How to write a college essay: the ultimate guide

How to write a college essay

This guide outlines how to write a college essay, with tactics and tips for how to get started, and the college essay format to follow.

Writing essays is something that will never go away and will always be part of a student’s academic progression at colleges and universities across the world. An essay is a great opportunity for a student to showcase their writing skills and prove they’ll have a promising career when they graduate. 

Some students who don’t quite grasp how to write a college essay or are not good at writing essays often ask themselves, “Who out there can do my essay for me if I’m struggling?”. There are plenty of essay services out there that are more than happy to write papers for students because they have writers who know how to write a college essay and are specialists in many subjects.

How to write a college essay: step by step

Below is everything you need to know for how to write a college essay when it comes to producing a top-quality essay. 

Read and follow the instructions 

When a tutor gives students their assignments, it will normally come with instructions that need to be followed. A student needs to read them carefully as the first step in how to write a college essay before they begin to type the assignment. This is very obvious but can be missed by many students. 

If one wants to get a high mark and impress their tutor, following the guidelines provided will do their chances no harm. Essay instructions vary from one university or college to another; however, common instructions which are found in many essays include word count, writing style, page numbering, table of contents, and references just to name a few.

Come up with an essay topic if one has not been provided

Any essay no matter the level will not get off the ground if it doesn’t have any topic and when a student brainstorms, they can come up with the right topic if one wasn’t provided. The art of brainstorming in how to write a college essay allows a student to capture the version of what they want to write in their essay. To pick the ideal topic, one has to narrow their focus and if they are still struggling, they can reach out to family, friends, classmates, or even an essay writing service.

Draft up the outline 

When a student has a clear picture of what their topic is, they can start shaping the outline. A good structure for how to write a college essay will have a good beginning, a body that is filled with facts, and an ending that leaves a lasting impression. The first thing a student needs to do is add points that will back up their thesis. This way, a student will be able to know which order the points will go to ensure the essay flows as they would like. A good college or university essay will have the following flow 


  • An opening that is attention-grabbing to get the readers hooked 
  • An overview of what the essay is about 
  • A thesis at the end 

Main body 

  • Main points presented with at least 2-3 ideas making up each paragraph 
  • Provide readers with examples and as many details as possible with each point made 


  • Summarise all the main points made in the essay 
  • Echo the thesis statement which was made in the introduction 
  • Close with a memorable line that is compelling and strong. 

If all of this sounds familiar, it is because a college or university essay has a similar format to a high school one. When one has an awesome outline in place, the only thing left is to fill in the gaps to get the message across.

Have a killer introduction and strong supporting points 

No student should ever underestimate the power of a good opening statement in how to write a college essay. An introduction that’s engaging sets the tone for the rest of the essay. If readers are out at the beginning, they won’t finish reading the content. If it’s a college essay, there is a very high chance a student will lose marks for having a lackluster introduction. 

The opening statement has to grab a reader’s curiosity and a student can do this by making it memorable, witty, clever, or intriguing. Experimentation is key in how to write a college essay, and a student shouldn’t be scared to experiment with different ways to get their opening statement across. For the statements in an essay to hold water and be credible, they need to be supported. 

Any ideas that a student brings to the table in their essay, need to make sure they are well-supported for the essay to come across as reliable and honest as possible. If a student is writing a paper on how to deal with pressure, they need to talk about their own experiences. This is the best way to better connect with the reader, especially if they are under pressure themselves. By throwing in real-life examples, a student can strengthen their arguments, which ultimately gives them a massive chance to get a higher mark for how to write a college essay. 

Add personality to the paper 

To make an essay completely stand out, it needs to show a student’s true colors. It needs to create an impression on the administrators, and one can do this in how to write a college essay by letting their personality shine in their essay. A student should avoid copying an essay writing company or someone else’s writing style, tone, or even format. 

A student has to use their tone of voice while being grammatically correct and polite at the same time. Most essay writing services always encourage students to write how they speak in real life. If one has a good sense of humor, it is a good idea to add jokes in an essay unless appropriate because they can be taken the wrong way if not used properly. 

Focus is needed 

Essays always have a word count and a student needs to stay focused and stick to the word count given. One should only write straight to the point, instead of filling the essay with content that is out of place or content that shouldn’t be there in the first place. 

A student should also never stray away from the topic at hand because it will distract the reader from the message they want to get across. Adding in things for the sake of it can lead to readers losing interest especially if they are confused. A student has to strongly stick to their outline and ensure every single word they put in the essay supports their arguments. 

Revise the paper 

It is impossible to write a perfect paper at the first draft. There will always be grammar and spelling mistakes made which one needs to correct in how to write a college essay. When the essay is done, a student can set it aside and read it again later, this way they will be able to spot any mistakes they missed and see if the final draft is compelling enough.  When a student does this early enough, they give themselves enough time to make changes. 


Having a fresh pair of eyes look at an essay a student has written gives them the best possible chance to get a high mark in how to write a college essay.  A student can ask for feedback from a variety of parties like family, friends, fellow students, paper writing services, and more. They will be able to let a student know which areas need to be retouched to make the paper even better. 

When putting together an essay, your ultimate goal should be to leave a lasting impression on your tutors. They will go through thousands of essays every year, but you always have to make sure that yours stands out from your peers if you want to get a high mark. The reason why a college or university makes their students write essays is that they want to see drive, personality, and ambition. They want to see your views on the things that you’re learning, your originality, and your creativity as well.


This article has highlighted the key steps needed to produce a good college essay fast and easily, and if a student follows the steps for how to write a college essay religiously, they will have no issues turning in a stellar paper.

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