The Best Ways and Main Purpose of Writing a College Application Essay

The Best Ways and Main Purpose of Writing a College Application Essay

Any admission officer wants to see something more than one's writing skills, high school achievements and experiences, and pure interest in the target institution. The best way to demonstrate your personality is a well-written story. You can see it in numerous college essay samples.

In an application essay, one must:

  • Prove the fact of being the top candidate
  • Involve a success story
  • Briefly, state a work qualification (if any) and abilities
  • Show curiosity by introducing reasons to apply
  • Stress that an intellectual property is worth officers’ attention
  • Include a powerful hook or call to action thereby making the officers engaged
College Application Essays That Worked

What is Your Essay Mission?

Learners in schools/colleges do not complete admission essay to get a top evaluation mark. The biggest reward is officers’ permission to study. You need to check corresponding words and phrases for this high mission. Thus, it is important to look at perfect schools/colleges applicants’ samples. Search for them online or in college archives to read carefully. There is no need to read just every information you have. You may focus only on one favorable example, but it has to be brilliant.

What Is an Application Essay?

What to discuss in such kind of a writing? It is impossible to give answer to this question without understanding the meaning and purpose of admission essay. This written piece is a type of intellectual property. It represents the personal narrative, experience, and life/professional goals of the candidate.

An admissions essay is an educational document which serves just like a job resume. It is something every register wants to see. Then, this person makes a final decision regarding who will join the institution after summer.
  1. The introduction is the most critical paragraph of the admission essay. In this section, introduce yourself and explain and give the reasons why you decided to apply for the target institution out of all available US or UK colleges.
  2. The body paragraphs. Stick to the chronological arrangement while preparing a list of events, experiences, and actions linked to your target educational program. Don't worry about the structure of the paragraphs; they can be in a random form. You should demonstrate how one narrative is connected with another through finding things these different points have in common and build a logical chain.
  3. Before concluding your text with a summary and conclusion, share some other important details all schools and colleges wants to see. Go on with descriptions and examples of different academic and life performance. If you want to include something linked to your hobby, avoid mentioning something that is not linked to your target college as well.
  4. Conclude your text by thanking the admission officers for their patience, concern, dedication, and time.

How to Compose an Application Essay: Recommended Format

Students often wonder, "What should a college application essay look like?" Even though there is no universal structure that will fit the entrance essay, you can use the suggested template. Don't forget to pay attention to your language and outline! Another issue you may have worries about is whether the application assignment has a specific format like other papers in colleges or schools.

The good news is that you don't have to think about formatting elements (font, size, margins) when writing an entrance essay. The only thing to consider is how long the essay is. The document should not be longer than 1-2 pages; 500-800 words is the most advised application essay's length. Besides, make sure to perfectly proofread your text. There are some more tips we would like to share.

  • It is not usual to pick a title for this type of essay; skip this step unless it is required by the target college.
  • Discover whether you must provide answers or compose a narrative. Some instructions give a list of questions to answer; most of the time, students can narrate their personal story without consulting the guidelines. Each query requires a clear answer.
  • Delineate your paragraphs.
  • Remember the major formatting components: 1-inch margins, A4 blank page in Word, single-spaced text, and proper font.
  • Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, and Cambria would do unless other is mentioned in the propmt.

The student does not write admission essay to get a high grade; their biggest reward is college permission to study. You need to remember the corresponding words to achieve this high mission. It is important to carefully check several application excellent essay examples which you can see on the web or in college archives. They are usually free or cheap. There is no need to read every paper you find – highlight only one successful example, but it should be a brilliant reading.

How Long Should an Admission Essay Be?

This is one of the most common question a students ask. The answer is - There is no uiques essay length requirement. Most common word limit for a college admission essay is 500 words. Yes, it is rather short. However, it migt be even shorter or a bit longer, up to 800 word. It all depends on the colleger. However, you should always check the essay promt to be able to meet the requirements. If they are not, check the sample essay, if it is provided, and write approximately the same length essay. You can visit the college website to check the requirements for the application essay online.

