Tips for Writing College Application Essays

By: Simply Tutoring, Inc. | Published 10/06/2023


The Woodlands, TX area serves a large population of students who are headed to college. It can be a daunting task to complete the Apply Texas Application or the Texas Common Application forms, and writing the essay can be intimidating. Simply Tutoring has trained and experienced tutors who can help! Below are some tips to help students get started. 

Can a tutor help you discover your goal? 
Writing is discovery. You cannot write an essay without first discovering what you have to say. What have you accomplished? Identify your passions and pet peeves. Where are you headed? Like filling in your “pie” in the game of Trivial Pursuit, you must discover the pieces from all areas of knowledge and experiences that have made you who you are. This is also valuable preparation for college and career interviews. 

Get started by collecting data on yourself. Make several lists with knowledge of literature (books and movies), sports/hobbies, leadership/passions, history, science, art/music, and current events. You want to be able to present yourself as well-rounded and culturally literate. An experienced tutor can help students work through this process from an objective point of view. As students create the lists in prewriting, tutors can ask questions, give examples, and show students the uniqueness they bring to the table. The listing process may also identify some weak points in experience which may be addressed and strengthened by suggestions from a tutor. This is not just brainstorming; it is for finding a topic or direction. Focus on ideas from your lists where you have a story to tell. Be sure you have enough good stuff to say. The entire essay must use vivid supporting paragraphs and concrete examples. If any part of your writing feels weak or unsupported, try a different topic. Developing a metaphor is also helpful to work into your essay. 

Get your thoughts together, form paragraphs (not in order). Do not let mechanics slow you down. Just write. Get it down on paper. Writing requires the highest level of cognitive effort to produce. Therefore, we must employ all four types of learning (visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic) to write a great essay, and this cannot be fully accomplished on a computer screen. Color-code, label, look for transitions, look for better connections. Be sure you know what you are talking about. Submitting an essay with inaccurate historical references or faulty assumptions can eliminate you from consideration. 

Your essay should reflect your own unique experience and hold the reader’s attention from the first word. Read it aloud to yourself. Listen for: word choice, sentence structures/variety, tone, mood, and organization. Make real changes, not mechanical corrections.

Many student writers often get stuck too early in the writing process by worrying about spelling, capitalization, punctuation before it matters. Getting the CONTENT right comes first, then MECHANICS helps to convey the meaning. NOW TYPE A ROUGH DRAFT, then revise and edit again; have at least two other people proofread for you. Make corrections.

 Final draft
Writing is never finished, but this gets submitted. 

To find a tutor for writing help or anything else in The Woodlands, Texas area for your student, call Simply Tutoring at 281-362-7878 or complete our form to see who we can recommend.

Written by Kimberly Falk

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