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how to write a good college essay if you are boring

What to Write in College Essays if you are Boring?

What to Write in College Essays

  • peachyessay
  • September 29, 2021
  • Blogs , General

Regardless of whether you are a freshman, a continuing, or a person advancing your knowledge, researching is an essential part of writing college papers. It is important to note that the process of researching, by its nature, is challenging and requires the student to have a good understanding of the subject being discussed. Most students do not enjoy writing essays because the entire process is tiring and time-consuming. They would rather spend time hanging around friends, watching movies, or actively engaging in activities that do not require writing essays. Other times, it might not be easy to conduct your research effectively because of your enormous pile of assignments. Essentially, if you realize that you are boring and that nothing interesting has happened in your life, you could always write about the unique attributes that make you special. You might also write about the small details that will assist the reader in understanding you.

Reasons That Make Students Write Boring Essays

There are a number of reasons why students may find themselves writing essays that are not indulging in the eyes of the reader. Some of these reasons are intentional while some of them happen by chance. When writing, there are many different things that you should do and others that you should avoid if you want to keep your essays entertaining. Let us explore some reasons why your essays may end up boring your audience.

Too many distractions

Most students are always easily distracted by their phones, friends, or family and relatives. If you want to perform your research effectively, you must learn how to identify the ideal place to conduct your research without too many distractions. Otherwise, the chances are high that you might take more time than the one you had estimated. After choosing a place where you are comfortable and not distracted, the next thing you should do is informing your friends and family about the time meant for your studies so that they may avoid calling or texting you. On the same note, most students are easily distracted by their phones, and hence, you might consider putting them away while doing your studies.

Choosing the right topic

The topic of your essay is the foundation of all your research. Therefore, you should take your time to decide on the most appropriate one. Choosing the most suitable topic is not easy since most scholars are not aware of or do not understand how to select their research topics. When choosing a topic, consider settling for a topic in the field of study that interests you.

Difficulties in expressing themselves

Individuals might be good at expressing themselves verbally but have difficulty expressing their thoughts in written form. Apparently, most student researchers encounter diverse challenges when it comes to expressing themselves using their own words. Therefore, such students often copy other people`s work and thereafter present them as their own, without giving credit to the authors of the source where they have obtained information.

Reluctantancy to seek help

Most student researchers are reluctant to seek assistance because they do not want to be perceived as weak. Such students often forget that attaining academic success is not a communal thing and that sometimes, they will have to ignore what other people speak of them. If you are careful, you will notice that you have a lot of resources at your disposal. For instance, you have colleagues or lecturers who will be willing and ready to help you find solutions to any difficulties you might be encountering.

Failing to adhere to the basic rules of writing

Essay writing is an important skill that one needs to master if you are ever going to be able to write perfect papers. For instance, an essay that is full of grammatical and spelling errors will always be confusing and may end up boring your audience. An essay that is not well-formatted and organized will not be visually attractive and will thus appear boring. Learning the basic principles of writing and adhering to them each time you are charged with writing an essay is thus very important and will always help you attain your desire outcome.

Essay Ideas That are Never Boring

One of the things you should never forget while in school is that wr iting college essays is not difficult. Sometimes, they might also be challenging to understand. Once you acknowledge that writing an essay is not difficult, you will be several steps ahead of your peers. You might have been told that writing this essay is an opportunity to earn your way through the learning institution. However, the word essay invokes all kinds of feelings of stiffness and formality, which is why you should reject them. You should strive to write your essays as if you are talking to a teacher or a friend that you like. Here are some of the exciting topics you can consider writing about.

The day you received a bad grade or received a detention

It is common to be asked about your challenges and failures during the application process. In this case, you might consider providing a detailed account of your failed memory or the time you were given a detention. What are some of the important things you learned from the experience? Remember to provide details of the event.

Write about one famous person

We all have a person that we always look up to. Apparently, they could either be alive or dead. It could be a scientist, actress, musician, or family member. You should discuss with passion what you love about these people. You should also provide details of how you discovered them, how you feel about them, and how they made you feel. You could also write about being the valedictorian, about your name, or an event where you laughed the most.

If you Don’t Have an Interesting Story to Tell?

It would be best if you never forgot that some of the best essays written by students were not about some and monumental moments. You will be shocked to learn that they were quirkier, smaller, and in fact, more subtle in terms of details. Such kinds of stories, in most cases, end up being so interesting. You might consider reflecting on some personal memories and breaking them down into finer details. You could describe the smell, sounds, possible sights, and all other information you might think is unimportant. You could also describe how the smell of the roses made you feel.

