Writing funny college essays

Funny college essays

College application essays can seem daunting and exhausting. Ifyou’re worried about writing your essay, there is nothing wrongwith this. It only means that you care.

Writing a college essay is the most intimidating part of theapplication process for many students. Even though essay can bescary, they are also a great opportunity. When writing a collegeessay, you need to tell everything about yourself in the perfectmanner, so it would look as perfect as possible. However, don’ttry to present yourself as a perfect person. In college essaysyou need to show how you can be yourself.

The essay you’re preparing should reveal something about yourcharacter and personality to give your readers a good sense ofwho you are and how you’re different from other applicants. Eventhough this may sound like a serious task, using humor in smallamounts can do the trick. Below you will find usefulrecommendations on how to write funny college essays withoutcrossing the line.

Picking a trait of your character

The first thing you need to do is to pick an aspect of yourselfthat you want your paper to highlight. It can be, for example,the fact that you are a perfectionist or that you are alwayspunctual. There are many options that you can pick from. Eventhough you may be impatient and pessimistic, college applicationessay is not the place to talk about it and try to show it in apositive light. Try to highlight some of the followingcharacteristics of yourself:

  • Persistence
  • Determination
  • Sincerity
  • Kindness
  • Passion for cooperative thinking

If you can’t think of any of the traits you could write about tryasking your close friends. Ask them what the words they would useto describe you. Once they give you their answer, you can startfrom here. Sometimes you will be surprised by what they say andit may give you an insight into yourself and you may have a greatidea for writing an essay.

Don’t stand out for the wrong reasons

Your college essay is not the place to take a bizarre politicalstance or to try to differentiate yourself from other applicantsby writing an essay on Kylie Jenner.

The thing is that trying to find depth in a tasteless topic thathas nothing to do with who you are as a person does not show acollege committee anything about yourself beyond andoverestimation of your persuasion skills. You’re not given a lotof space so try to choose something that is actually worthwriting about, something that is personal to you, and that givesthe audience an insight into who you are.

Play with the format

Usually, you have from 250 to 650 words to write about yoursubject. The only requirement you may have is that your paperfits into that space. As for the rest, you can do almostanything. You can prepare your essay in one of the followingunique formats:

  • A screenplay
  • A poem
  • A lyric essay
  • A photo essay
  • A presentation
  • A comedy scene
  • A recipe
  • A monologue

When writing your essay, so you can be funny, serious, playful,introspective, and anything else that comes to your mind. Just becreative.

No matter what format you will choose for your paper, your essayneeds to have a beginning, middle, and end that tells youraudience something about yourself that they are not gettinganywhere else in your application. Try to have fun with youressay and allow yourself to try things that are not ordinarybecause in order to stand out from others in a positive way youneed to do something different.

Avoid the words you’re not using in your daily life

Even though you can play with the format of your paper, don’t tryto turn your work into a thesaurus. For example, if you’re tryingto say “table,” say table, if you want to say “many,” say “many.”Don’t pull out glut, perfusion, plethora, or anything else thatyou normally would not use in your real life.

One of the reasons why you should not try to use smart words inyour essay is that words that are not common in a normalvocabulary are a red flag for those who review your essay. Thereviewers are always on the lookout for those who are trying toohard to look smart and attract the attention of the committee. Ifyou’re not showing your true self, but using superfluity like itis normal, your essay will not have success among your readers.Imagine when you’re in class and you’re yelling to a teacher:“Me, pick me!” As it doesn’t usually work in class, it mostlikely won’t work with your college essay.

When looking for the synonyms for your words don’t try to use thefirst synonym that you find because it doesn’t mean that it isperfectly analogous. For example, many college applicants todayhave a favorite word, which is enigma. Even though it is a coolword, it is also complicated and has other definitions that gobeyond “puzzling” or “confusing.” These are the two that words,enigma is most often used as a substitution for. So, when callingsomething or yourself an enigma is not going to make you seemfancy in a good way. When working on your funny college essays,try to stay clear, simple and use the words that you actually sayin your everyday conversation.

Be who you are

Funny college essays

Even though you’re trying to use an original format for yourpaper, it is significant to stay authentic and true to who youare. It may be terrifying to take off your mask and show who youreally are.

