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How to Write Application Essay Ultimate Guide

How to Write Application Essay?

How to write application essay? – Write the best advertising in your life to sell yourself to college!

The question about application essay writing is often asked by students who are about to write this paper for the first time.

It is important to know how to write an admission essay to increase your chances to get to the university. The deal is that thousands of students send applications to different universities annually. As a result, a properly written application essay is what can make you stand out from the crowd.

The most exciting thing is that you can be invited to the university regardless of your test scores. An essay is a component of the application process, which can affect the final decision of the admission committee. If you know how to write a college application essay properly, you can expect for the acceptance offer.

The following guide will help you figure out how to cope with the task of an application essay writing without problems and become one step closer to your dream of becoming a university student.

What to Write About in an Application Essay

How to Write Application Essay - What to Write About
So, what is all this application essay writing about? While the aim of writing is clear in this case: acceptance to college, what about the content? What should the essay be about?

You want to get to college or university. It is clear. However, simply writing about your desire to get there is not enough. Moreover, it can even turn your paper into a boring piece of writing and decrease your chances of becoming a university student.

Speaking about an admission essay, we should, first of all, speak about creativity and unusual approach towards writing. Universities do not look for “regular”, they try to find someone “special” and “unusual”. Consequently, if you want to write an admission essay that will work, it is strongly recommended not to write about what you think may be interesting for other people in relation to you. Try to write about something that is interesting to you.

Such approach will help you look at your task from a different angle and, consequently, move away from a standard. Still, it does not mean that you should simply provide a list of things you like and reasons why they should make you a great student. Think deeper! In order to make your essay for college admission interesting, you should tell a story, reveal something about you, which will make the admission committee members look at you as a personality but not simply a person.

Winner or Learner?

It can be tempting to write about your strong sides and achievements in life. However, do not forget that your task is to think differently if you want to sound different. Writing about how good you are is not always as good as, for example, revealing your imperfections and weaknesses.

First of all, sounding as you can easily achieve anything in your life does not always seem realistic. We all are humans, and we make mistakes. The most important thing, in this case, is to show your ability to learn from all the challenges you face and to show that you can cope with problems.

The main point, in this case, is that you do not need superpowers to be special. Understanding and accepting your weaknesses can become a feature that makes you better than other applicants who think that there is nothing in this life they cannot achieve. It makes a huge difference, as facing challenges can break such individuals, while it will not be a new experience for you.

So, before writing your admission essay, you should make up your mind on how you want to look in the eyes of the admission committee members: as a winner who can fail, you as a person who fails, learns on mistakes, and moves forward?

Process of Writing Application Essay

How to Write Application Essay - Process of Writing

Stay Focused

If you want to write a good college application essay, you should take some time to clearly realize the question(s) that was(were) asked. There is no need to tell about the consequences of writing an off-topic paper. As a result, you must be sure that your paper is focused on a question or prompt.

Usually, college questions presuppose an applicant to focus on one or two questions. The main aim of these questions is to reveal the creativity of the writer and to challenge him/her.

So, if you do not know how to start a college application essay, you should follow simple steps provided below:

  • Read the essay prompts or questions as many times as needed for their complete understanding.
  • Think in general about what was asked and how it can be answered.
  • Think about your purpose, what you are going to achieve. What is your task: define, support, defend, etc.?
  • Think about what relation the questions asked have to you.
  • Do not use your previous essays as a basis for your application paper. They cannot help you reveal what kind of person you really are. Customize your essay according to a specific situation.


Essay writing is not a one-way process. There are always many options on how to proceed and your task as a writer is to brainstorm all of them.

Actually, brainstorming is one of the most important and difficult stages of application paper writing. The deal is that you will have to limit all the available ideas to only one and think about how to proceed with it.

Here is how you can do it:

  • Think about examples from your past. You have got years behind your back. Consequently, you have got many situations and events you can use for your paper. Choose the most relevant ones, which will help you answer the questions about who you are, what your strengths are, what makes you better than other applicants, etc.
  • Write down all the ideas. It works best in cases when you need to come back to the start at some point of your writing and make some changes once a better idea comes to your mind.
  • It is good to have many options but you will have to limit them to only one anyway. Think about the best option and choose the one that is easy to develop and that will keep the reader engaged.
  • Make sure you have enough supporting information to open your topic to the fullest. Do not just make statements, use evidence and examples to give them value.


An outline is the best way to organize your thoughts.

Once you have made up your mind about what you are going to tell, think about how it will be done. In order to come up with a good essay, you will need to organize the information in it properly. Making an outline of your writing is the best way to help you with that. It will not only organize the thoughts in your head but will also help you break down your essay into corresponding sections.

  • Every essay should follow a basic structure to make the narration flow smoothly. Make sure you also have three main sections, which include Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion. It will make your essay easy to read.
  • Considering an option you chose for your application paper writing, set a tone for your essay. Think about the best way to start. You can use anecdote, question, etc. depending on the idea.
  • The other important step is to decide on voice and writing style. By doing so, you will avoid changing the manner of writing in the middle of writing. Use your own voice considering that you are writing a paper about yourself.


After the outline is completed, you can start writing your personal essay for college admission.

If you have completed all the stages as per our guide, it will be easy for you to write the final version of your essay. Just sit down at your laptop and start writing. It is recommended to create a rough draft first. Write all the required information first without changing anything. After everything is written down, you can go back and revise your paper starting from the very beginning. It will definitely take some time but the final result will be worth it.