Ditch anything impressive-sounding.

You will have the opportunity somewhere else in your application to convince the admissions committee of how smart you are. Therefore, you should use the essay as a chance to show them what kind of person you are. You do not have to write about some considerable achievement. In fact, doing so might ruin your chances, as you will be giving up an opportunity to demonstrate that you are an enthralling, multi-dimensional applicant. That time you placed your hand over a candle on the dinner table, and you were burnt by the fire. You probably did not receive a Nobel Prize for it, but it sounds like the kind of essay that would be so interesting to read.

What Should you Do in Case you are Scared?

Just say anything

Although this point might sound obvious, you should take your time to hear us out. Your essay should be entertaining to read. In addition, it should be used as a vehicle for making broader claims or statements. Regardless of whether or not you have travelled to different destinations worldwide, you will have interesting things to say. Therefore, get on with it and start writing. You should keep in mind that a particular thing might differ from what your lecturers were expecting, which is okay and could even work to your advantage. In other words, you should not be scared to write about any topic provided you find it interesting. By the time you finish reading this article, you might have already developed some big and flashy stories to tell. The most important thing is that you should not focus too much on creating big stories. Instead, you can choose a simple story and make it unique with how you organize your ideas. If you keep all these tips into consideration and reframing your thinking, you will have less difficulty writing an excellent essay .

What Makes an Appropriate Essay Topic?

It would be best if you never forgot that your essay topic does not have to be an exceptional or unusual experience you have had. It is not surprising to find a student asking about what they can write about. The most general answer to that question is that your essay can be about anything, provided it fits the prompt you have chosen or been given. Your essay topics should be compelling, with solid evidence and at least two contradictory points of view. It should also be with persuasive language so that the readers could see both sides of the coin and choose one they favour most. It would be best if you always strive to settle on a topic that interests you.

Tips on How to Write an Excellent Essay

Research more about what you want to write the good thing about researching what you want to write is that you will understand how other researchers have discussed the topic. On the same note, you will better understand the areas that have not yet been researched. Evidence shows that reading widely could aid a person in enhancing their writing skills as well as in understanding their writing niche. When you know your niche better, you will read more about the niche that interests you from other well-known authors.

Do more practice

One of the most effective ways of improving your writing skills is through doing more practice. Apparently, what you are writing does not have to be a journal, research paper, or dissertation. For beginners, you can write about something you love, such as your hobby, interests, favourite food, and dreams and desires in life. Regardless of what you write, ensure that it aids you in improving your writing skills. According to researchers, practice makes perfect. The more you practice writing, the more you will be perfect.

Avoid filler words

One of the things students should never forget about filler words is that if something is not adding meaning, weight, or value to your content, you should avoid using it. When writing any form of academic writing, the writer needs to focus on the efficacy and efficiency of their communication. Filler words ruin the quality of an academic paper, and hence, they must be left out. Examples of filler words may include words such as really, just, very, and that. There is no point in having such words in your academic paper not unless they are there for a specific intention. The good thing about writing skills is that any person can learn them. However, it would be best to be determined and ready to make the needed sacrifices. If you are a beginner, it is never too late to start working on your writing skills. Hopefully, these tips will assist you in improving your writing skills if you are a beginner.

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How can I write a good college essay if I don’t have an interesting story to tell?

Jul 3, 2018

So you haven’t cured cancer, and you have yet to make your debut as a Broadway star. Come college application essay writing time, many students struggle, assuming that they do not have anything interesting enough to say. This kind of thinking is a trap –the closer you look, anyone and everyone has a wealth of potential content at their disposal. It’s merely a matter of knowing what kinds of ideas are best suited to the genre of the college essay. If you’re still convinced that your life is too boring to write a killer college essay, then check out some of our guidelines here:

1. Think small, then think smaller .

The best college essays are not necessarily about some big, monumental moment in the writer’s life. In fact, smaller, quirkier, or more subtle details and stories are often much more interesting. Reflect on personal memories and break them down into the most descriptive terms possible–sights, sounds, and smells can all serve as unique starting points. Does, say, the smell of blueberry scones baking in the oven remind you of growing up with your British grandmother? Write about it.

2. Ditch anything impressive-sounding .

You’ll have the opportunity elsewhere in your application to show the admissions committee how smart you are, so use the essay as a chance to show them what kind of person you are. You don’t have to write about some huge accomplishment–in fact, doing so might hurt your chances, as you’ll be giving up an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re an intriguing, multi-dimensional candidate. That time you leaned over a candle on the dinner table and your hair caught on fire? You probably didn’t win a Nobel Prize for it, but it sounds like the kind of essay we’d want to read.

