Writing the College Application Essay
Ace the app.
Writing a college entrance essay is intimidating, and it frequently rates a seven on most students' lists of "Ten things that are only slightly better than getting a root canal in a gas station bathroom." You probably feel like your essay can make the difference between a ticket to a top-rated university and a diploma from Jim Bob's BBQ and Technical College. And while it's true that there's a lot riding on your 500-650 word response, we don't think writing this essay has to suck as much as you might think it will. In fact, we believe that writing a college entrance essay can actually be (wait for it) fun. Okay, maybe not fun, but certainly a lot less horrendously craptastic than you thought it would be. And definitely easier.
Make no mistake, when we say easy, we don't mean sit back and watch the essay magically type itself as you eat Hot Pockets and Instagram pictures of said Hot Pockets. But we do mean that once you focus in on a few key components of the essay writing process, it might just feel like your essay wrote itself.
We took a cue from New Kids on the Block when we designed this course. No, we didn't whip out our acid washed jeans (circa 1984), but we did discover that breaking the writing process down step by step ("ooh, baby"), would make composing a stellar application essay so much easier than trying to bang it out all in one sitting. When you take it slow (and also take it seriously), you'll end up with an essay you'll be proud to submit, and maybe even one that will win you a spot at your favorite university. And guess what? We can help you. Ready to get started? Let's go.
- Microsoft Office, Google Docs, or another word processing program
- All other work can be done via the Shmoop website.
Unit 1. Writing the College Application Essay
Designed to take students from muddled, confused thoughts to complete, polished essay.