Key Elements of a College Essay

What should I write my college essay about? This is a common question with most students every college student needs to understand all the elements of a college essay. Usually, this is one of the most challenging processes in a student’s application process. It can be intimidating having to show your personality impressively. Fortunately, sites like can come in handy when it comes to addressing these issues. While you cannot change your grades, or alter the content in your recommendation letters, the college essay is totally under your control. Work on writing a memorable text.

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

elements of a college essay

Seeing how crucial a college admission essay is, students must understand all the elements of a college essay. Your goal is to make it stand out from all the other types of essays. It has to be a strong paper that reflects your true nature, capturing different aspects of your personality. It also has to be written honestly and originally, and with a sharp focus. The best college essays often represent the students optimally, leaving no doubts.

General Elements in all College Essays

Experts like My Homework Writers pitch it as the best online essay help service will advise students on a few things. One crucial thing will be to keep in mind key pointers when writing college essays. These are considered the basic elements of a college essay. While most essays will follow a specific format, there are a few things that cut across all college essays. So what are these elements that make an essay stand out?


Personality is considered one of the most crucial elements of a college essay. This kind of essay needs to reflect and portray who you are. This means that you should consider choosing college essay topics that reflect your true self. You should always take a moment to think about what you want to write before starting. Consider your interests, the things you enjoy doing, and your hobbies. However, only mention things that they are relevant to your application. Emphasize on your driving forces and push in life.

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

As one of the most important elements of a college essay, write down all the ideas that come to mind. Avoid guessing what admission officers will expect from you because you are not likely to get this right. Focus on writing about your true self, weaving in the accomplishments that you can back up with proof.


If you doubt anything, stay away from it. It is extremely important to express your true feelings, even when you feel desperate about it. You may want to write based on someone else’s experience, but this leads to plagiarism and lack of authenticity. Describe your true accomplishments carefully, avoiding false information that could make you look better than you really are. Honesty counts as one of the elements of a college essay that should be easy to note in the text.

Authenticity and originality

When looking at major elements of a college essay, keep in mind that the admission officers are busy people. They read thousands of papers daily and only go with those that strike them the most. Do not be among those who write boring essays that get thrown on the side. Aim at impressing the officers by writing captivating content that stands out. You could ask your friends about their topic choices. Stay away from such topics and choose an outstanding topic. Work on arresting the reader’s attention and affording yourself the outstanding opportunity.

Focus is key

Well, like everything else, college essays have formats and length limits. It is, therefore, important not to write everything that pops into one’s head. Come up with a topic, pick a side, and stick to the position you have chosen. The last thing you need is to confuse the reader with incomprehensible content with no flow or value. Usually, the success of any well-written academic paper lies in the writer’s ability not to go off-track. Always write to meet or exceed expectations.

Crucial Steps not to Miss When Writing a College Essay

Students need to master all the elements of a college essay if they write an impressive essay that will earn them a coveted spot in their college of choice. As such, following a specific procedure when writing this content is crucial. All students that adhere to this are likely to impress the admission board, increasing their chances of joining prestigious institutions.

Brainstorm the Best Topic From Your Life

elements of a college essay

The goal is to own the topic and personalize it. As one of the elements of a college essay, the topic is king. You should remember that the essay’s structure will be meaningless if you do not hack the topic first. Think about a topic that best represents your personal interests and attributes. Always go for topics that stretch and build up into an interesting narration about your achievements. It could be academic or not. You want to go for a topic that allows you to discuss your attributes, strengths, values, and skills. To do this well, you may have to consider the following:

  1. Capture all relevant feelings
  2. Capture the essence of the object
  3. Make sure it reflects everything you want the college to know about you

Two things can happen when you capture these elements of a college essay correctly. Your essay will either be too deep where you discuss one moment in life exhaustively in a narrative format. It can also be too wide where you discuss many components at once following the montage structure. Find a strategy that works for you based on your topic choice.

Learn to Structure Your Essay.

Once you have brainstormed and come up with a great topic of choice, choose a format or structure. Go for one that can help align the content in a logical manner. The structure is considered one of the elements of a college essay students should be careful with.

Fortunately, there are several structures students can use to construct their essays. Narratives work for challenges, whereas Montage will be perfect when discussing multiple life issues. The point is to make the college application essay easy to read and understand without leaving important aspects out.

