13 Tips to Write a College Admission Essay

13 Tips to Write a College Admission Essay

Here are 13 tips for writing college essays to help you get admitted! These insider tips will help give you the competitive edge you need to write a stellar essay!

1. Read the Instructions Carefully

While this may seem redundant, remember that you must read the instructions carefully. If you do not follow the guidelines, it tells the admissions officer you will likely disregard instructions in your classes once admitted. Always read the instructions carefully and make notes so you are prepared to create your first draft.

2. Start With a Compelling Introduction

Writing is hard, but great writing is achievable if you follow the right path. Any journalist will tell you that the best way to get the readers’ attention is to have a great introduction. Admissions take a short time to review your essay https://www.cureus.com/users/644445-lesly-n-carrow, so start with a vivid introduction to engage them.

3. Use Your Inner Voice 

Authenticity is greatly valued in post-secondary institutions, as it shows your quality of thinking. Avoid shaping your essay around popular phrases or ideas that have been used many times before; try to base it on your genuine beliefs. 

Connect it to your skills, ambitions, and existing knowledge on the matter and how it will help you in your future endeavors. 

4. Avoid Clichés

Contrary to popular belief, the killer of an otherwise excellent essay is the famous quote. We get it; Winston Churchill is an excellent source of inspiration! However, you must understand the sheer volume of essays and repetitive themes that admissions committees are reading. Instead, consider your reader's perspective.

Ask yourself, what’s something the admissions committee has never seen before? You’re halfway there already because they have never met you! Your unique experiences and qualities make you stand out, so lean into your own words rather than someone else’s. 

5. Be Authentic, Not Generic

You’ve probably read a newspaper article at some point. You will notice that the writer fades their voice behind the facts, leaving you without any information on the author. 

When writing your college admissions essay, you should do the exact opposite. You do not want to be one of the thousands of applicants who fail to make an impression. 

Instead, you want the admissions officer to say: “This is an actual person who wrote this, someone with feeling and depth.” Being vulnerable and putting your personality into your essay is a great way to achieve this; be honest, personable, and stay true to your authentic voice. (Also, avoid cliches like famous quotes!)

6. Give Good Examples to Support Your Ideas

Ultimately, your college essay is a chance for admissions committees to understand the inner workings of your mind. While showcasing your soft skills, it can be challenging to sound credible. That’s why you need to support your story with anecdotal evidence. 

The idea here is to avoid simply stating how great you are. Instead, include details of your story and examples to develop your ideas. In other words: show, don’t tell! For instance, rather than stating, “I’m an excellent leader,” tell a story about a time you demonstrated leadership and express what you learned. 

7. Select a Prompt That Works in Your Favor

The Common Application, and a few schools, will give you a list of prompts to help you tell your story. 

These prompts are useful starting points and invite students to think about challenges they’ve overcome or experiences that have made them grateful. It’s an opportunity to display your growth, strength, and what makes a candidate who they are.

8. Tell Your Story

Remember that your college admissions essay isn’t any ordinary paper, it’s a story. Be mindful of readability and construct your essay to maintain interest throughout the entire essay. Think of the classic methods of storytelling: your essay should have an intro, a body, a climax, and a clear conclusion without needing to explain over.

Most importantly, every good story has a message. For example, in the classic story of Cinderella, the main takeaway is that kindness (demonstrated through Cinderella’s actions) will be rewarded while selfishness (demonstrated through the evil stepmother and siblings) will not. 

What’s your takeaway? What’s important to you, and why? 

9. Be Exciting – Don’t Be Boring

Trying to act like an intellectual know-it-all is exhausting and a huge turn-off for college admissions. You need to be unique to get noticed. Write like you are a strong-minded individual. Use beautiful, descriptive language mixed with your typical casual language. Then, put emotion into your words to make your essay come alive!

10. Don’t Be Repetitive 

Your admissions essay is the place to express yourself, not repeat the points of your resume that the admissions committee has already seen. Instead of repeating yourself, go deeper. 

Consider what makes you a great candidate beyond your grades. Are you a leader? Are you passionate about the school? Whatever it is, show it!

11. Use Proper Formatting

When it comes to how to format your essay, readability is key. Use a reasonable font, one that is easily legible and professional-looking. Instead of cramming your main ideas in the first paragraph, balance your essay points. 

Use soothing margins and declare the essay prompt and your answer in the introduction. Be consistent with spacing, indentation, and excellent spelling and punctuation. Also, be sure to follow citation rules as per the essay requirements (MLA, Chicago style, APA, etc.)

12. Edit. Then Edit Again

Of course, it’s important to edit your essay repeatedly. You can also have a friend, parent, or teacher help you before submitting your final version. Small grammar or spelling mistakes can be the difference between acceptance into a highly competitive program, so fire up the spell check!

13. Take Advantage of Resources

Though developing a strong college essay can be a long and tedious process, you don’t have to go through it alone. There is a wide range of online admission resources that you can access through various universities and nonprofit organizations. 

Deja una respuesta