App Essay  Helpful Tips

  1. Your subject should highlight your erudition, talents, and related background; so, a personal information with an original approach to writing and expressing yourself is the key to realization
  2. You want to demonstrate your concern in college or university campus life instead of writing how much you want to become independent, particularly in the financial sphere? Mention specific issues like a brief story to prove that you are prepared. List different activities you participated in when studying in high school to show you appreciate community projects and programs
  3. To learn how to write a good application essay, a contestant must understand its mission. Assure the admission commission that you are aware of how you can contribute to the college instead of simply listing the intellectual and financial benefits you get
  4. Please make sure you know the definition of the English words you use. Reading makes your vocabulary complete; so, it is good to read different types of literature before writing your text. If any word is a challenge, look for its definition in a dictionary
  5. Don't lie about the level of your knowledge or past experience; sooner or later, the educational facility will find out you were not honest enough; it will lead to poor performance
  6. Do some research before you start writing your college essay. Think about the field you chose. Explain why the selected subject is interesting to you and what educational qualification you expect to obtain to succeed in professional and financial development
  7. Check samples of application essays that worked for inspiration. It is a great choice, as you will have an idea of how a good app essay looks like, they might motivate you and even bring some insights
  8. Write about the program you like. There are many different majors in the world, and it is difficult to identify the program which meets all expectations. Mention why you want to be enrolled in the program
  9. After these two important points, the writer can move on to the part describing themselves
  10. Choose English writing style & voice which will present you as a highly smart, hard-working student who knows what they want
  11. Ask your friend, teachers, or parents to read your essay and give you a feedback on its content
  12. Always revise the final draft before submitting it in person/online!

Look through the example of Princeton University works to understand how to write a college application essay.

Expert Advice from Admission Officers

We share this advice from an expert to make you understand the importance of proofreading & editing.

"Never submit your college admission essay without checking it for mistakes thoroughly. Computer software is not the most reliable way out; contact your educators for help. Special spell-check tools tend to miss small typos; every error counts when it comes to a college application essay. Ask your friends, group mates, or close people whether the admission represents you fairly and honestly."

Jeff Brenzel, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Yale University

  • Do not start your essay with a quote by famous people. It is such a cliche, and it does not work. 
  • Better start with your own insight or a helpful advice given to you that worked
  • Be personal but do not tell your autobiography
  • Be honest and be personal
  • Sell yourself but do not boast
  • Do not just retell the difficulties you overcome. Show how they changed you and what insights and lessons you received.
  • Do not use curse words
  • Keep positive tone
  • Demonstrate why you are a good candidate
  • Do not speak bad of other applicants

Major Types of Admission Essays

Want to know what should a college admission essay look like? Three questions reflect the different types of writing pieces: "you," "why us," and "creative" inquiries.


The reader wants to learn about the applying person. To let the college administrator recognize you, write something like:

"The University of Stanford appreciates creative approaches to conducting research and innovative ideas. Think about what you can invest in the development of local research community?"

It is a direct questioning which allows each potential student to write a few words about his mental and ingenious contribution.

"Why Us"

Mention about choices and desired career. In this part, a director of admissions wants to read a detailed CV with all student's aims, knowledge, skills, and commitment to the chosen college.

Example: "How comes you are interested in joining Harvard?"

The main aim of "why us" inquiry is to define the focus and major goal of the essay. Find out points in your career which would best explain your choice.

The "creative" inquiry

Innovative writing is the process which reflects the writer's ability to think and come up with original ideas. The best solution is to describe a short adventure from personal life or somehow relate your application paper to the story of famous people. Students can recall specific problem and provide solutions to it.

Example: "Share your personal interests with our university. Write about the experience you believe is intellectually breathtaking."

This inquiry allows revealing personal traits and points of view in the admission essay; however, don't make your work overloaded with the artistic story - the required word count limits it. Avoid being not disciplined in your writing.

