Book lot on black wooden shelf.jpg
Chose to head the essay with a title or omit one altogether.

The college admission essay has long stumped many high school seniors. The heading or title for the essay should not be the primary concern. Unless specified in the application, a college admissions essay's title can be omitted. According to Harry Bauld, a former Ivy League admissions officer, crafting a coherent, witty piece of writing that tells an interesting story using vivid detail and active language is of utmost importance. Put more time into the writing, revision and editing process than imagining a catchy title.

Head the essay

Head the essay with a title that draws the reader in if you chose to include one. It should be less than 10 words, in bold type, slightly larger than the body text of your essay and centered at the top of the page. Carefully read the essay prompts and evaluate if a title is necessary.

Include your name on every piece of paper

Include your name on every piece of paper you send to a college admissions office. If you choose to head the essay with a title, place your name under it, centered, in the same font and styling as the body of your essay.

Review the heading

Review the heading of your college admissions essay if you chose to include one. Does it compliment your essay's content or can it be omitted altogether? Is it as tight as it could be? Does it repeat your lead sentence? These are all questions to ask yourself upon final review of your college admissions essay.


  • Do not write the lead first; rather, go back and scour the essay for a great lead sentence. "If your writing has only one chance to sparkle, it should sparkle at the beginning," notes Harry Bauld.


  • Avoid using the passive voice. Avoid stating the obvious. Avoid popular topics, such as a life-changing trip, how being football team captain made you a better person, a death and how it affected you or an autobiography. If you chose to write these types of essays, go about it from an interesting, unexpected angle.