8 Tips for Writing Your Best College Essay in 2022

Besides the showy display of writing prowess, a college essay is one of the application steps where the admission officer will hear your voice. It allows students to tell the admission officer more about themselves.

Perhaps you just started applying for a college, and you’re having some challenges writing your college essay. These eight (8) tips will help you put forward your best college essay.

Whether you like it, you will write a college essay during your college application. It is your only chance to convince the admission officer to consider your admission application.

The college essay provides you with the opportunity as a student to show your intending college more about your personality. 

As an intending college student, you want your essay (personal statement) to impress the admission officers. However, you do not have all the opportunity to do so.

Many colleges will only provide you with a few hundred words to do so. Therefore, your letter must command attention from the very first sentence. 

Why is Writing a College Essay Important?

According to Adam Sapp (Assistant Vice President of Ponoma College), college essays are significant because it is an opportunity for students to speak directly to the admission officer.

Niki Barron (Assistant Dean of Admission, Hamilton College) believes that a college essay can be challenging for many students. They find it hard to understand where to begin the application.

To make things worse, many schools do not consider test scores (ACT and SAT). Hence, more attention is on other application areas like the college essay.

Note that the essay does not replace the need for other tests, even though different schools reserve the right of how they use test scores.

Essay writing tips underline the importance of presenting concise, truthful, and accurate information that flows coherently.

An applicant should also express his intellectual influence and include rich details and narratives in their application.

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What is the First Thing to Consider When Writing a College Essay?     

The summer before your senior year is the best time to work on your college essay.

During this period, you are free with less homework and extracurricular activities. It is always good to start your essay writing on time.

Also, it will give you ample time to work through different drafts before the end of the college application. The closing date for a historic decision is usually early November. 

It is always important to view and understand the essay requirements for your prospective college before starting the application process.

Many colleges provide word limits and essay topics for students as a guide. Besides the initial college essay, many schools require students to provide additional writing samples.

In these supplementary essays, many schools want students to explain their interest in a particular college and field of study.   

Students will require more writing time if their prospective college requests additional essays. 

Therefore, devote your time and energy to all necessary college essays rather than focusing on one.

In many cases, the other supplementary essays also have essential questions you need to pay attention to answer.

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What is the Ideal Length of a College Essay?  

When using the Common App, which is acceptable by over 900 schools, there is no strict word count. However, there is a suggestion of 650 words for your main college essay.

Even with this, many colleges will provide students with the number of words for their college essays. While ensuring you stick to the word count.

Also, ensure your college essay holds attention. Most of all, ensure you make a good impression through your writing. It is the only way to ensure you write your best college essay.

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How Do You Choose a Suitable Topic for Your College Essay?

Like every other endeavor, the beginning is usually a problem. Deciding what to write about in your college essay can often be tasking for many people.

They are usually an array of essay types to select when writing a college essay. Most times, they tend to be flexible questions, which allows students to write on different topics.

Before you begin, remember that your college essay is not a complete autobiography of yourself. Therefore, focus your attention and strength on writing about a specific incident or hobby that talks more about your personality.

For example, you can focus on an event that reveals your value system or shows your strength.

Students can also focus on events that talk about their background. More important than the chosen topic is ensuring that the information and ideas are convincing and coherent.

You don’t necessarily need to discuss a key achievement in your college essay. Many students wrongly assume that this is the essence of the college essay.

Among the most memorable college essays, simple topics like fly-fishing, family dining, and simple student activities come tops. Hence, never wrongly assume that your best college essay must be about your accomplishment.

What is most vital is that an essay should be considerate and help provide insight into a student’s personality. The founder of the College Essay Guide Website, Ethan Sawyer, believes that the student’s goal is to write about themselves, no matter the topic. According to him, an essay topic serves as a lens to understanding a student better.

You can ask your friends and family about the things that make you stand out. It can guide you when writing your college essay. The college essay should highlight ideas about you that the admission officer does not already know.

Ensure that your college essay does not have a reputation for ideas elsewhere in your application. Even if the information already appears elsewhere, providing in-depth insight can be helpful.

Without further ado, below are the eight tips for writing your best college essay in 2022.

How to Write a College Essay—8 Tips for Writing Your Best College Essay

Writing your best college essay in 2022 is just eight tips away.

#1. Start By Sharing a Thought-Provoking Experience

It always feels overwhelming when colleges ask some students to write a college essay. It is not far from the fact that many students don’t have enough experience with writing college essays.

Many students will also meet it for the first time; hence, it feels challenging. If you ever find yourself in this situation, consider borrowing from past experiences. Writing about a thought-provoking childhood or teenage experience can be a great start.  

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#2. Prove Your Writing Prowess and Go Light on The Use of Humor

Many colleges want to ensure you have a good command of basic English writing skills. To put forward your best college essay, pay attention to your grammar.

Don’t force your college essay to stand out–allow it to flow naturally. Don’t force a topic to be funny when it is not. Most importantly, it is always essential for your college essay to show self-awareness. Introducing humour naturally in a college essay can be a great idea. However, ensure you are not forcing it.

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#3. Personalize Your College Essay

Admission officers go through thousands of essays yearly to identify unique and outstanding writings. They sort out the best college essays and consider the writers for admission.

You stand a better chance of being noticed if you personalize your college essay. You don’t necessarily need a very long college essay to tell people about you and what you care more about in life.

By writing about one of your significant experiences, people can know more about you. Making your college essay personal will showcase your personality and help the admission officer see more reasons to admit you into the college.

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#4. Rely on What You Know

Rely on what you know, and make your point. It is always easier to produce a more impressive essay by writing about topics you know. It is one way to impress admission officers with your writing skills.

Admission officers are always seeking out students with excellent writing abilities and understanding. It is also helpful to have someone review your college essay or hire a professional if you need assistance with your college essay. Feedback can help you improve and understand how others react to your college essay.

Many students obtain high scores and scholarships from their college essays because of their choice of topic. Also, writing on a familiar topic helps you go directly to the point. You won’t have to beat about the bush to find a footing.

A well-presented essay will make you appear like an expert before the admission officers. Ensure you rely on credible sources when backing up citations in your college essay. Avoid sources like Wikipedia. The future of your admission may depend on how well you present your college essay.

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#5. Do a Proper Research Before You Start Writing

 A well-researched and written essays are usually the focus of many admission officers. Hence, it will do you some go to carry out proper research before you even think of starting your essay. Today, it is much easier to find any information online with the help of search engines.

A well-presented essay will make you appear like an expert before the admission officers. Ensure you rely on credible sources when backing up citations in your college essay.

Avoid sources like Wikipedia. The future of your admission may depend on how well you present your college essay.

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#6. Ensure Your Grammar is Flawless

 Double-check the words in your college essay and ensure they are correct. If you must pay a professional to help you, then go ahead. It is a small price for your best college essay to be flawless.

Your spelling, sentence constructions, and grammar are some factors that the admission officer will base their judgment on to approve or disqualify your application.

Many admission officers may overlook some grammar issues if you are a freshman. However, the case is unique for graduate and law school applicants. Nobody cares to read a poorly written essay, even with excellent ideas.

Therefore, it is essential to cross-check your college essay at least twice before submission. Having a second person look at it and provide their opinion is even better.

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#7. Proofread Your Work Before Submitting

Words can be very delicate. A single typo can give your entire typo a different meaning. Consider the damage a simple typo like MADMAN instead of MADAM can cause to your writing.

Don’t forget that professionals will review your college essay severally. Therefore, ensure that you proofread your work over and over before submitting it.

Proofreading is not complete until a second person goes through the work. If you are not fluent in English, get someone who is to assist you with proofreading. Tools like Grammarly can also help to ensure error-free grammar.   

#8. Don’t Forget the Length of Your Essay

One of the things admission officers value as much as a good essay is conciseness. Don’t forget to pay attention to the word count of the length of the college essay.

Many students erroneously assume that writing more will attract more attention. However, the reverse may likely be the case. Paying attention to your word count can tell the admission officer more about your attention to detail.

One of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t overstretch the word count is by focusing on yourself. There is no need to bring in too many unnecessary ideas except if they are essential. Focus more on telling the admission officer about yourself and your nature.

FAQs About Writing Your Best College Essay

What is the length of the ideal college essay?

There are usually no strict rules to the word count of college essays. However, professionals suggest 500-650 words as the ideal word count. Nonetheless, always check to see if the college has a provision for the word count they require.

Do my achievements have any influence on my college essay?

No. Your achievements are not key influencers when writing your best college essay, except where they help to showcase your personality, strength, or weaknesses. Always focus on highlighting who you are and your ideology.  

Is it necessary to outline my college essay before writing it?

Yes. Outlining your college essay will give you a better understanding of where to start and how to conclude. Still, there is no single best way to write your college essay. Your writing style and the process should be at your discretion.

Can I pay someone to write my college essay for me?

Yes. You can hire a freelancer to write your college essay for you. Though, it is advisable to do it yourself. The more you write, the better you become.

When is the ideal time to start writing your college essay?

The summer before your senior year is the ideal time to start writing. To write your best college essay, you need the right mental energy and frame of mind to do so.

What are the things that spice up a good college essay?

They include conciseness—paying attention to word count, grammar, writing style, and the impression you make with your writing.  

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Your best college essay must meet the above eight tips/ requirements. When writing, always remember that the admission officer wants to know more about you rather than just fancy stories.

Hence, accurate, cohesive, and error-free information is necessary. Even though it may feel crushing on your first attempt, repeating it will make it easier.




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