Revising College Essays


You’ve finished writing your college essays (sometimes referred to as your “personal statements”). Great job!

That means you’re cruising along in the college application process, and you’re almost ready to go!

… Did you catch that “almost”?

Just because you’ve finished writing doesn’t mean those essays are ready for review by admissions committees. Before you push send, you need to polish your essays — and have someone else review them for you too. Trust us: You don’t want to submit an essay with misspellings, unclear sections, or — gasp! — the wrong college’s name.

These printable forms (one for you, one for a trusted reviewer, like a teacher or family friend) offer a thorough, step-by-step guide to reviewing and revising your work:

Final Revision Checklist (PDF) for you: This checklist contains lots of helpful revision suggestions, like simplify your essay and don’t rely on your computer’s spell checker alone.  

Feedback Form (PDF) for a trusted reviewer: This form provides a rating system and detailed instructions for your reviewer to offer organized feedback on your essays, on things like the strength of your opening sentence and the clearness of your conclusion.

And don’t miss these helpful (and, at times, hilarious) articles on writing college essays from folks in the know: “How to write—and not write—a college essay” by Brent Benner, director of enrollment management at The University of Tampa, and “Pro tips on writing your personal statement” by the admissions staff at Johns Hopkins University.





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