When writing a college essay, you have to pay great attention to detail. Although your grades are important, if you write a poor college essay, you won’t get admission.

The college essay offers aspiring college students the chance to impress admissions officers by showing who they are and what they can do. However, the question is: how do you write a great college essay to make that important impression?

This piece will provide a step-by-step guide on how to write a college essay and tell you everything you need to do to make your college essay leave an impression.

What colleges need in your essay

Your college essay aims to leave such an impression that the admissions officers remember you even after going through multiple essays. Most colleges want to see your values, personality, and drive in your essays. They want to see what makes you the best choice for their school.

They also want to evaluate how best to transform your opinions and beliefs into a well-written essay. College essays are a chance to show originality, depth, and creativity. However, it would be best if you had a good college essay outline to write a good one.

College essay outline

A college essay outline is a basic guide to follow so that the structure of your essay makes sense. Even though students are mostly concerned with college essay topics that stand out, an outline is just as important.

Your ideas and thoughts must be written logically in writing a college essay. Without that logic, many admission officers might not see the value of having you as a student at their university. Understanding how to outline a college essay is the first step to presenting your best side as a student.

Various college paper outlines can come in handy for an aspiring college student. Here is a basic essay outline that can help with several essay topics.


  • An engaging hook
  • Introduction of main body points
  • Thesis Statement

Body Paragraph

  • Topic Sentence
  • Evidence


  • Restate Thesis Statement
  • Summarise body points
  • Close

How many words should a college essay be?

How long is a college essay? Most students always ask this question when faced with their first college essay.

Colleges usually give a specific word count or a maximum to address the length of an essay. Like the Coalition Application or Common Application, the most prevalent college application systems provide a maximum of 650 words. Some also give less than that for school-specific supplemental essays.

Step-by-step guide: how to write your college essay for beginners

Writing a good college essay comes with a lot of concentration. You have to choose a good topic, write within the limited word count, and ensure your work is error-free.

If you are worried about writing the best essay, there’s no need to panic because we’ve outlined the writing process in simple steps.

Step 1: Read all the instructions

Before you start writing, study your essay instructions carefully. It may seem like something you can’t miss, but you would be surprised how easy it is to forget. So try always to follow instructions. You won’t make a good impression on the admissions committee if you don’t.

College essay instructions differ, but you will see guidelines around word or page count and a writing prompt. Once you understand your instructions, you can search for good college essay topics.

Step 2: Choose your college essay topic

Your topic is an essential part of your college essay but figuring out what to write about can be daunting. Choosing or coming up with brainstorming essay topics that capture the best version of you is the best way to show colleges that you’re the right choice.

College essay topics to avoid are those that can steer you off course or make your writing much harder. It would help if you avoided topics of a controversial nature, personal topics, and tragic events.

Step 3: Create your outline

Once you have a clear idea of your topic, start shaping your outline. A well-organised format will help you build a strong introduction, body, and conclusion. We’ve already provided a good college essay format above that you can follow.

Step 4: Support your idea with examples

Reinforcing your ideas is essential for a well-written essay. When writing, don’t simply state a fact. Go on to support it with statements and ideas. To make your essay appear reliable, include specific examples that substantiate your points.

Step 5: Always channel your personality

Your essay should remain authentic to your personality. This will help admissions officers develop a solid impression of you. If you need some help, college essay examples can be valuable resources but avoid copying their writing style too closely. You can buy college essays online and then use your voice to shape the written piece.

Step 6: Proofread as much as you can

You won’t be able to write a good college essay in just one sitting. Always proofread and revise your work until you’re sure it’s perfect.


Even if you weren’t the brightest student in high school, you could still write a great college essay. Colleges often look for students who can make a difference, both in school and community.

A well-written college essay that showcases your true strengths could be a chance to the school of your dreams. Now put that pen to paper and get writing!