Sometimes you need a little practice to show your real voice onpaper. If you want to show your sense of humor, read some worksby famous comedians and see how they use funny lines on paper. Ifyou want to show yourself in being introspective, read yourfavorite memoir once again. However, even if you look forinspiration and outside sources, remember that you need to useyour own words and show your own ideas.

Don’t scare yourself from the very start

Blank pages look scary, but the best way to overcome this fear isby filling the pages with words. You need to be patient whenyou’re writing and you need to give yourself time and room toexplore. Don’t focus on a simple topic before you even startwriting your college essay. Give yourself time to look for aninteresting subject that is perfect for funny college essays. Didnot wait until the last minute to brainstorm ideas for theperfect subject. Give yourself time, start writing your essay faradvance. You will need to prepare several drafts before yousubmit a final version of your assay.

Take risks

Don’t be afraid to take risks when working on your collegepapers. This is one of the biggest tips if you want to succeed.You need to be fine with being a little uncomfortable at thestart and you need to give yourself permission to struggle atfirst. It is not easy to write a good essay. Writing a good essayabout yourself is even more difficult. Just get started and thenthe process will smoothly flow.


When writing an essay, it is important to have a narrow andconcise focus. Many essays have similar structure. First theauthor begins with a very detailed story of a description of aplace or a person or an event. Once the broad image is given, thepaper expands making a bigger point about the author and connectsthe experience to the present situation of the author, thematurity level, newfound understanding, or the state of mind.

Most of the essays describe everyday life. One thing thatdistinguishes them one from another is how the author approachesthe subject:

  • Analyzes the need for humor and drama
  • Moving qualities
  • How it connects with the emotional life of the author
  • What it says about the world of the author


To write an excellent college essay, need to follow these:

  • An attractive first sentence. You have to attract theattention of your reader. The best place to do that is the firstsentence. First sentences set up an exciting or unusual scene orsituation with no clear conclusion in order to make the reader tolearn more about it.
  • An individual voice. The main audience of your collegeapplication essay is the admissions officer who has readthousands of papers before yours and will read thousands moreafter. What is your objective? Do not bore your reader. Try touse interesting descriptions, avoid clichés, include your ownobservations, or anything that make your paper sound like you andnot like someone else’s idea.
  • Correctness. All successful college essays have no mistakes,no syntax problems, no punctuation errors, and no grammarweirdness. If your paper contains one of the following, you’renot in luck. College advisers tell students to look over theessay several times and ask your parents, teachers, or anyoneelse who can spot a mistake to read your paper. Your paper isyour own work, but there is nothing wrong in asking for help tomake it better.

Making your essay better

Funny college essays

Even the best essay may not be perfect. So, what do you need todo to make your paper as best as you can?

  • Get rid of the clichéd language.
  • Don’t use handy phrases that may explain your relationship tothe subject.
  • When you apply too many already-made expressions into yourpaper, there is a risk of hiding your own voice and changing itwith something boring and expected.
  • Use another example. When explaining how one or the othersituation or event influenced and impacted your life, try toinclude the situation from another context to show a biggerinfluence the event had on you.

Some of the techniques you can use when writing funny collegeessays include:

  • Humor. Use a little irony or sarcasm in your paper to holdthe readers’ attention.
  • Invented terminology. You can try and use your own terms inthe paper to guide your audience through the whole essay. Thetitles and terminology you invent may serve as the centralmetaphor of your paper.
  • Play with the syntax. Use sentences of different syntax,length, and structure. Most of the essays in the English languageare grammatically correct sentences, however if you switch tocolloquial, short, and differently punctuated sentences, yourreader will need to sit up and really pay attention to what youare saying.

Read essays of others to find ideas for your own paper

When working on your own essay, go through the papers written byothers and ask yourself these questions:

  • Why does the opening sentence work well?
  • Do personal anecdotes fit well in the essay?
  • How does the anecdote connect to a bigger insight about theauthor? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author’sskill, trait, or characteristic?
  • What is the essay’s tone? If it is funny, what are the placesthe humor comes from? If it is moving and sad, find thedescriptions and imagery of feelings that make you sad. If thepaper is serious, how does the choice of words add to this tone?

When you find an essay that you think is well-written, make anote of it and try to write down the things that make this essaystand out from others.

Find a compelling fact

All the essays connect with the audience through very descriptivescenes from the life of the author. It can be ordinary ordramatic. In any case it should be revealing and personal aboutyou, your personality and the way you are entering the world.

