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College Essays That Worked: What Made Them Special and How to Write One?

Have you ever looked for college essays that worked? It’s a great chance to see what other students wrote and which writing tactics they used for their papers to stand out. There are many interesting examples on the Internet and on academic forums, so we decided to collect the best bits and share them with you. They follow different prompts and have different styles of writing. After reading them, you’ll find inspiration for your own essay, and most importantly, you’ll learn how to impress your readers and leave a long-lasting positive impression on them.

Popular College Essay Prompt Examples and Why They’re Different

Each essay follows a specific prompt. It could be a simple term paper or a more complex application assignment, but in every case, you need to base your work on a certain scenario. Let’s consider the most common types students face during their studies.

  • Personal essay. Popular essay prompts examples in this category involve questions: What made you who you are today? What is your experience with subjects you want to study? What is your worldview and which role does religion, love, or family play in your life? What challenges have you faced and which lessons have you learned from them? Students could also be asked to answer questions about their journey somewhere, about a situation where they almost died, and so on. In most cases, people get these prompts when they’re writing their application to enter college or university because the committee wants to know them better on a personal level. Some students get so nervous that they ask the best college application essay service to help them.

  • Analysis paper. For this prompt, essays examples could include absolutely every subject, movie, book, or process. The goal is to see what kind of critical thinking you possess and how well you can build logical connections between different points. This task is common in colleges and universities no matter what you’re majoring in.

  • Review and argumentative essay. Among essay prompt examples of this kind, there are movie, book, or play reviews along with argumentative topics. The reasoning behind such prompts is simple: writers share their unique perspective on something while showing how articulate they are and how well they can justify their position.

  • Lit review. Students might be asked to craft literature review on a specific topic. This is done to challenge you and check your research skills. Prompts could include a wide range of topics of scientific nature.

  • Free topic. When students get a chance to pick a free prompt, some of them feel stuck. On the one hand, it’s liberating to be able to choose your topic, but on the other, an endless choice might feel like no choice at all. The best solution lies in picking something related to your hobby, a subject you’re really passionate about.

Learn how to write an essay when you're stuck.

What Makes the Best Examples of Essays So Impressive?

Students who struggle with academic writing often look for the best website to pay for an essay or speculate that successful papers are the result of good prompts. In reality, there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” prompt — obviously, some things interest you more, others might look boring, but you still have the power to write a small masterpiece. Here are things that make the best essays stand out:

  • Personal touch. It doesn’t matter whether you are a fantastic writer or a person incapable of putting a sentence together properly. If you look at successful essay samples, you’ll see that their authors aren’t always articulate, but they still manage to make their writing feel unique and personal. Personal quirks like dry sense of humor, tendency to present a really powerful argument and then oppose it in an even more powerful way, use of specific interesting words and detailed examples make readers remember this paper in particular. Here's a sample sentence from a personal essay: “The idea of losing my mind always terrified me, but as I was speaking to this shop manager, it began to look more appealing by the second.” Dry humor can be a great find

  • Good flow. Don’t be boring, not even if you hate your topic and wish you could choose from other essay prompts examples. Try picking the most interesting bits and exploring them gradually. Avoid spending too much time on one and the same point because it might quickly get old. Give them all equal attention. Never pick information just for the sake of it — focus on stuff that you personally find at least somewhat curious. As an example: “Migraine has severe physical effects, including nausea. It starts in the pit of the stomach and slowly travels up until a person feels like they are about to vomit (Kevins, 2017). Appetite for food becomes dull before disappearing, and the sensation of sickness might last for several hours.” No need to talk about nausea even more — writer conveyed key points. It’s time to move onto another symptom.

  • Vivid descriptions. Make your descriptions powerful. This mostly concerns personal and descriptive essays, but a solid overview of situation looks great anywhere. Check some essay writing samples, including ours, for seeing how it could be done. An example: “When I first entered this café, a stunning aroma of freshly boiled coffee, vanilla pastries, and dark wood engulfed me. Everything was done in a similar style: wooden tables, chairs, and menus painted in green made me feel like I am sitting somewhere in the forest, safe, sated, and comfortable.” Such details help readers feel like they are experiencing the same emotions, too.

  • Thorough research. Everyone is impressed with thorough research. Any good essay example will have it unless it’s personal in nature, but choose only credible sources for making your points stronger. Fresh sources usually come across as more convincing. Summarize the most interesting moments from research and enhance them with explanations. “Mark Andrews (2013) stated that 67% of people experience suicidal thoughts at least at one point of their lives.” Writer didn’t waste time on lengthy background descriptions — they started right with the point.

Check College Essays Examples

There are many samples students could find online to get some insights. We strongly suggest checking them because it’ll enhance your writing. But also, we’re going to share one great paper that got their writer a place in college. This essay example is just 1 academic page long – we chose it because we wanted you to be able to read it quickly.

Prompt: Describe a defining moment in your life.

A sharp sting of tears. A heart that tries to break your ribcage. Everyone experiences loss at some point, but while some recover, others do not. My life was over when my grandmother died, and it started anew that same day.

The news came in the morning when I was still half-asleep. I still remember the hoarse voice of my father telling me, “She is gone, baby.” I remember my own scream and the way I immediately broke down in tears. It did not seem possible — every year of my life, she was there, ready to give advice and soothe. How was I supposed to move on from it? I wanted this day to never happen, and yet I also wanted it to never end. The idea of going on with my life and leaving my grandmother behind as just one part of my past felt unbearable. I wanted her to remember me as I was now, and I never wanted it to change. Half of me got my wish: it stayed locked in the past forever.

The other half, on the other hand, was forced to live. It is difficult to admit it, but I became stronger and optimistic. I appreciate every day I spend with my other family members. I treasure my pets and spoil them rotten. Laughter returned to my life, and with it came determination. I strive to achieve all my goals and apply every effort.

Loss is hard, and my heart still feels split in half. However, it was not the end. I managed to collect half of broken shards of myself and become a new, stronger person. I firmly believe that this strength will help me get into college of my dream and show myself as a stellar student.

Tips for Writing the Best Essay

There are a couple of tips you could rely upon for enhancing your writing skills. Follow them and you’ll see the difference quickly. Your essays are bound to become stronger.

  • Come up with ideas you like. Try finding an interesting point even in boring topics. Focus on describing them instead of torturing yourself and readers with tedious details.

  • Use vivid language. As you saw from our college essay example, rich descriptions help make an essay mesmerizing.

  • Revise everything. Edit what you wrote or hire college paper editing services because correct grammar and structure matter a lot.

  • Use empathy. Place yourself in the place of your readers. For instance, what would you like to see in a college admissions essay? What descriptions make you feel like you’re reliving the event you’re describing?

Read Great Samples and Write Great Essays

Anyone can write in a way that impresses others as long as they follow tips. Being a reader is also a benefit. You saw our sample college application essay — the more examples you check, the clearer picture of what good writing is will become. Get experience and impress yourself with your own papers.

Posted by Chris M., September 16, 2021