3. Say something .

This one sounds obvious, but hear us out. While your essay can and should be entertaining to read, use entertainment value as a vehicle for making a broader statement or claim. Regardless of whether or not you’ve been to Mars, you have something worthwhile to say–so get writing and say it! Keep in mind that your “something” might be different from what your parents or teachers want you to write about. That’s okay, and it might even be to your benefit (we love our parents and teachers, but they don’t know us as well as we do).

As you can hopefully see by now, it’s not imperative to have some big, flashy story to tell. In fact, the vast majority of successful essays approach a seemingly simple topic in an innovative or interesting way. If you keep these tips in mind and reframe your thinking, you’ll be on your way to a great essay.

Contents 1. 1. Think small, then think smaller. 2. 2. Ditch anything impressive-sounding. 3. 3. Say something.

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Every Thing For Dads

10 Ways to Write a College Essay When Your Life is Boring

how to write a good college essay if you are boring

If you are one of those college or university students that dreads writing an essay or looking for some tips, you can type “ write my college essay for me “, and you will find plenty of top-rated academic writing services online. Writing an essay can be daunting. After all, it requires concentration, time, and research because it can get boring for some students very quickly.  

When you find yourself bored writing an essay, you need some inspiration. Below are a few ways you can write a college essay when your life is boring.

Picture yourself writing your essay

This might sound silly to some, but if you are bored, imagine your fingers typing on the keyboard or you writing on a piece of paper with your pen. What this does according to plenty of essay writing services is to trick your mind into thinking that you are accomplishing something, and it is this feeling that will make you feel less bored.  

It will spring you into action, and you will begin to type your essay without feeling like it is a boring chore. The reason why many students leave their essays till the last minute is that they see it as a chore. Looking at it from the angle mentioned above is an excellent way to feel inspired. 

Remind yourself why you are writing the essay, to begin with

You shouldn't write because you want something to share, you've been told it is a skill that you need in the future or because people tell you to. You should write because you genuinely enjoy the craft. After all, it is an art. Write because you have something to say to people who are beneficial to them, and this will eliminate any boredom you feel. Writing will feel less of a chore if you know the value you're getting by doing it.

Commit to writing milestones

You can give yourself a target of 1000 words every 1 hour every day. When you set milestones for yourself and commit to them, you will find the inspiration and motivation to finish your essay. If you feel that your milestone is very high, you can lower it to ensure you get it done without making excuses.

Get the first draft done

It is near impossible to come up with a perfect draft on the first attempt. There will be mistakes made, and what you can do here is to stop focusing on being perfect. Just push out the first draft and edit it later by yourself, or you can hire an essay writing service. Many expert writers always say that it is easier to correct a rough draft than it is to come up with a perfect one on the first attempt.

Create the perfect surrounding for writing

The fewer things distract your attention when writing, the better your writing will be. Some students say they feel bored and uninspired to write because of the environment they are in. you will need to find a place that won't block your creative energy. Finding a place that doesn't have loud noises will put you in a positive place to write.

how to write a good college essay if you are boring

 Switch up the environment

This goes hand in hand with the point above, a change in scenery is something that some students might need to kick-start their creativity. If you have a decided place where you do most of your writing, it is easier to get into work mode.  

With this tip, you will be able to come up with some wonderful ideas and get your essay finished in no time. Places like a friend's house, a library, a bookshop, or a coffee shop are all wonderful suggestions.

Read old comments

When you have come up with your essay draft, show it to your tutor so that they can let you know whether you are on the right path or not. Once your tutor has seen your work, they will provide you with feedback or comments on areas where your work needs improving to make it better.  

If you are bored because you can't come up with new ideas, look at the comments from your tutor, both the good and the bad. This will inspire you to add things to your essay that didn't cross your mind.

If you have a to-do list, slash it in half

Sometimes doing the same set of tasks over and over again can get boring and make you lose your desire to write your essay. By cutting off unnecessary tasks, you will be able to focus more on writing. This will ensure you finish your essay on time and progress in your academic studies. 

Ask someone to look at your work

Professional writing services or your close friends can inspire you to write your essay because they can hold you accountable. While you can take responsibility by holding yourself accountable, some students need someone to push them, especially if boredom kicks in.  

Once you have written your work, get a fresh set of eyes like a custom essay writing service to spot any mistakes you may have made, and they can even inspire you to add new ideas to your work.

