Guest Post: Where to Start on the College Essay

Rohan is a current Freshman at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  He offers the following essay drafting suggestions, after his experiences last fall writing several dozen college application essays from October through January.


The best advice I could give is just to start writing, whether that be in the form of a list of main points, one big paragraph, a free-write, or even a structured essay. I think that it is also best to point out that keeping the purpose of the question in mind while forming a response is extremely important, as I personally found it relatively easy to wander in five different directions while writing my essays.

Don’t be offended by questions or constructive criticism and use them to shape a stronger essay. On the other hand, don’t be too afraid to defend the merit of your ideas and be willing to coherently explain your reasoning. Spend your revising time wisely and make sure to really look for opportunities to re-shape or re-form ideas as opposed to making a couple of superficial changes each draft. No one wants to look at seven different drafts of the same essay.

For more essay writing advice from Creative Marbles:

How Common is the Common Application Essay?

Guest Post: Advice about the College Essay from a Graduated Senior to The Class of 2013