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Guide to writing Ivy league college admission essays with Excellent examples

By Evans May 26, 2020

High school senior year marks one of the most anxious periods in a student’s life. It is characterized by a huge number of assignments, sending out college applications and the dreaded college admission essay. To top it off, some courses or colleges present bizarre topics on which to write your essay.

Since your college admission essay determines whether you get accepted or not, it should be written masterfully and carefully. This article is a guide on how to write a good admission essay, with a number of tips on how to make it even better.

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Tips for Writing a Good Application Essay

Understand The Prompt and Question

Before penning down a word of your admission essay, it is important that you understand the question(s) and what it expects from you. At the end of the essay, the question that was asked should have been answered fully and in detail. First, go through the question. Read every word of it and highlight the keywords. Afterward, take the time to think about it before brainstorming on the different ways to answer it.

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Brainstorm On The Question

Brainstorming on what to write is something that should be done carefully as it determines the course that your essay is going to take. There are four stages to brainstorming when writing your college admission essay:

  • Reflect – What makes you unique? What can you draw from your experiences so far that would set you aside from the other applicants? In this stage, consider how your friends and family describe you and how it can be linked to the question that has been asked.
  • Note down your ideas – After reflection, you are sure to have gotten an idea or two on what to write about. Write down these ideas exhaustively, without discriminating on whether it sounds stupid or far-fetched. Do it randomly without any thought to whether there is an order followed or not.
  • Narrow down your options – What you have written down in stage two is a mess with no particular order. In this stage, you give order to the mess. What best fits the college admission essay topic that you have been given? What can you pour yourself into? Narrow down using a scope, and in this case, the scope is the topic given or the question that you are trying to answer.
  • Pick your story – Choose a story from the list of the ones that you narrowed down to in the previous stage. Ensure that the story you have picked has enough to draw from your experiences, abilities, beliefs and achievements.
  • Create An Outline

    Now that you have decided on the story that you want to tell, the next logical step would be to write it. Then again, this should not be done arbitrarily. You need to create an outline that you will use when writing your essay. Most times, an outline should not be based on the college admission essay format which will be discussed below. However, this format may vary depending on your university of choice or the course you intend to pursue, as will be explained below.

    Write The Essay

    Now that you have the outline as your guiding light to use when writing your essay, it is time to write it. It is said that a writer is only as good as his rewrites, and this is how you are going to hack this essay. First, write down a rough draft without going back to edit anything. After you are done, read through it while noting the mistakes.

    Editing and rewriting should be done in sections, and after you are satisfied that each of it is in order, move on to the next section. After you are done editing, read through it a second time. Rinse and repeat until you are sure that the final copy is as close to perfect as it can get.

    Be sure to keep the focus of the essay narrow and personal. Don’t tell your whole life story, but tell enough of it to answer the question. As you are telling your story, be honest, be yourself and do it in the most concise way you can.


    Even after confirming that your essay is as close to perfect as it can get, you need to get it closer still. After rewriting the essay several times, keep it away. Let it sit for a couple of hours untouched or even a whole day where the deadline isn’t close. After catching the new episode of that TV show you love or going a few chapters of the book you have been reading, go through your essay one more time. Correct any mistakes you find, but be sure not to rely on grammar and spelling checkers as they cannot put your words into context.

    You can also have another person read through the essay and give you an opinion on whether there are any mistakes that you have missed. The final grammar and tense check for your college admission essay is done by you reading it out loud. Also, while reading it out loud, check if the paragraphs have a consistency and flow.

    College Admission Essay Format


    A college admission essay doesn’t typically require a title unless it has been specifically mentioned in the instructions. It will only serve to eat into your word count.

    Font, Spacing and Paragraphs

    Unless otherwise specified, use 1.5 or double spacing for your essay, format it with a one-inch margin all around and clearly delineate your paragraphs using a single space tab. The font should be easy to read, e.g. Times New Roman, and should be of size 12.


    The language used in the writing of an application essay should be formal and professional. Avoid cutesy and colloquial formatting choices as they are unprofessional and immature. Furthermore, avoid humor unless you are absolutely sure of it. What is funny to you may not be funny to someone else.


    The college admission essay format is dependent on the structure you use when writing it. You are probably used to the standard five-paragraph essay with the introduction, three-paragraph body and the conclusion. However, in most cases, this is not the recommended format for an application essay.

    The introduction is vital for an admission essay. Here, the reader is introduced to the idea of what you are going to write about. The format of the body is dependent on what you want to write about, and this content is dependent on the college admission essay topic you have. If the question expects a narrative of sorts, your essay will take a narrative format. Each paragraph in this instance will be part of the narrative you are giving. The same applies where the essay is critical one or a persuasive essay.

    Writing an admissions essay is a chance to break off the standard five-paragraph essay as this gives you a little room to wiggle around. However, just like a five-paragraph essay, you need to wrap it up using a neat conclusion.

    Examples of College admission essays

    Below are examples of college admission essays written by ghostwriters. The admission essays guaranteed the students a place in some of the prestigious colleges in the United States.

    College Admission Essay At Paper Per Hour

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