  • Do not forget to keep your essay focused. Stick to the main idea that should be supported all the way to the end of the paper.
  • Avoid using general information. Be specific about what you write. Use evidence, examples, supporting facts, and vivid descriptions.
  • Do not try to copy someone’s style or to use other sources for ideas. Years of experience make it easy for admission officers to say a personal story from a low-quality plagiarized piece of writing. Do not try to tell what you are expected to. Use your creativity to write things no one thinks you are capable of.
  • Be specific about what you write. Admission paper is not about word count but about what is written. You do not need to write a page if a couple of words will do.
Infographic about Dos and Don'ts in Writing Application Essay
“Dos and Don’ts in Writing Application Essay” Infographic


No matter what other people may say, proofreading is important!

Do you want your paper to be disregarded because of a couple of grammatical or punctuation errors? If no, do not skip this part of work. Proofreading will help you make your paper look the way you want it to, and it will not take much of your time to do it.

  • Do not proofread your paper right after finishing it. Take a rest and come back to your paper in a day (if time allows). The fresh look will help you improve your paper.
  • Remember that you cannot always rely on grammar and spelling check done by computers. In other words, if the computer does not indicate any mistakes in a text, it does not mean that they are missing.
  • Ask someone to read your essay. Their evaluation will help you understand how good you have managed to deliver your message. Make sure you revise the parts that are not clear or good enough.
  • Use “reading backwards” technique. It may sound like a useless thing to do but this method can sometimes help you track mistakes better than a regular reading does. This technique can help you find not only grammar and punctuation mistakes but also find areas that lack articles, some particles, etc.
  • Read your essay aloud. What sounds good in your mind may not always sound as good, if you utter it aloud. Besides, this method helps improve punctuation and detect awkward sentences.
  • Make sure you used correct proper names in your paper, especially if it is a name of a college or university you are applying for. Making a mistake in a college name can make admission officers think that you are not trying enough to become a student of their institutional affiliation.

Pay Attention to Details

Remember that completion of an essay is not the end, it is only the beginning.

While submitting your essay, do not forget about such important details as providing your name, valid contact information, ID number (if you have one). Missing one of them may result in the fact that your paper will be ignored, as there is no point in reading a paper, if its writer will not be able to get a response. In addition, do not forget that submitting your admission essay is a serious process and it requires a formal tone. Consequently, you should pay attention even to the name of an e-mail you use to send your essay. is not always a good choice.

Structure of Application Essay

How to Write Application Essay - Structure
Proper structure is one of the determinants of your essay success. It does not only show that you know how to write papers but also indicates the level of your capacity to write correctly, as well as think logically. The standard format of the admission paper presupposed dividing it into three main sections: Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion. The following section will tell you more about structuring each of them.


  • The most important thing to pay attention to in the process of introduction writing is the first sentence. It performs a function of introducing your essay and its main idea.
  • To make the first sentence of your paper interesting for the reader, it should be compelling in order to grab attention or provoke interest.
  • Creativity is your main weapon. Even if you simply want to state why you deserve to be accepted, you should think about an interesting way to do it.
  • After the first sentence of your paper is written, you should provide some supportive information further in Introduction.

Main Body

  • The purpose of the main body is to support the claim made in the introductory part in a couple of paragraphs.
  • It is recommended to start each paragraph with a transition, which contains a topic sentence. Topic sentence determines the main theme of the paragraph. It helps the reader understand what the following part will tell about.
  • Alongside with transition at the beginning of the paragraph, resolution should be used at its end. It is a so-called bridge between the current paragraph and the following one.
  • The body can also include information on your accomplishments. However, they should be connected to the main idea. Sometimes, it can also be useful to mention your future plans.
  • In order to show that you are a good candidate, it is necessary to provide some information on your educational background. It is usually done at the beginning of the main body.
  • The second paragraph of the main body can tell the reader about your goals and reasons behind applying for a university or college.
  • At the main body end, you can provide explanation on why you are the best candidate for the program.


  • The final part of an essay is Conclusion.
  • Its aim is to restate the key ideas of the paper, which will stress you intentions. Do not provide new information in this part of paper.
  • Briefly explain why you are the best fit.

In the process of writing, never forget what your main aim is. Be precise in what you write. Use your paper as a tool to prove that you are the best candidate and that you will be able to add value to the college you are applying for. Concentrate on such personal traits as a desire to improve, passion, and uniqueness. Such approach will be your first step to success.

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Instead of the Summary: Tips to Remember When Writing an Application Essay

1. Personalize your essay

It is clear that you may have some previously written essays, which can serve as a starting point to your work. However, make sure you personalize your essay depending on the institution you are applying for.

2. Creativity

If you do not want your essay to simply be one of the thousands of others, make creativity your best friend at least while you are writing your admission paper. Only creativity and non-standard approach will help you stand out of the crowd.

3. Ask for help

You may feel like you have done a great job. However, fresh look at your work by someone else can help you detect some weak areas. The same thing can be said about grammar and other minor mistakes you may not notice at once.

4. Do not forget about proofreading

It is not a big deal if you read your essay four or five times after it is done, especially considering that your future career and, maybe, your whole life depends on it! Do not miss your chance to become a student of a desired college just because you were too lazy to look through your paper once again.

5. Keep it calm

Even if you have not much time left before submitting your essay, do not rush! Try to perform all the above-described steps regardless of the time available to you. Prepare outline, write a draft and only then come up with the final version of your paper. Sure, you may be required to do it a bit faster than expected but skipping one of these steps may lead to failure. Good writers never compromise on the quality of work just because the deadlines are close.

6. Do not get over-confident

It is clear that you will have to show how talented you are to reach your aim. However, there is a thin line between self-confidence and boasting. Try not to cross it.

7. Be yourself

Remember that the members of the admission committee want to know who you are but not whom you would like to be. Make your paper personal to reveal your true self.

8. Honesty

Saying truth is sometimes the only way to get things done properly. The same can be said about writing an application paper. Do not exaggerate your achievements and do not try to cheat anyone. Guess who will lose his chance, if the truth comes out.

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