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How to Write a College Entrance Essay

how to write a college entrance essay
Written by CB Community

Writing a good application essay is not always the easiest task. But if you’re looking for answers, we’ve got them! Read on as we provide you with some important tips for making your essay stand out from the rest.

Writing a college entrance essay

The primary thing to understand about a college entrance essay is that it’s different than a motivational letter. A motivational letter relays a statement of purpose and conveys information about you as a person and academic to the selection committee. Simply put, it’s a letter about you. On the other hand, an application essay is a letter from you. Although it’s a subtle difference, it does impact how you approach writing an admissions essay.

Essay tools

Before you even begin writing, it’s a wise idea to get as much help as possible. There are many online tools to assist with your endeavor. You can start by making a list of different tools that might make writing your essay more efficient. There are tools like word or character counters, that allow you to keep track of your essay’s length while writing. Plagiarism checkers are also helpful in making sure you’re delivering unique content. These are only a few tools at your disposal, so be sure to dive in and do some research. It can go a long way in saving you some stress at the end of the process.

Essay themes

There are three ways essay themes are chosen:

  1. The topic can be predetermined by the university
  2. Students can specify a particular subject area within the category that has been given to them. Note: the essay should be directly related to the provided category
  3. Students choose their topic for the given subject at their discretion.

Regardless of how the essay theme is selected, be sure to write about something interesting!

Mistakes when choosing a topic

Choosing a topic is perhaps the most important step. It alone may tell more about the student than the paper itself. When trying to come up with a theme, start by brainstorming topics. This helps get the creative juices flowing and will assist you in finding the perfect topic. Avoid topics that are too personal or controversial. For example, some high school students choose to write about losing their virginity. This topic is far too personal and is inappropriate for this sort of essay. Topics such as religion, politics, and personal preferences should also be avoided. These sorts of topics trigger strong emotions in many people
Stick with the truth and don’t tell outright lies in your writing. With Google and a plethora of social media platforms at everyone’s disposal, it’s incredibly simple to fact check and verify information. Even a slight fib or exaggeration could have a negative impact on your application, so stick to what’s real!

Essay Structure

Your essay you should include three main components: introduction, thesis and support, and conclusion. The thesis is the main idea of ​​the work. It’s what the entire essay will pivot around. During the drafting process, figuring out your thesis will help to guide your process an ensure that your have a consistent, cohesive piece of writing.
Arguments for your thesis should consist of several parts and be backed up by additional support. Remember that any excerpts or quotes from others’ works should be properly cited. Your work should be divided into paragraphs, with each paragraph representing a specific thought or idea. Following these guidelines will result in a well-structured essay.


Starting an essay can be difficult. The subconscious stress of knowing there is a lot of competition to get into college can make one feel overwhelmed. Similar to our initial tip for finding tools to help you, do your research to find useful advice from other resources on the initial steps on writing a motivation letter. The truth is, most essays are typical. Your main task when writing your paper is to give readers a “hook”. This means that there is a proposal that will awaken the reader’s interest and is directly related to the main topic. Try to find something that characterizes your thesis (or the problem posed) most accurately. For example, the opinion of a well-known expert in this field, or an unremarkable fact that suits your thesis as well as possible.
Next, gradually develop the idea from the hook and transition into the main part of the essay. Describe the problem posed as simply as possible, and only write about what directly affects your thesis.

Basic mistakes in the introduction:

  1. Clichés – Most of the applicants use shocking facts from the press, the “rules of life” of famous people, or flat jokes. For example, the different phrases said by Steve Jobs. These should be avoided.
  2. “Dryness” – Keep in mind that your task is to draw attention and keep it there throughout the text. If you start out dry, the attention of the reader will fade away before the main part of the composition.


A thesis is not a proven fact, nor is it the result of observations. As such, there aren’t a lot of rules for writing this part. Feel free to tell your story in a way that makes the reader fall in love with you.

The main mistakes in stating the thesis:

  1. Interrogative form. The main goal of the thesis is to express your opinion. If you approach the question too philosophically and do not occupy a certain position, your paper will lose the very meaning of the argumentation and turn into abstract reflections that have not found the answer.
  2. Too much volume. Keep in mind that the observance of the basic structure is important. Thesis by definition is capacious, but not too long of a statement. Distinguish the conclusion from the arguments and do not paint the thesis throughout the whole write up.


Writing a college essay is no joke. If you apply some basic principles and do your due diligence during the preparation phase, you can save substantial time and decrease stress. Most importantly don’t overthink it and have fun. Stay in the moment and enjoy the process.

For more great blogs on all things college, check out the other blogs at College Basics.

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CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.