June 9, 2022

College Essay Writing Tips: How to write a great college essay

Did you know the average student applies to 7-10 colleges and writes an average of 15-20
essays? Gone are the days of writing a single essay and submitting it to the single college of
your choice. When these essays can be the difference between being accepted or denied,
receiving a scholarship or not, you want your essays to stand-out and hit the mark. Choosing
essay topics for college and scholarship applications can be difficult, but the topic is often as
important as submitting a well-written and grammatically correct essay.

How to Write a College Essay

We offer three tips on crafting a great college essay in our latest video from Class 101 college
planning expert, Randy Stegemoller.

Click to watch!

3 Common essay topics to avoid

While some of these topics may be tempting, we recommend avoiding them because they
are incredibly common. Admissions officers read hundreds, if not thousands, of essays each
year, and you don’t want yours to blend in or put anyone to sleep. In our experience, these
topics are overused and should be avoided:

● “I took an international trip, experienced new things, and changed my life.”
● “I was hurt in my sport, went through physical therapy, and now I want to go into a
medical profession to help others.”
● Any topic that is highly controversial or political

Tips for starting a great essay

You may be asked to select from essay prompts or select a topic of your choice. No matter the
topic, the goal is for your essay to stand-out among the rest and offer a unique insight to who
you are. The reader likely has never met you, so you want to provide a picture of who you are
and why you are the best fit to represent their school or receive their scholarship. Now that
you know what to avoid, here are some tips for writing a winning essay:
● Make your essay unique to you and avoid common tropes.
● Make it personal. The focus should be on you.
● Write about something you learned or a way you have grown.

Our Class 101 experts in Bloomington, IN have helped thousands of students write essays. We are currently helping students choose essay topics and learn how to write their 650-word Common Application essay through our Essay Workshops. Contact us to learn more.

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