The college essay and/or personal statement can often be a major part of your application.
There are many useful tips on the internet, but please keep these things in mind:
1. Write about yourself-The goal of the essay = for the reader to learn about you!
2. Write comfortably like you are talking to a family friend. Casually and comfortably, but not too casual or too comfortable.
3. Do not repeat all the information on your application.
4. Be specific. When you say "I help people...." give examples.
5. Open strongly, write properly and make your point.
6. Proofread, stay in the proper tense, remember the prompt, and watch your word count.
Here are a few favorite tips and sample essays:
Click here to see an essay presentation from three college admission officers
Drew University College Essay Presentation
RHS presentation on UC Personal Insight questions
Johns Hopkins Sample Essays that Worked
UC info on How to approach Personal Insight Questions