How Do I Write My Essay to Impress the College Admissions Officer?

When you apply for admission into international colleges and universities, you are competing with a number of applicants with good test scores, high school grades, and recommendations. So, the admission authorities use essay writing to select the most talented students from the pool of shortlisted candidates. Essay presents a unique opportunity to present the information that could not fit into your admission application, and make a strong case on why you deserve admission over other applicants.


While students invest a good amount of time in writing essays, admission officers only quickly scan through them. We often get queries from students asking “how do I write my essay in such a way that it leaves a strong impression on the university admissions team in such a short period of time?”

Summing up your years of experience in a few hundred words is in fact a daunting task. If you are planning to take up the writing yourself, keep these few essay writing tips in mind:

Write on something that’s close to your heart

Choose a topic you strongly feel about. Brainstorm a few ideas you may love writing about and shortlist the one that brings out the best in you. Think about the experiences, people, and events that had an impact on your life. Don’t worry about finding an impressive topic from academic point of view because most of that information will already be there in your application and resume. You can write on almost anything and everything.

Structure your essay

Your essay must have an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction and conclusion are usually a paragraph or two each, while the body contains several paragraphs. Make sure the paragraphs are not long enough. Try to keep them within the 100 word limit. Use captions, headings, and subheadings wherever possible.

Tell your story in a unique way

While a number of applications usually have similarities in terms of academics and extracurricular activities, your essay gives you an opportunity to be yourself. You have your own unique background. Your personality and interests are different from those of other applicants. Make the most of it. Be creative and honest to tell your story in your own personal way.

Follow the instructions

Follow the instructions mentioned in the application. Additionally, go through the guidelines mentioned on the university website, which may look something like this. If the college wants you use a certain writing style, make sure you stick to it. Answer all the questions that are asked. Be as specific as possible, and avoid using the same answer for multiple questions. Also, be careful not to contradict the information provided in your resume, application, and other documents.

Prepare a draft

Writing the perfect essay in one go may be tough. The easier way is to begin with making notes and prepare a broad outline. You can refine the draft later on by adding what you missed out and removing what is irrelevant. Repeating the refining process a few times should give you great results.

Proofread and edit

Read and re-read the essay for spelling, grammatical, and style-related errors. Reading aloud often helps fix the readability issues. Ask someone, maybe your teacher or counselor, to have a look at the essay you wrote. A third person is more likely to catch the mistakes that you couldn’t.

Last but not the least, keep it short and sweet. Brevity, clarity, and specificity will make your essay stand out, giving you a better chance of securing admission in the college.