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Home Application Essays and Personal Statements

Application Essays and Personal Statements

*There will be a College Essay Writing Workshop on October 8th, 2019. Please sign-up in student services.


College Essay Writing

Forget about what you think you know about writing college admissions essays. It's not as hard as you think. Follow the steps of the writing process and tips below and you will have a unique essay in no time!

Step 1 - Brainstorm. Jot down the essay prompt on the left side of a piece of paper and possible situations pertaining to that topic on the left side. From there, add as much detail as you can under each situation on the right side. Once you have a lot of detail for each, you can then decide which of the options will be the topic of your essay prompt. You should feel comfortable with your topic and have a lot of information for your essay. If not, then choose another topic.

Step 2 - Free Write for 20 minutes. Think about the topic you have brainstormed about. Jot down everything you remember as if you were writing a short story. Don't worry about sentence structure; just get the main idea and details down. You will pull important pieces of this story for your rough draft.

Step 3 - Create Rough Draft.  Reviewing your free-write, use as many details to include in the rough draft.  Make sure you address essay prompt and follow workd count guidelines.  Also, read your essay aloud.  You will be able to hear the mistakes easier than by reading it quietly.  

Step 4 - Peer Edit. Ask 1-2 people to edit through your rought draft. An English teacher would be best, since they are familiar with sentence structure and rules. While editing is a great resource, dont' share your work with too many people. The end result may not be your own ideas. You can make corrections and do another round of peer-editing if you wish.

Step 5 - Create Final Draft.  After making corrections, type up your final draft.  Make sure all the specifics the school is looking for is on the ssay.  It should be double-spaced with one-inch margins, and 12 point font. 



Don't thing that because colleges are reading this essay, it has to be about something profound. The best essays are about something simple, yet meaningful. The reader wants to know who you are, not what you've done. Think of this essay as a narrative. Once you have chosen a topic, think of a specific story to write about. Instead of listing the various activities you were involved in, pick one activity and show the reader who you are and what you've learned form it. Don't forget about the hook-the attention grabbing first sentence(s) that pulls your reader in and makes them interested in reading your essay. Also, figurative language/imagery is key. By adding specific details, your story will come alive.



  • Choose a significant experience, achievement, or risk you have tekn and describe its importance.
  • Choose a personal, local, nationa, or international concern and its importance to you.
  • Choose a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
  • Why do you want to attend this school? What makes you unique?
  • How you bring diversity to the college community?


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