How to Make Your College Essay Stand Out | Tips & Examples

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Writing a college essay can be a daunting task, especially when you’re competing against thousands of other applicants. The essay is your chance to showcase your personality, passion, and writing skills, so you want to make sure it stands out from the crowd. In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and examples on how to make your college essay stand out and impress the admissions committee.


The college essay is an important part of your application package and can be a deciding factor in whether or not you’re accepted into the college of your dreams. It’s your chance to show the admissions committee who you are beyond your grades and test scores. So, it’s important to make sure your essay is well-written, engaging, and most importantly, memorable.

How to Make Your College Essay Unique

Here are some tips to help you make your essay stand out and be remembered by the admissions committee:

  1. Choose a unique topic: Instead of writing about a common topic like your favorite hobby or a meaningful experience, try to think of something that sets you apart from other applicants. It could be a unique perspective on a common topic, or a completely unusual experience that has shaped who you are.
  2. Show, don’t tell: Instead of just telling the admissions committee about your achievements or personality, show them through anecdotes and examples. This will make your essay more engaging and memorable.
  3. Be yourself: The admissions committee wants to get to know the real you, so don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be honest and genuine in your writing, and let your personality shine through.
  4. Use vivid language: Strong, descriptive language will make your essay stand out and bring your experiences to life. Avoid cliches and overused phrases, and try to be creative and original in your writing.
  5. Proofread, proofread, proofread: A well-written essay can be ruined by typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes. Take the time to proofread your essay carefully and make sure it’s polished and error-free.

How to Make Your College Essay Engaging

In addition to being unique, your essay also needs to be engaging to keep the reader’s attention. Here are some tips to help you write an essay that will captivate the admissions committee:

  1. Start with a hook: Begin your essay with an attention-grabbing introduction that will make the reader want to keep reading. It could be a quote, a question, or a vivid description.
  2. Use active voice: Active voice makes your writing more engaging and dynamic. It puts the focus on the action and the subject, making your essay more interesting to read.
  3. Use anecdotes: Personal anecdotes are a great way to add depth and personality to your essay. They allow the reader to get to know you on a more personal level and see what makes you unique.
  4. Be concise: Keep your essay focused and to-the-point. Avoid rambling or including irrelevant information, as this will make your essay less engaging and harder to follow.

Show, Don’t Tell

When writing your essay, it’s important to show, not tell, the admissions committee who you are. Instead of simply listing your achievements or qualities, try to use concrete examples that illustrate these traits. This will make your essay more interesting and memorable.

For example, instead of saying that you’re a hard worker, describe a time when you put in extra effort to achieve a goal. This not only shows your determination, but it also demonstrates your problem-solving skills and ability to persevere in the face of adversity.

Keep It Personal

Your essay should be personal and reflective, so don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with the admissions committee. The more personal you make your essay, the more it will stand out and resonate with the reader.

For example, if you’ve faced a significant challenge in your life, you could write about how you overcame it and what you learned from the experience. This not only shows your resilience, but it also demonstrates your ability to grow and learn from your mistakes.

Write Clearly and Concisely

It’s important to write clearly and concisely so that your message comes across loud and clear. Use simple, straightforward language and avoid complex sentences and jargon. The admissions committee should be able to understand your message without any difficulty.

Revise, Revise, Revise

Finally, it’s important to revise your essay multiple times to make sure it’s the best it can be. Have friends, family members, or a teacher review your essay and give you feedback. Make sure to address any issues they point out, and don’t be afraid to make revisions and rewrite sections of your essay if necessary.

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