Application essay tips: organize your thoughts coherently



Writing essays for college applications creates stress for students. When students are stressed while writing, they tend to write essays that lack coherence. When their essays lack coherence, the application committees will put those essays in the rejection-letter pile. Therefore, it is very important for students to relax while they are writing in order to avoid having their poorly structured essay placed in the rejection pile. With a few simple steps, students can keep their essays well organized and their thoughts coherent.

Create an Outline and Follow It

One of the best ways to keep thought coherent is to create an outline and stick to it. You do not have to write a formal outline with Roman numerals in order to be organized. A simple bullet point outline can be helpful. Then, before you even begin to write, look at the logic of the bullet points and be sure they are in some kind of order, like chronological, order of importance, or alternative compare and contrast. Be sure your first arguments are the most important and that you continue to support the topic of your essay.

Get to Know the PEEL Formula for Easy Paragraph Writing

The next step to ensure coherence is to follow a paragraphing formula. There is a useful formula that involves the acronym P.E.E.L. This stands for point, example, explanation, and link. The point is the topic sentence. The first E stands for example, while the second E stands for explanation. The last part is L for link. It is easy to remember the PEEL acronym, but in reality, the paragraphs written in this formula look more like P.EE.EE.EE.L. The most important part of the paragraph structure is that all of the examples you provide need to be explained in your own words. The writers’ explanations of the examples are what make these paragraphs so enjoyable to read. You can repeat the Example-Explanation part as often as you need inside of each paragraph as long as you begin the paragraph with the point and end with a link back to the claim or the point. This style of writing paragraphs does help writers stay focused. It allows them to think more about the content they are writing rather than worrying about where sentences go and what those sentences should be doing.