How to Write a College Essay: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Until you have spent hours of researching, creative thinking, and writing essay tasks, that is when you will qualify to call yourself a college or university graduate. No student can evade writing essays, especially students who want to advance their careers to extreme heights.

So, what does it take to craft an admirable essay? Some students will find it easy to craft such essays, while some will find it a bit complex to bring the ideas together and write a good essay. Here, you will find an in-depth college essay guide that will simplify the process until you realize how easy it is to write different essays. Do you want to unleash more? Keep reading.

How to write a college essay: common questions

Before we explore the guide to writing a college essay, below are common questions with answers.

How long is a college essay?

While different tutors or learning institutes will always give essay tasks with guidelines to follow, the general rule is to maintain the required length of the essay. Therefore, keep it as a five-paragraph essay with an introduction section, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

How many words should a college essay be?

Ideally, college essays aren’t long versions of essays. In most cases, the word limit will not exceed 650 words.

College essay topics to avoid

In most cases, the purpose of college essays is to show your writing prowess while uncovering who you are. Therefore, some topics aren’t effective for such an essay, and you should avoid them. Such topics fall under the:

  • Risky topics – for instance, writing about the disadvantages of the school
  • Unrealistic topics – topics that seem a total lie
  • Confession – related topics
  • Controversial topics like religion and politics
  • Tragedies
  • Romance and relationships
  • Personal topics, among many others

A guide on how to write a college essay

  1. Read and understand the instructions first

While you may assume you have mastered writing an essay, never skip the guidelines from the teacher. Take time and read the question and evaluate the requirements before you begin working on the essay.

  1. Research college essay topics that stand out

Once you have understood the requirements, you need to choose a desirable topic that interest you and a topic that is easy to research and create relevant content that will meet the reader’s needs. Not all collage essay topics will fit the guidelines of the tutor, and that is why you should dedicate some time to exploring various topic ideas.

  1. Write the thesis statement

Any given essay must have a thesis statement, which is a focal argument point you will need to refer to when writing the other sections of the essay. All ideas you share in your essay should align with the thesis statement.

  1. Create a college essay outline

When you have the topic and the thesis statement, do not start writing yet; instead, create an outline, which acts as a roadmap to what you intend to present in your final paper. The outline should fully describe each section with relevant information.

  1. Start the writing process

Now, with the outline in place, you are good to start writing your essay. Be sure to include the introduction, the main body paragraphs, and the concluding sections.  

  1. Proofread and edit

Some grammar and typo errors will always bypass your eye. Therefore, make it a habit to always go through your work as you correct such mistakes. If possible, give someone else to identify mistakes in your essay.

  1. Review the college essay format

Once you have finalized everything, re-check your work to ensure you have referenced your work well and followed all the teacher’s guidelines.


Writing essays is part of academic life for all students. High school, college, and university students will always write essays on different topics. Teachers use these assignments to understand students at a personal level. So, if you are almost writing your college essay, refer to this article for good results.

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