What Makes a Winning Application Essay

We have collected a list of the most helpful pieces of advice that will make a good app essay. I should
  1. Be written according to the essay promt and meet the word limit
  2. Be original
  3. Be succinct
  4. Be personal
  5. Be inspiring
  6. Be relevant
  7. Be creative
  8. Be devoid of any type of mistakes

Examples of College Essays that Worked

Look through an example of good admission essay structure, like this one:


This essay describes one day from my high school life. There is always a place that will fit for creation of a beautiful thought in my mind. I found my inspiration for this college application as an ordinary schools student. Growing plants or vegetables is a separate craft is an art, and it can positively influence education as it requires passion, art, self-control, and solid knowledge. Biology was my favorite subject at school. The idea to grow strawberries quickly and in privacy inside my school locker seemed pretty cool.

This process requires advanced abilities in the area of biology; so, being lucky could help to bring me the highest grade and a good subject for any further college admission essay. My mother told me that strawberries would stand as the best choice. The problem was that a plant could not receive all necessities in a locker, and I had to search for a strong source of water. I had a purpose, and no obstacles could stop me. My friends and teacher were a little skeptical about this project, just like my family members and relatives.

I had to learn a lot of nuances before getting to the action. This unforgettable knowledge will remain in my heart forever: I studied useful tips and art that helped me to discover the way. I decided to use a solar panel to support my plant with a strong, blue LED light. My close friend assisted me with developing the solar panel setup which switched to the blue light only when it was dark outside. Some may call it a huge mistake. Well, for me, it was a significant practice and art worthy of being mentioned in detail; that is why I discuss it in my college admission essay now.

After dealing with light and water, I had to focus on the need to circulate air. Several designs were found, which allowed my friends to create 3D printed prototype in the school lab. That place provided us with a thought to build latching mechanism to boost airflow by having the door to remain ajar about two inches. The strawberry plants are still growing in my partially open high school locker. It is a great topic for conversation and a perfect college admission essay, I believe.

This life practice started as a crazy plan led by an urge for creative thinking, my mother, and biology. That lesson made it possible for me to apply narrow the principles and programs I had studied before. Besides, college representatives may find a valuable input provided by my essay. My goal is to go on observing and inventing things to change this world for a better and contribute to your college and rest of our society.

"Except for background on personal, academic concern, this student points to the importance of experiments and risky projects in his admission essay. We consider this essay example very valuable for everyone on campus. Such factors as successfully grown strawberries in his high school locker, sense of humor, attention to art, and inventive work have made this essay a winner. All the colleges would like such a person to join their programs- Johns Hopkins Undergraduate Admissions Committee


When I started to write this essay, one question which came to my mind was "What kind of college is just the right place?" After a few minutes of thinking, I suddenly remembered my favorite meal, sushi. At that moment, I realized that my university has to be 'delicious' and outstanding like this dish for me. Perhaps, it is not the most relevant topic for the applicants, but I decided to stay maximum innovative.

I did not want to study in a regular public college. I wanted Johns Hopkins University staff to teach me the programs of the future. Sushi major ingredients are culture and taste. This school has its own voice, ideology, and even taste. When I visited its educational center to search for a concept to complete my admission essay, I was impressed by the amount of its literature. It would be spice. College campus seems sugar to every new entrant. Finally, the opportunity to join LGBT community and represent the needs of the modern students is amazing. If you've ever seen "The Powerpuff Girls," you know what I mean.

I want to help each applicant or active freshman to express his or her unique personality by sharing the knowledge and information that I obtain. I feel that writing a college admission essay is only half the battle. A lucky boy or girl should search for and use all the ways to prove how society can benefit from their knowledge and experience. My mission is to serve younger generation with a freah sushi.

Just like sushi and spices can help avoid obesity and feel proper nutrition, Hopkin’s academic diversity speeds up the process of self-development. After leaving your home after spending the summer with your friends and relatives, you won’t feel lonely in this place. It is the best place to study culture, history, language, and literature. Humanitarian subjects from curriculum are like a fresh salad: they are light and clear, and other subjects don’t seem to be so simple. They are like heavy food compared to a bottle of water.

Every morning I wake up with the plan to begin my own set of lectures; there is no better place to educate students than Latin Literature beyond Hermeneutics class of Professor Butler. That is why I decided to compose this essay for your college. I was impressed by the inquiry he recalled during one of his open lectures. Instead of simply discussing science and its progress, he used to focus more on social elements and events such as an opportunity our society has to change future. I believe in the same values your college does: love, passion, and friendship.

