4 Elements of a Winner Admission Essay

The admission process of nearly all colleges tends to be focused on the application essays submitted by aspiring candidates. Those essays significantly affect the decision of the admission board when it comes to choosing new students. A poorly written essay can lead to the rejection of highly qualified applicants. On the other hand, top-notch application essays have the power to grant admission to students with average GPAs and ACT scores. That is why most students focus all their efforts on writing their statements and choosing the right topics for their essays. To write the perfect admission essay, you need to include a few main elements. Keep reading to know all about the four elements of a winner-admission essay.

1. Showing Character

A student looking happy as he works on a laptop

Colleges look mainly for two things in their candidates, good grades and test results and winning personality qualities that they can add to their best pick of brilliant young talents. Your character and personality are essential to the admission board, and they show up in three of the main parts of your application. Colleges get to examine your nature through your interview, the type of extracurricular activities you involve in, and your admission essay. Firstly, not all candidates get to have an interview, so it’s not mainly where the admission people look for outstanding personality records.

Your involvement in relevant activities and previous experience change a lot about image, depending on your major. Still, the admission board is mainly concerned about your essay regarding giving you a personality analysis. Admission essays are the most immediate in capturing their attention as they go through thousands of similar applications from other equally talented students. These people are not just looking for perfect scores. You need to know they’re also searching for qualified individuals to join their carefully picked campus communities.

2. Picking the Right Topic 

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Almost all colleges follow the same admission process called the common application or common app, for short. The common app gives you a few prompts from which you need to choose one or maybe a couple to write. The prompts sometimes vary from one college to another as well as from one academic year to another. Since the prompt 6 common app is a relatively new topic, not many applicants will go for it, which gives you a unique chance to show off your talent should you choose it for your admission essay. Aside from the common app prompt 6, there are five other topics that you can write about, including:

Prompt 1

Asking applicants to share their stories about their backgrounds, interests, talents, and identities that they think should be included in the application.

Prompt 2

They asked applicants to mention a time or incident where they were exposed to constructive failure, how it affected them, and what they learned from such an experience.

Prompt 3

They were asking applicants to reflect when they had to question an idea or a belief, what gave rise to their act, and whether they would make the same decision again or not.  

Now, the key to writing a winning essay is choosing a few of these topics and working on each one of them separately. Then you can select the one that shows your strengths the most. The goal here is not to sound impressive or pick the prompt that does so. The goal is to choose one that gives you enough flexibility to mention your background achievements and development points. 

3. The Tone

Handwritten notes on paper

The tone you use in your admission application matters a lot. You need to add a little humor but also avoid adding too much pride. After all, it’s a 2-page essay asking you to write about your achievements. You don’t want to sound like a show-off. While balancing between pride and humility, try to avoid coming off as a whiner. This happens when you try explaining injustices in your essay to justify certain unfair situations that happened to you.

4. The Structure

A laptop with notes open in front of it

This refers to how you construct your essay and take care of the little details like grammar and punctuation. Make sure to use the correct grammar, avoid spelling mistakes, and watch out for incorrect punctuation to increase your admission’s chances of being accepted. These errors make it harder for the admission board to read your essay and give them the impression that you lack care and control over your written work. 

What Not To Do in an Admission Essay

A laptop sitting open on a wooden table

When writing a college application, it is essential that you write in an authentic voice and craft your essay with care. For a successful college admission letter, it is vital that you avoid a few common errors that may get you rejected from your dream university. 

Never Rehash Your Academic and Extracurricular Accomplishments

It is crucial that you never repeat yourself too much. Even if you have a lot of academic and extracurricular accomplishments, you should avoid mentioning them again when working on your admission letter. Remember that the reader will probably already know about it since they will appear in your transcripts and a list of awards and activities. Therefore, you should aim to write in a new dimension that shows you more than just a student. 

Never End With a “Happily Ever After” Conclusion

One of the things that college recruiters are looking for is growth. Suppose you end your admission letter with a happily ever after conclusion. In that case, you are essentially telling them that your story is over, which is far from the truth. Always show growth through your admission letters and that you are willing to learn and take risks in order to grow even further. 

Never Keep Your Essay to Yourself

Always have a second reader because by having someone else read your essay, you can clarify a few things that an outside reader may never understand. It is always best to have your paper read by multiple people so that you can get an accurate outside perspective. This will help make your essay the best it can be. 

Never Choose Controversial or Highly Personal Topics

When choosing a topic for your college exam, ensure that you are not selecting anything controversial. Although you may feel passionate about the matter, the reader may likely have his own view on it and may not agree with yours. In such cases, you might get rejected despite your top-notch credentials. 


College admission is a complicated process that requires a lot of preparation from students chasing their dream colleges and universities. Your admission essay plays a considerable role in this process, and it says a lot more about your character than any other step in this complicated process. If you want to impress the admission boards in the colleges you apply to. You have to include all 4 of these elements. For a killer essay, make sure to choose a topic that showcases your personality and achievements the most.