Hence, you must not take long to make your points. If you don’t know how to write without losing your reader’s attention, hire college admission essay writers from Edusson to help you. Alternatively, request free admission essay samples for inspiration. Follow these steps to draft an application paper:

Always Read the Essay Prompt

Universities send prompts with broad, open-ended questions. Most applications include up to seven prompts, and you are free to choose your topic. For example, discuss an accomplishment, realization, or affair that sparked personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

The prompt helps you define the scope of your discussion. But sometimes, schools allow you to submit an academic college essay on a topic of your choice. In this case, select an interesting topic. Persuasive essay topics are concise and permit meaningful discussion, and they must also include compelling details and anecdotes and portray your strengths instead of weaknesses. Below are a few topic areas you can explore:

  • An event that changed your belief.
  • A person who has influenced your life for the better.
  • A vital part of your identity you wish people knew.
  • Your biggest passion and ways it has shaped your identity.
  • An obstacle you solved or a problem you overcame.
  • A unique hobby that has taught you a valuable lesson.

Don’t write without researching

When drafting an admissions paper, focus on two research aspects – the institution and your topic. Sadly, most undergraduates often ignore the former. Research the university’s vision, culture, and values you are interested in. It communicates your genuine interest in the institution. On the other hand, brainstorm ideas and pen them. For example:

  • Why do you want to be admitted to the school?
  • What anecdotes would help readers understand you?
  • What is special about the faculty?
  • Do you have special skills in leadership, management, etc.?
  • What motivates or interests you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Create the first draft

After picking a meaningful topic, draft your paper, and start early. Don’t wait until a few days before the deadline to allow room for editing, proofreading, and revision. When you write college application essays, keep the focus on yourself. Unlike letters of recommendation and test scores, the article allows you to control your expression. Regardless of the topic, relate it to yourself and how it influenced you.

One of the best ways to draft a compelling admissions essay is to use specific details and examples. Talk less about future student goals and more about your achievements. Reveal something unique about yourself to distinguish you from others. Avoid discussing your entire life. Instead, focus on two strong anecdotes and strive for quality instead of quantity. More importantly, stick to the word limits.

Watch your tone and style

Your article must have a natural tone – the type you use to talk to your friend daily. In other words, it should not appear fake or like someone else’s work. In an admission paper, show, don’t tell. Use vivid language to relate an experience and focus on events that give the audience an idea of the importance of such experiences. Approach the article as an intelligent writer, but don’t make the admissions officer turn to a dictionary after every paragraph.

Add drama and humor

Draft a dramatic article to make a more emotional impact on the reader. Also, incorporate humor. But be careful not to turn your drama into melodrama or crack an inappropriate joke. Avoid cliches and cite sceneries to support your ideas.

Proofread and edit

After penning the first draft, proofread and edit for errors. Improve organization and clarity, and let your friend or professor review the text. Then, follow the submission requirement. We recommend you use online tools to track grammar mistakes you could have missed manually and refer to the brief while editing.

Desired Characteristics for College Admission Essays

How to Write a Good Application Essay

The admission committee has a few minutes to read the paper you spent days or weeks formatting. So, pay attention to the following:

Draft A Compelling Introduction

The introduction often determines if the reader will read past the first few lines. Therefore, start with a vivid introductory paragraph that will keep them engaged. Reveal snippets of the article and offer insights to let them know who you are. Open up with an interesting anecdote about your character or personality.

Manage The Breadth and Depth

Focus on an aspect of your topic instead of covering many aspects. Explain who, what, where, and why, and be specific. If you’re talking about your favorite Mexican dish or high school sports, recount a devastating loss or a specific win, your feelings, and what you learned. Stick to a clear path and talk about a subject at a time.

Show Creativity and Authenticity

Admissions officers want honesty. They desire undergraduates who display leadership, passion, and resilience and inspire others. Use your paper to highlight these traits, but in an honest and authentic voice. Avoid flowery languages and words you don’t normally use. Instead of overinflating ideas, help readers understand what you’re describing. As you draft, describe sights, tastes, sounds, smells, and tactile sensations.

Watch Out for The Don’ts

An admission article should tell your anecdote from the beginning to the end. After writing, use a captivating conclusion to relate to the opening paragraph. Stay away from the following:

  • Extreme humor.
  • Avoid being intentionally sensational or controversial.
  • Don’t attempt to sway the audience to your side of an argument. 
  • Avoid technical jargon or information repetition.


The essence of an admission article is to allow you to share your story. So, make the most of it without holding back. Share your strengths and weaknesses and how they’ve helped you grow and evolve. Many undergraduates dread writing papers but with the right attitude and strategy, you will stand out from the crowd. Pay attention to your writing style and tone, and focus on your unique exploits.

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