Take a break when you need one

If you are feeling burnt out or bored with writing , give yourself a few minutes or dates away from your essay just to recharge your batteries. This recuperation period will make you feel energized, your brain will be refreshed and full of ideas meaning you will be able to produce top-quality work. A tired mind will more often produce lackluster content leading to a low grade which is the last thing you will need. 

You shouldn't treat your essay like something that you have to do, instead, you should see it as something that you want to do. Education is very important because it opens the door for someone to learn new things as well as get a well-paying job in the future, but sadly not many people have access to good quality education. Life is less boring if you use the tips mentioned above to write your essay. You will produce good quality essays and get good grades if those tips are followed religiously.

What do I write about if my life is boring?

Title says it all. I do many things, but nothing really stands out. They’re generic, and I am seriously stuck at this point.

Everyone has a story. Everyone has something about them that is interesting.

Go over every common app prompt (assuming this is regarding those prompts) and try to think of something about yourself that would fit into one of the prompts. If you’re stuck, maybe ask a parent or friend if they have suggestions–maybe they would have interesting ideas about you.

I had to write a practice college essay for my English class recently, and I had serious writer’s block. I ended up writing about what I had done the night before, which was baking cream puffs. It was really random, but I could twist it to show off my character really well. I would start with a memory you have. It could be from when you were little or from now.

OK, time for a little stream of consciousness, just to get the juices flowing:

What did you want to be when you were little?

What do you want to be when you “grow up”?

What do your friends like best about you?

What’s your best trait?

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

If you could be principal of your school for a day, what would you change? Why?

What do you see as the biggest problem in education?

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

What would you do with a million dollars if you had it?

If you had one magical power, what would it be?

What do you think is the biggest problem in our country? In our world?

What are the qualities that make your BFF such a great person?

I see where this is going, but how do I incorporate these ideas? Like what are some examples

@alison16 that’s interesting! What did cream puffs have to do with it?

@kaatherinee I had this really big craving for them one night, so I decided I would try to bake them even though I had no idea what I was doing. In concluding the essay, I talked about how I’m a problem solver and I embrace new challenges. So really, anything you’ve done in your life, big or little, can be an example of your character or your perspective!

Come with anything that tells us anything about you, see where it leads.

I think maybe you’re trying to think of something really big that happened to you and that’s what’s stumping you, but really, you just need something small to spark a great essay. At 17-18, most of us haven’t had some phenomenal, awe-inspiring event happen to us. But I guarantee you there’s something about you, something that’s happened to you, that’s worth writing about. A small event that has changed you in some way or had some impact on you. That’s all you need.

Sometimes you don’t even recognize that something you do has had an impact on you. Maybe it would help if you had a conversation with somebody about what you like to do or want to do in the future, and they can help you delve deeper into the why. It may help you come up with some ideas.

Example: So, how do you spend your time? Well, I spend a lot of time on College Confidential. Oh, why? You’re already in college… I know, but I really like answering people’s questions and giving advice. Why? I don’t know; I like teaching in general, and I don’t want people to make the same mistakes I did when I was applying to colleges. What kind of mistakes did you make? Well, for one thing I was always very hesitant to try new things, because I don’t like making mistakes or letting people down. So I didn’t do many extracurriculars. I also didn’t know what colleges required of students until late in the game, because I didn’t get any help from my GC, and my parents are both immigrants, so they don’t know either.

If I were to write an essay now, I could take several approaches just based on this. I could write about my first extracurricular and how scared I was. I could write about an experience of failure, and how I dealt with it. I could write about what it’s like living with parents who don’t understand American culture, and how the values they teach clash with the ones I learn from my peers. Or what I’ve noticed about my school system. Or how much I love College Confidential, and why.

Those things all connect back to who I am, why I am that way, what I’m still working on, and what I hope to be. So if you have something you want to write about, but you worry that it’s too generic, just try to ask yourself questions about the experience and see if you can discover something about yourself.

@CE527M Yeah I’m only 16 haha good point

@alison16 You didn’t know how to bake them? How did they turn out LOLLLL

@OnMyWay - what a great, helpful answer. Thank you!

I read a real college essay by a student admitted to Columbia ED in which the first line was seriously “I can curl my tongue pretty well.” Even the most silly things can catch the attention of an adcom.

@kaatherinee Nope, and they came out really good actually!! I was super excited. Highly recommend trying to bake them sometime.