Narrative Format

elements of a college essay

This is one of the best formats to use when writing college essays. This format is best suited for students who want to focus on challenges that build up. Basically, it follows the structure where different elements are addressed as follows:

  • Introduction of oneself
  • Introduction of a challenge or life-changing moment. This could be something like the death of the family’s breadwinner. Discuss how this happened and what it meant to the family.
  • The evolution of the change and its impacts. Discuss how this death leads to life-shuttering losses like losing the family home due to lack of income. It is crucial to build-up the story at this stage. Create and build the tension that will capture the reader’s emotions, forcing them to be empathetic to their plight.
  • Climax. At this point in the essay, you need to make the reader know what your decision is. Let the reader know how you choose to get out of the situation, describing the actions you will take. You can discuss how the pain and grief fuelled your determination to make it in life.
  • Outcome and conclusion. Narrating your difficulties is not the end game in this case. You should explain the reasons for your story at this point. Let the reader know what you gained from your hardship and tough experiences. You could mention the skills that emerged from the ordeal and if you had any perspective changes.

Montage Structure

Unlike narration, where the story builds up from one point to the next, Montage is different. This structure of a college essay will help you write memorable college essays with ease. Not all students have had traumatic experiences that can make excellent college essays. If you fall into this bracket, then the montage structure will work for you.

Here, students will need to focus on several qualities, values, or skills in their life. Aim at creating a whole piece from fragmented pieces. If you have a lot of information to convey in a single essay, then adopt this structure. One of the best ways to win with this structure is to make it visual.

Write with the reader in mind and strive to have an emotional connection with them through your writing. You should also write about something that you know so much about. Even so, pick a focus point and go wide with it.

Choose the Right Format

Format choice is also one of the crucial elements of a college essay. Do you know how to write a college essay format that is captivating and easy-flowing? Well, students should understand that there is no sure bet when it comes to essay formats. After all, none of the formats on its own will get a student to college.

Students should strive to write coherent narratives of themselves using a structure and format that works best for them. In some cases, blending formats sometimes leads to outstanding college essays. Keep it is simple and compelling.

Testing the Essay Format and Structure

While the essay format or structure is not restricted, you need to choose one that helps achieve your goal. Aim at proving to the college that you will be a valuable addition to the institution. Choose a format that helps you deliver the necessary information in a straightforward and clear manner. You should also show your vulnerability and insights. In case you have special skills, choose a format that allows you to describe them in detail.

elements of a college essay

Test to see that you have captured all the core values you want your college to know. Read your essay aloud and see what comes out clearly. You will discover and fix those that are not clear, and also include those that may have been missed. Reading through the article will also help you ensure that the content connects from the start to the end. You do not want to miss any of the important elements of a college essay in your write-up.

Writing the College Essay – How to Start Your Essay

Are you still wondering how to start a college essay about yourself? Have you received your college application essay prompts but are unsure how to start? You are not alone. A lot of students struggle with this, yet it is one of the most crucial parts of the essay. It is what will keep the reader interested and hooked.

It is easy to make the mistake of starting your essays with conventional mistakes. The results are having your essay thrown aside for lack of originality. To avoid joining these statistics, mastering how to write a college essay about yourself is crucial. Know how to start right. Fortunately, it is easy considering that there are several options to go for as your opening statements.

Full Hemmingway

This is a pictorial approach that focuses on a specific moment without going into details. It tends to follow the direction where dialogues speak for themselves. The writer starts the essays in such a way that paints a picture in the reader’s mind. A good example would be:

I would be woken up every Saturday morning by the sweet smell of freshly brewed coffee. Unable to hold it, I would then stumble out of bed to find my mother patiently brewing a kettle for our morning breakfast.

elements of a college essay

Even without being present at the writer’s home, you can almost picture this weekend routine by reading it. This introduction works magic because it helps the reader visualize the scenario clearly. However, you should stick to simple things when choosing to begin your essay in this manner. When the reader fails to acknowledge what you have written, you are likely to be dismissed as difficult.

Mini Hemmingway

Just like the previous style, two to three pictorial sentences can be used to introduce the essay. However, you need to add an extra sentence that explains your image. This eliminates any form of doubt. For instance, using the example above, you can add that that was your family’s weekend routine. When the reader gets to this last sentence, he or she will understand what you were describing above. What’s more, the last sentence can also allude to your values. This could include close family ties and traditions that you observe diligently. Consider the example below:

All I could see was a coffee brown box going down, pebbles and leaves, loosely following it down below. The thought of not having said goodbye properly did not allow me to throw dirt on her coffin. It was unbelievable that grandma was no more, yet I had talked to her a few weeks back. I refused to let go of her memories.

