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12 Tips for Writing an Application Essay in 2022

Markus Winkler

The admission process is not an easy one. It usually takes high school students at least a year to prepare if they want to achieve high test scores, demonstrate extracurricular involvement, and meet other qualification requirements.

Most importantly, this process is also human. Students-to-be are requested to submit application essays to add a bit of personality to the whole process. These essays help admissions officers understand who they are dealing with and if an applicant really deserves a seat in the program.

Yet, there is something intimidating in writing a solid application essay. It requires a lot of effort and time because the answer to the prompt must be solid and meaningful. At the same time, it should sound personal to get positive feedback from the admissions office. Just imagine it: they get thousands of responses and have to select a certain percentage out of pretty competitive and deserving applicants.

Of course, you can address professionals who can make your application outstanding. Writers from EssayPro have years of experience in application essay writing, helping students make their way to colleges and universities.

You can also master this art by yourself and make your application essay stand out. All you need is to learn and follow a few tips listed below. But first, let’s learn a bit more about application essays as a type of writing assignment.

What an application essay really is?

An application essay is obviously an essay that applicants write to address admissions officers and add more personality to their admission process. This is a real opportunity to impress staff and help them select your application from a pool of competitors. If your story inspires and reflects your skills and ambitions, there is almost a 100% guarantee that you will be selected.

All US colleges and universities demand essays from their future students. After all, they help assess applicants’ ability to communicate, as well as their motivation and experience. Thus, you’d better get prepared and learn a few tips to succeed in writing and improve your chances.

How to ace application essay writing?

Choose the right prompt

First of all, before you even get to writing an application essay, select the right prompt. Often, applicants have several questions or topics to choose from. Think of the answers you can offer and focus on the questions you feel most confident in. You must ensure that your response positions you as a leader and achiever rather than just a doer.

Build an outline

If needed, build an outline for every topic and make your choice easier. If you are confident in a certain prompt, a good outline can structure your answer properly. Having a plan always helps in groping your strengths and hiding weaknesses. Don’t ignore it as it really helps in brainstorming noteworthy ideas for a winning essay.

Practice freewriting

No one expects you to write an outstanding application essay on the first attempt. On the contrary, writing a great essay always takes time and lasts several rounds. That’s why don’t be concerned with the form; instead, practice freewriting to cover your story. You’ll have time to build an academic structure later.

Make a statement

Admissions officers especially value those essays where applicants make a solid personal statement. Weak and vague sentences can hardly secure you a seat in the program. On the contrary, your willingness to take responsibility for your thoughts and ideas is the factor that impacts officers’ decisions.

Stick to the structure

Admission essays, personal statements, and application essays indeed let students express their ideas more than any other essays. However, they are still part of academic assignments. Thus, if you start writing your essay by freewriting, you shouldn’t forget that it’s still important to maintain academic structure.

Do not think that you can skip all the rules and requirements and impress readers with an unstructured flow of your ideas. Comprehensiveness and consistency are still valued very much. However, you are allowed to deviate from a regular five-paragraph structure to better express your ideas within the limited word count.

Write and revise

Do not think that application essays can be written instantly. You must have enough time to re-read and proofread it all several times before you actually submit the final draft. Moreover, you need to be able to step away from writing and return when you feel refreshed. This approach will help you look at your writing from a different perspective and discover inconsistencies that were left unnoticed before.

Check grammar and spelling

Admissions staff are especially cautious when it comes to typos and grammar issues. Such things are absolutely intolerable. It is assumed that you have enough time to run all kinds of checks before you submit the paper. So, you’d better start writing earlier to have enough time to detect all grammar and spelling issues in your writing.

Follow the word count requirement

Application essays are usually short. Based on the depth of the questions, students are allowed to write from 550 to 1,000 normally. Don’t exceed this specification. Also, do not go way under the limit. Your essay must be planned so well that you express what you want and need while staying within the allowed thresholds.

Be creative

An application essay wins if its author avoids cliches. Admissions officers read thousands of those essays per week. They want to see something original and creative rather than just a copy of old ideas. Write less but work on it in detail. Worn-off cliché phrases won’t help you land a seat in the program.

Use specific examples

Instead of just writing about your experiences, share them. Tell your story and explain how those ideas and conclusions were born. Make your application essay sound personal and enrich it with examples. This will make it interesting to read and will make your candidature outstanding.

Choose active voice over passive

A great application essay requires you to position yourself as an achiever rather than just a doer. You shouldn’t sound weak. On the contrary, it must be you who performs the action and achieves the result. You should be the one who creates an environment for success. Otherwise, it always sounds as if circumstances helped you achieve it.

Ask someone you trust to read your essay

Even if you have already proofread your essay several times, it makes sense to ask your friend to do it once again. The thing is that you might be blind to certain inconsistencies since the events you describe look clear to you. Your friend can help you identify sentences that don’t make sense and improve them.


Our best advice for you is to focus on application essay writing if your goal is to enter college or university. This essay has a direct effect on your chances of admission.

That’s why it’s better to start writing it early to have enough time to proofread, edit and improve it. After all, it indeed matters what statement you make, so you’d better keep it with you for a little while before submitting it.

Thus, make sure you choose the right pattern, allocate enough time, and remember essay writing best practices when you need to write application essays. Creative insight and personal experience are also key to making your paper stand out from the crowd.

Written by Landon Buford

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