How detailed are the essays supposed to be? Like for UCs, the max total is only 1000 words so…

I usually just write the essay, then work on cutting it down if it’s too long.


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Writing a great college essay


I’ve read many college essays over the years and the vast majority of them have been b-o-r-i-n-g.

Unlike a great college essay, the bad essays have been guilty of one or more of these essay no-no’s:

1. The college essay lacked details.

2. The admission essay didn’t convey the student’s voice.

crumpled paper 1

4. The college essay read like the dull expository essays that high school English teachers force students to write. Formal English papers are deadly and relying on English teachers, who may be poor writers themselves, is often asking for trouble.

A tip for writing a great college essay

Today I want to share one of my favorite tips for writing the best college essay possible:

Don’t bore the admission readers with a dull opening line in your college essay!

During admission season, admission reps often have to read dozens of college essays a day. It’s inevitable that the essays will blur together, which is an excellent reason why applicants need to make their college essay stand out.

Applicants will win brownie points if they start their essays with an opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention.

Need examples of college essay opening lines?

If so, you should read an old article in the Stanford Magazine that includes opening college essay lines that the university’s admission reps particularly liked.

Opening Lines from Stanford University Admission Essays

Here are some of the Stanford admission officers’ favorite college essay opening lines from the school’s graduating 2012 class:

  • I have old hands.
  • The spaghetti burbled and slushed around the pan, and as I stirred it, the noises it gave off began to sound increasingly like bodily functions.
  • I’ve been surfing Lake Michigan since I was 3 years old.
  • On a hot Hollywood evening, I sat on a bike, sweltering in a winter coat and furry boots.
  • As an Indian-American, I am forever bound to the hyphen.
  • Unlike many mathematicians, I live in an irrational world; I feel that my life is defined by a certain amount of irrationalities that bloom too frequently, such as my brief foray in front of 400 people without my pants.
  • I change my name each time I place an order at Starbucks.
  • When I was in eighth grade I couldn’t read.
  • Sitting cross-legged on the floor of a slum dwelling in Bangalore, I ran my fingers across a fresh cut on my forehead.
  • Some fathers might disapprove of their children handling noxious chemicals in the garage.

Don’t make costly college admission mistakes…

how to write a good college essay if you are boring

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12 Strategies to Writing the Perfect College Essay

College admission committees sift through thousands of college essays each year. Here’s how to make yours stand out.

Pamela Reynolds

When it comes to deciding who they will admit into their programs, colleges consider many criteria, including high school grades, extracurricular activities, and ACT and SAT scores. But in recent years, more colleges are no longer considering test scores.

Instead, many (including Harvard through 2026) are opting for “test-blind” admission policies that give more weight to other elements in a college application. This policy change is seen as fairer to students who don’t have the means or access to testing, or who suffer from test anxiety.

So, what does this mean for you?

Simply that your college essay, traditionally a requirement of any college application, is more important than ever.

A college essay is your unique opportunity to introduce yourself to admissions committees who must comb through thousands of applications each year. It is your chance to stand out as someone worthy of a seat in that classroom.

A well-written and thoughtful essay—reflecting who you are and what you believe—can go a long way to separating your application from the slew of forgettable ones that admissions officers read. Indeed, officers may rely on them even more now that many colleges are not considering test scores.

Below we’ll discuss a few strategies you can use to help your essay stand out from the pack. We’ll touch on how to start your essay, what you should write for your college essay, and elements that make for a great college essay.

Be Authentic

More than any other consideration, you should choose a topic or point of view that is consistent with who you truly are.

Readers can sense when writers are inauthentic.

Inauthenticity could mean the use of overly flowery language that no one would ever use in conversation, or it could mean choosing an inconsequential topic that reveals very little about who you are.

Use your own voice, sense of humor, and a natural way of speaking.

Whatever subject you choose, make sure it’s something that’s genuinely important to you and not a subject you’ve chosen just to impress. You can write about a specific experience, hobby, or personality quirk that illustrates your strengths, but also feel free to write about your weaknesses.

Honesty about traits, situations, or a childhood background that you are working to improve may resonate with the reader more strongly than a glib victory speech.

Grab the Reader From the Start

You’ll be competing with so many other applicants for an admission officer’s attention.

Therefore, start your essay with an opening sentence or paragraph that immediately seizes the imagination. This might be a bold statement, a thoughtful quote, a question you pose, or a descriptive scene.

Starting your essay in a powerful way with a clear thesis statement can often help you along in the writing process. If your task is to tell a good story, a bold beginning can be a natural prelude to getting there, serving as a roadmap, engaging the reader from the start, and presenting the purpose of your writing.

