4 Elements That Make Up a Successful College Essay

Wondering what to include to ensure a successful college essay? Follow these guidelines.

A Strong Opening

The opening paragraph of your college essay sets the tone for the whole thing. It is crucial to draw the reader in with that first paragraph to make them feel engaged and excited to read the rest. Pay close attention to your essay opener and make sure that you come back to it and revise it until it reads well. Your opening paragraph should grab the reader, give them a taste of what is to come in the rest of the essay, and make them want to find out more.

A Focus on What Makes You Unique

Everyone applying to top-tier universities has excellent grades and a long list of impressive accomplishments, so just writing about that is not going to set you apart from the crowd. Instead, think about what makes you unique and focus on that. Sure, you have a lot of accomplishments, but what about them is different from everybody else’s? What adversity did you overcome? How do you do things differently? Essentially, your college essay should highlight what makes you YOU. This is the space where you show the admissions committee why you as an individual will bring something to the table that nobody else applying will.

Good Writing

This doesn’t just mean good grammar, this also means that the essay must be well organized and should take the reader through a narrative arc. You want to make sure that your essay has a buildup, a narrative climax, and a conclusion that takes the reader through a story about you. Don’t just write one draft, read through your essay multiple times and edit as you go. Good writing is a product of lots of revision, so do not skip that step.

Reflection

Your essay should include reflection on your experience, not just a description of it. Talk about how the experience that you wrote about caused you to grow and learn about yourself and be specific. Including some reflection in your essay proves that you fully understand the importance of your experience and can articulate it properly.

Want more help with your college essay? Learn Language Power’s tactical thinking to build a solid application essay that showcases the true you.

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