It makes sense to improve my English language with the help of literature lessons; it is the international communication language. I would like to help every freshman whose admission essay was not proofread and strong. I do need some practice in the field of human resources; so, I believe that Hopkin's is the best place for making my purpose come true.

Sushi with its hot wasabi sauce describes the features of the lifestyle different from American one. I always wanted to explore and understand Asian society. I need to become a volunteer in some hospital or attend another country with a health-related mission in summer. The purpose of this college essay is not to describe my favorite product, piece of art, or value of education. I have chosen Johns Hopkins University as the best of other target colleges to develop American lifestyle. I hope that my personal success narration someday will be able inspire a younger generation in schools.

"It is an effective college admission essay example. The applicant provided something more than a list of general reasons to obtain higher education and enter Hopkins University of all the colleges. She managed to discover a complicated way to connect college aims and personal interests with Hopkin's program and curriculum using food industry, social aspects, her favorite Asian way of life, and a bit of medicine."- Johns Hopkins Undergraduate Admissions Committee.


I could still hear her words, the words my teacher said as she handed me the packet, “This is a challenge. But I think you’re up for it”. I held the math packet in my hand. On the cover, the title ‘Mission Possible!’ screamed at me. I could feel my fingers tingling, and the goosebumps rolling up my arms. I stared at the black italicized letters of the title as I walked home. They seemed to stare back, alluding to the mysteries that lay underneath them. As soon as I got home, I ran to the top bunk where I slept, grabbed a pencil, and signed a mental contract with the packet: “I, Zerubabel promise to prioritize you, put you above all else in my life, not rest, and not eat until all the problems that lay in your pages are solved”. I was a pretty dramatic 11-year-old.

This is but one example of the many challenges I’ve faced throughout my life. My love for challenges and the tenacity with which I approach them was instilled in me through observing my family and through my own experiences. Ten years ago, my family and I packed our belongings, sold everything we had, and flew across the Atlantic to our new home in America. During our first year in Minnesota, we were faced with the omnipresent challenge of money. My sister, rather than having the comfort of her crib, was forced to share a bed with my mom and I. My dad was forced to sleep on a makeshift bed my mom made for him every night, using cushions from a torn and scratchy old sofa. My mom was forced to wake up early and stay up late working, at home, and her minimum wage job. My parents never complained. To them, this was just another stage of life, another challenge to overcome. They worked tirelessly-my mom providing stability by maintaining one job while my dad, the creative one, was always switching between multiple in his pursuit for better pay. With each day, the consequences of their hard work showed; one bed became two, the second bed split into a bunk, and within that little room, each of us had a bed to sleep on.

I now reflect on this, and many other challenges my family and I have faced during our ten years in America. I realize that it is through observing how my parents never slowed down that I learned the value of perseverance, through watching my mom’s devotion to a single job that I learned the value of commitment, through my dad’s consistent job switches that I learned the value of ambition, and through observing my sisters willingness to live with less that I learned the value of sacrifice. Through my own experiences, I learned I can apply these values and overcome any challenge that comes my way. My 11- year-old self figured this out after a grueling two months of working on the packet, finishing with all the questions answered.

Throughout my time in middle and high school, my value of ambition has led me to take the most challenging courses available at my school. In my community, my value of commitment has allowed me to serve at my church for the past five years. These learned values have molded me into the person I am today and will continue to guide me as I pursue my goals in life. It is because of these values and the way they were instilled in me that I have decided to pursue a career as a surgeon; I know it is through the guidance of these values and the people who first showed them to me that I will be able to achieve this goal.

"What we learn about Jess from her essay is a willingness to experiment, to take risks and find failure, and to learn from the past—whether it is from her parents and grandparents or just her own experiences. Her essay is clever and well written, but more importantly it shows us her willingness to try different things, to embrace the different interests and aspects of her own personality, and to approach different things with a positive attitude."-- Johns Hopkins Undergraduate Admissions Committee.

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