From the example above, the reader will empathize with the writer’s loss. He or she may even feel present at the burial because of how it was described. The following lines explain the context of the burial and the emotions surrounding it. This is what makes it a powerful start of an essay.

The Twist

When writing college admission essay examples about yourself, you may want to start with a twist. While the Hemmingways may be common, a twist is unique and will definitely make you stand out. In this case, a writer starts by creating a certain expectation in the reader and then suddenly diverts in a way that surprises the reader.


C:\Users\WANJIRA\Downloads\reflection 6.jpeg

All through my life, my parents knew me as their little girl. They dotted on me because I could do no wrong. Looking at me, one could only see a little angel who loved her toys and pets. You could categorize me as a shy and reserved child. I enjoyed spending time by the beach and would brighten at the sight of little treats, chocolate being my favourite. But what no one else knew was that deep down, their little girl was a young gymnast and a karate champion with unmatched confidence.

This start will work well for an essay because it diverts the attention of the reader from what he or she would have concluded. The introduction of a new aspect of the writer surprisingly comes up, offsetting already formed mindsets. When the reader starts to conclude on how mellow and sweet the writer is, another side is introduced. This keeps him or her interested in what you have to write next.

You can also play around with your own traits where you explain your best traits and then tear them down by introducing an aspect that will keep the reader wanting to know more.


All my life, I have been known as the young student who stands for justice. It is always a joy for me to defend those who cannot stand for themselves. Many have assumed that my brilliant scores and academic excellence are the force behind my boldness. The over 500 hours of community service in dog shelters, homeless shelters, special education camps, and even libraries may be attributed to this. What’s more, my ability to impress boards and judges in different competitions still puts me among the best. But to be sincere, I am none of these things. It dawned on me that I am not even one of those things because of the following five things.

elements of a college essay

In the example above, the writer captures our attention when he or she first describes a seemingly unbeaten record that many would desire for themselves. The surprise comes in when the writer deconstructs this notion, leaving the reader with the urge to know more.
Philosophical Questions

This is one of the best college essay tips from admission counselors. In this case, you should start your essay by asking a question that you won’t answer in the essay. If you have been wondering about how to capture the attention of the admission board without seeming too obvious and ambiguous, then a philosophical question will do the trick.

What this does is that it gives you a chance to show your brilliance in a simple manner. It adds to the idea of getting the reader to think about a situation you want to point out. Remember, the question you ask should not have any straightforward answer but should leave the reader thinking about it. For instance, you could ask:

Are some humans more equal than others? It seems as though those with money are better humans than those without.

Such a statement will serve as a controversy that leaves the reader wondering about your critical thinking ability. Choose statements and questions that will flow with the direction of your essay. For example, the choice of the question above can come before you start explaining your monetary challenges. Build up your argument by further explaining how they made you seem like a lesser human being. Be careful not to choose ambiguous questions or statements that can easily water-down your intent.


Some writers have brilliantly learnt how to start their essays by confessing something they are likely to be judged for. This is a brilliant idea because you choose to judge yourself first before anyone else does. It is an excellent beginning, especially if your article is going to take a vulnerable angle. For instance, when talking about your previous vulnerabilities, consider making a statement that shows how you already acknowledge this weakness. A good example would be:

Life is funny because I have been pooped several times, quite literally. I am not new to different birds popping on me when all I was doing was minding my own business.

When you have such a powerful and somewhat strange start, you can then proceed to discuss your vulnerable situations.

When a writer masters some of the key elements of a college essay, including how to start right, your essay will flow. The body and conclusion of the essay can fall into place seamlessly.

When you know which elements of a college essay to incorporate when writing, your readers will always be hooked. Keep your content honest, focused, and captivating to entice and impress the admission committee.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with Homework Writing Services
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
very good job
Customer 456821, June 15th, 2022
English 101
Excellent work.
Customer 460547, April 5th, 2022
Home Repair & Home Maintenance
Well researched paper
Customer 463473, November 4th, 2022
Business and administrative studies
Customer 453509, May 23rd, 2022
thank you looks perfect
Customer 462327, January 23rd, 2022
Great job.
Customer 463301, November 14th, 2022
Customer 463469, October 17th, 2022
excellent job
Customer 456821, June 12th, 2022
Well-written content. The writer follows instructions to the letter upon revisions.
Customer 463679, December 13th, 2022
The instructions were followed but, there are a few mistakes you should correct
Customer 452441, March 25th, 2022
Healthcare & Medical
Good work!
Customer 463469, October 17th, 2022
project management
thank you
Customer 462327, November 16th, 2022
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat