Top Ten Tips for Writing a College Essay

Start early

Be yourself

  • Write about the “true blue” you! Don’t be phony; admission officers see “right
    through” phony!
  • Writing a “boring” essay will bore the college admissions officer

Don’t plagiarize

  • Do not use others’ work!
  • College admissions officers have seen it all; you will not fool anyone!

Take a risk

  • Admission officers are looking for students who are a “good fit!”
  • Do not be afraid to take some risk (… but not too risky…)!

Keep your focus

  • Do not go off topic – do not ramble, over-brag or make self-righteous comments.
  • Prior to writing the essay, outline or web your thoughts to help stay on task.

Write and rewrite

Get a second opinion

  • As a strong writer to read and comment on your essay
  • Do not send your essay unless you have input from others!


  • Run a “spell check
  • Carefully read the essay looking for minor typos
  • Use a checklist to specifically go over each paragraph of the essay.

Applying online is equal to sending an essay the “old fashioned way.”

  • Take the online essay submission seriously, it requires formal writing skills.
  • Do not write similar to when texting or emailing a friend.