Focus on Deeper Themes

Some essay writers think they will impress committees by loading an essay with facts, figures, and descriptions of activities, like wins in sports or descriptions of volunteer work. But that’s not the point.

College admissions officers are interested in learning more about who you are as a person and what makes you tick.

They want to know what has brought you to this stage in life. They want to read about realizations you may have come to through adversity as well as your successes, not just about how many games you won while on the soccer team or how many people you served at a soup kitchen.

Let the reader know how winning the soccer game helped you develop as a person, friend, family member, or leader. Make a connection with your soup kitchen volunteerism and how it may have inspired your educational journey and future aspirations. What did you discover about yourself?

Show Don’t Tell

As you expand on whatever theme you’ve decided to explore in your essay, remember to show, don’t tell.

The most engaging writing “shows” by setting scenes and providing anecdotes, rather than just providing a list of accomplishments and activities.

Reciting a list of activities is also boring. An admissions officer will want to know about the arc of your emotional journey too.

Try Doing Something Different

If you want your essay to stand out, think about approaching your subject from an entirely new perspective. While many students might choose to write about their wins, for instance, what if you wrote an essay about what you learned from all your losses?

If you are an especially talented writer, you might play with the element of surprise by crafting an essay that leaves the response to a question to the very last sentence.

You may want to stay away from well-worn themes entirely, like a sports-related obstacle or success, volunteer stories, immigration stories, moving, a summary of personal achievements or overcoming obstacles.

However, such themes are popular for a reason. They represent the totality of most people’s lives coming out of high school. Therefore, it may be less important to stay away from these topics than to take a fresh approach.

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Write With the Reader in Mind

Writing for the reader means building a clear and logical argument in which one thought flows naturally from another.

Use transitions between paragraphs.

Think about any information you may have left out that the reader may need to know. Are there ideas you have included that do not help illustrate your theme?

Be sure you can answer questions such as: Does what you have written make sense? Is the essay organized? Does the opening grab the reader? Is there a strong ending? Have you given enough background information? Is it wordy?

Write Several Drafts

Set your essay aside for a few days and come back to it after you’ve had some time to forget what you’ve written. Often, you’ll discover you have a whole new perspective that enhances your ability to make revisions.

Start writing months before your essay is due to give yourself enough time to write multiple drafts. A good time to start could be as early as the summer before your senior year when homework and extracurricular activities take up less time.

Read It Aloud

Writer’s tip : Reading your essay aloud can instantly uncover passages that sound clumsy, long-winded, or false.

Don’t Repeat

If you’ve mentioned an activity, story, or anecdote in some other part of your application, don’t repeat it again in your essay.

Your essay should tell college admissions officers something new. Whatever you write in your essay should be in philosophical alignment with the rest of your application.

Also, be sure you’ve answered whatever question or prompt may have been posed to you at the outset.

Ask Others to Read Your Essay

Be sure the people you ask to read your essay represent different demographic groups—a teacher, a parent, even a younger sister or brother.

Ask each reader what they took from the essay and listen closely to what they have to say. If anyone expresses confusion, revise until the confusion is cleared up.

Pay Attention to Form

Although there are often no strict word limits for college essays, most essays are shorter rather than longer. Common App, which students can use to submit to multiple colleges, suggests that essays stay at about 650 words.

“While we won’t as a rule stop reading after 650 words, we cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention for as long as you’d hoped it would,” the Common App website states.

In reviewing other technical aspects of your essay, be sure that the font is readable, that the margins are properly spaced, that any dialogue is set off properly, and that there is enough spacing at the top. Your essay should look clean and inviting to readers.

End Your Essay With a “Kicker”

In journalism, a kicker is the last punchy line, paragraph, or section that brings everything together.

It provides a lasting impression that leaves the reader satisfied and impressed by the points you have artfully woven throughout your piece.

So, here’s our kicker: Be concise and coherent, engage in honest self-reflection, and include vivid details and anecdotes that deftly illustrate your point.

While writing a fantastic essay may not guarantee you get selected, it can tip the balance in your favor if admissions officers are considering a candidate with a similar GPA and background.

Write, revise, revise again, and good luck!

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About the Author

Pamela Reynolds is a Boston-area feature writer and editor whose work appears in numerous publications. She is the author of “Revamp: A Memoir of Travel and Obsessive Renovation.”

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There are several ways parents can lend support to their children during the college application process. Here's how to get the ball rolling.

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