Posts Tagged college application essay writing

Essay Writing Nuts and Bolts: A 6-Step Process

In my free guide, How to Write a College Application Essay That Gets You In, I outline a basic 6-step process to writing your college application essay that goes like this:

1)  Brainstorm and choose a topic

2)  Write the first draft and put aside for a few days (or at least a few hours)

3)  Revise; write the second draft

4)  Review and revise draft two; make edits. This is your final draft.

Or not. I encourage you to write as many drafts as you need to get to diamond-like clarity. Brilliance is encouraged.  ; ) 

5) Proofread and polish

6) Let it go

However, every writer is different, so you may not follow this process to the letter, and that’s OK. There is a metric ton of writing advice out there with its very own 4-step or 5-step or 10-step process, so you can surely find what works best for you if this isn’t it.                   

That said, at a very minimum you want to write a draft, set it aside, come back to it after a few days/hours,  then revise and improve upon it until you are satisfied, and last but not least, make sure to proofread, proofread, proofread!

And remember, there is no one else like you on Earth, which means there is no one else who can tell the story you can tell!   : )

(To grab your FREE guide on how to write a stellar college application essay, please visit my website at to download your copy today!)

Leave a comment

The Purpose of the College Application Essay

So, just what are colleges looking for when they read your college application essay? 

When reading your essay, admissions committees want to see:

Evidence of your writing abilities – they want to see that you can write in a clear and organized way. The essay showcases your writing skills, and your ability to organize your thoughts into a coherent, structured narrative.  You will be doing a lot of this kind of writing in college, and admissions committees want to see that you’ve got what it takes.

Evidence of reasonable goals and expectations – they want to see that you can clearly convey what you want to study and why.

What you can bring to a college campus — the essay will reveal your unique personality and character.  The portrait you paint of yourself says a great deal about both your qualifications and your individuality and uniqueness.

Your essay is meant to reveal what you think and feel is important about your world.  Colleges want to know about your preferences, your values, and your thought process.

Colleges want to gain insights into you that aren’t revealed in your test scores, transcripts or letters of recommendation. They want to know what makes you unique.  Your GPA and test scores may paint you as a stellar student, but the essay will tell the admissions committee something special and interesting about you they don’t already know from reviewing the rest of your application packet.

So, your essay needs to:

~ Persuade the admissions committee that you are worthy of admission

~ And show the admissions committee that you are more than a GPA and a standardized test score — you are a real-life, unique and interesting person.

And this is where brainstorming and pre-writing come in.  Through brainstorming exercises, you’ll begin to see connections that define the person you are, and from there, narrow down your topic choice to something you can write about persuasively and effectively, that reveals the real, and unique, you.

(To grab your FREE guide on how to write a stellar college application essay, please visit my website at to download your copy today!)

Leave a comment