The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Struggles with a College Application Essay What Should I Write About?


Struggles with a College Application Essay

What Should I Write About?

By Nicole Clark
I hear a common question from students who will be seniors this fall: “What should I write about for my personal statement?” Everyone knows that your college essays and your personal statement are very important parts of your applications. Your essays are your opportunity to share your story and present yourself as more than your GPA, your test scores and your school profile. 

So, how do you write a great essay?  How do you show the admissions committee that you are a good fit for their college? How do you show them that you are better than that low grade in your least favorite subject? What will get their attention and win you a spot at their college? Here are 3 suggestions to get you started:

Tell YOUR Story – Pick a topic that you are passionate about and might easily spend some time exploring through writing. You want your voice to shine through the words on the paper, so if you enjoy your topic, you will have a better chance of showing your best side. And yes, use the narrative skills that you learned in your creative writing class. You want the reader to be interested from the very first sentence!

Ask Yourself 2 Questions – Does my essay address the question or writing prompt? Have you given the college the information that they are asking for? You may have to cut sections and rewrite your essay to make sure that you are giving them a clear answer and picture of you. So what? If you have answered the question, that’s great, but now ask yourself why your story is important. You are a dynamic young person with a lot to offer any university, so make sure you show this.

Proofread – This may be the most important suggestion to help you to look like college material. Spelling and grammatical errors indicate carelessness and/or poor writing habits. Read your essay aloud for clarity and show your counselor, teachers, and parents for their editing eyes. 

Use these suggestions to get started as early as possible, LIKE NOW, so that you have time to draft and revise great college essays. You have all the skills you need, so don’t let procrastination get in your way. 

Nichole Clark and Ellen Supple co-founded LIFEmaps for College and Career. They specialize in helping students and families find the right-fit college for aspirations and budgets.

Sonoma County NEWS you can USE