Start far in advance

It is considered that the best writing is actually rewriting. Inorder to have time to really rewrite you need to start working onyour application essay as early as possible. It is recommended towrite the first draft at least a couple of months before youressay is due.

Once you finish working on the draft, let it sit untouched forseveral days. Then go back to it with fresh eyes and thinkcritically about what you have written. Try to see what can beremoved, what is missing, what doesn’t belong, what is not in theright place, and what doesn’t make any sense. Do not be afraid torearrange your sections and take your paper apart. If you want tocreate a successful essay you need to do this a few times.

Using humor effectively in college essays

Some students may steer clear of applying humor in their papersbeing afraid that the committee officer may see them asunprofessional. However, if you keep within the limits, humorwill be very effective in your paper. Here are some tips tofollow when applying humor in your paper:

  • Do not overdo it. Good humor is concise and simple. Keep inmind that you are writing a college essay, not a comedy sketch.Not every word or sentence you use have to make your audiencelaugh. Avoid the random jokes or anything that is not related toyour ideas or story. Remember there is a fine line between beingdistracting and memorable.
  • Use humor when it is necessary. Through your college paperyou express yourself. Sometimes, it is critical to show yourpassions, strengths, and accomplishments. Add funny observations,clever descriptions, bright memories, and certain details thatgive depth to your personal story and ideas. Only in this caseyou will be able to produce a high-quality piece. Your humorshould be genuine, natural, and appropriate to your story.
  • Stay true to your voice. Everyone has an interesting andunique story to tell. Even though it may be something cheesy,your college essay allows you to share this information with astranger. Grab the opportunity to tell the story as best as youcan. It doesn’t matter how serious of funny your paper is. Theimportant thing is to keep your point of view, trust your ideas,and write from the heart.
  • Use your humor as your support. Even though you may feelpressured to stand out among other applicants, don’t rely only ona funny essay to get you into college. Follow proper writing andgrammatical skills, make sure the content of the essay isrelevant. If you produce a hilarious essay, it doesn’t mean thatit is a concise reflection of your values, goals, and interests.When using humor in funny college essays, it only needs toenhance your story rather than disguising your personality.
  • Keep in mind your audience. Something may be funny to oneperson while not being funny at all to another. You can’t knowthe gender, age, or life story or the admission officer who willbe reading your paper. Therefore, before submitting your essay,try to find at least two readers you can trust who can readthrough your paper to make sure any sayings, references, or smartdescriptions come out the way you planned.

Making the paper about you

The college paper is the only place in your application where theadmission committee can hear your own voice. Even though manyapplications have similar academics or activities in them, noneof them is about you. Thus, it is critical to make your essaystand out.

Select the topic that is important to you

It doesn’t mean that you have to choose the topic that is reallysad or emotional. Also, it doesn’t mean that your topic should besomething impressive about yourself. The impressive informationabout yourself the admission officers can get from your academicsand a resume, so don’t try to impress them in your essay. Theimportant thing in choosing the right to topic is to brainstormmany ideas and try to find something that really brings out thebest in your personality. The other thing to keep in mind is towrite about the subject that doesn’t bore you.

Begin writing

Starting writing is the most difficult part for many students.The best method to overcome this is just to start writing. Simplywrite down everything that comes to your mind. Once you see thewords on the paper more and more ideas will come into your head.

Write as much as you can about your subject. Even if you think itdoesn’t make a lot of sense just write those ideas down on paper.Once you write everything you can possibly think of about yourtopic, it’s time to reduce the novel you produced to about 650words. Try to select only the most appropriate information thatbest describes the subject.

Get rid of everything that is not relevant or sounds weird. Whenyou have a text of 650 words you need to revise it and rewrite itagain. After that read your paper out loud. If it sounds weird,fix that. If it is boring, add some funny and amusing details.Then rewrite the paper again and try to tell the story in thebest possible way. Remember that your essay will be read by thepeople who do not really know you so you need to present yourselfas best as you can.

Don’t forget to show your essay to your parents or your teacherso they could tell you if it needs perfection. You need to have adifferent perspective on your paper. If you get criticism, thisis very good because you can make your paper better. If you showyour essay to more people, it will make it stronger. Work on youressay until you’re proud of it.

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