Although it can be a challenging task and will substantially take a lot of your time, writing a college essay is a unique opportunity for you to make a good impression on your chosen school.
Committees on admissions normally put the most weight on grades and test scores, but essays can make a lot of difference in decision time. As a lot of colleges require students to submit essays along with the application, you surely have a lot of competitors.
There can be tons of applications received by selective colleges from many worthy students with similar grades and scores. And what they do is screen your essay alongside your extracurricular activities and letter of recommendation to see what sets you apart from the rest.
A well-written essay will make you stand out. Take the chance to tell your unique story, background, interests, and personality. Write your heart out. Share a personal and thoughtful story that is meaningful to you. Stay honest and sincere and your qualities will naturally shine through.
Avoid impressing by sounding smart rather than yourself. Do not write a subject you do not care about that you think will impress the admissions committee.
The admissions officer will be looking for simple, genuine, and motivated essays that will add something to their school year. They have to read many essays, and you certainly do not want to have yours be forgettable.
Here are tips to make your college essay stand out:
Begin with a strong opening statement
Great writing is difficult to achieve, yet it is achievable. Writing professionals will advise you that a strong introduction is your best weapon against losing a reader.
Admissions committees will only read your essay for a few sentences, so you’ll need to hook them right away with a strong first statement. Your essay’s opening must establish what the essay is all about and pique the reader’s interest. Using anecdotes or stories that highlight the greatest aspects of your personality and character, you can give the admissions committee a better sense of your individuality.
Write what’s important to you
Share things about an experience, a person, or your favorite book. Write about anything that made an impact on your life.
Answer the prompt
A classic error in an essay is to write about a topic that has no connection to the subject at hand. Admissions officers won’t be impressed if you use words that have no connection to the issue.
Students can usually choose from a variety of options when it comes to writing assignments in colleges and universities. Incorporating your desired subject into the essay’s confines makes it much easier to write your story. Take advantage of this opportunity to share more about yourself with the school, something they won’t learn from your resume or other credentials, while still tackling the prompt and adhering to the writing guidelines.
It is easy to recount how you won a quiz bee or a big sports game. But when you recall these moments, make sure to focus more on the step-by-step process. Write about what you have learned, what mistakes you’ve made, and how you have overcome them, or how they have shaped you.
Stay away from cliches
Browse for some outstanding examples of college essays to get some inspiration for your own. As good practice, many students let themselves be affected by the examples and use a lot of clichés to charm the admissions officers, which is counterproductive.
If you want to get into your dream college, understand that there are a lot of other applicants. Revisit your essay, removing any clichéd words, and attempt to come up with a new approach.
Admissions officers read hundreds of applications each year, so it seems that those that stand out for their uniqueness will be given preference. Allow them to discover it!
Being humorous can be tricky
Applying humor in your college essay can make it unforgettable, as it can make an admissions officer laugh. But beware because it can be tricky. An appropriate joke for you can be inappropriate for an adult working in a college. Be aware of the use of one-liners, limericks, and anything off-color.
A good way to prepare for the paper that you will submit is by writing several drafts. Think of putting yourself in the admission officer’s shoes: Is the essay written by a motivated person? Does it reveal the applicant’s character? Would this essay’s writer contribute something to the university?
Provide strong examples
When you write a college application essay, you reveal a little something about yourself and your views. Every word you write must support your main statement in order for your essay to be seen as genuine. Think about how the essay question connects to your personal characteristics, and then write from that perspective.
With this, instead of just stating something is factually true, you need to back it up with specific information and examples. The best way to achieve this is to give incidences from your own life and write about the things that actually inspire you and how you come to hold particular beliefs.
Maintain a logical essay structure
While the ability to express oneself through one’s writing is important, it should not be assumed that a creative essay would not also be well-organized. Make sure you only write about one topic at a time because you would not want to waste time writing utter nonsense.
Your essay will have a maximum word limit, so don’t strive to include everything. Before doing any of the writing processes, make a plan, divide your essay into sections, and decide on the primary points you want to convey.
Do not repeat
Avoid redundancy in your essay to any other part of your application. It should not also contradict what you’ve written in your application. An essay is not the place to enumerate all your awards or tackle your grades in your high school.
Avoid saying things that are obvious in your writing. Phrases like “I learned,” “The most important lesson for me,” and “I realized” become useless when used to explicitly explain a point, making it less compelling and causing the reader to lose interest.
Get help with proofreading
It is not bad to ask for help in editing your essay from your teacher or college counselor. Lastly, make sure to check your essay many times if it is free of spelling or grammatical errors.
Writing a college essay is a crucial task. With these tips, we know that you will be writing a stellar essay that will land you in your chosen school.
For students and their families, submitting a college application should be an exciting experience. So many opportunities await you at this new destination. And now is the perfect moment to put money aside for your professional future. Ask for assistance from your family, professors, and the admissions board if you need it. Also, do some research.
Planning to apply for study? Learn more about the admission processes by browsing through our articles here at MSM Unify.