College Application Essay Writing Tips
It is dreadful, frightening, difficult, perplexing, exhausting - you pick the adjective. However, the college admission essay is here to stay. Many college applicants find the essay to be the most difficult and time consuming element of the college application process. Now, take a deep breath and just relax. It really isn't so horrible after you understand what the essay is and what the learning institution is expecting to take away from reading it.
Tip 1: Know What Your College Application Essay Is Really About
Nearly every essay will answer two questions about you. First, can you produce prose that is grammatically correct? Second, do you have anything to say and if so, can you convey the who, what, how, and why of a subject? The answers to these questions will tell the admission committee those personal details that are absent from SAT scores, extracurricular activities, and GPAs. In other words, take this as your opportunity to introduce yourself to the learning institution as a person, rather than just a set of numbers.
Tip 2: Pick The Right Subject
Picking the right subject is vital. However, you should never purely construct your essay around a subject just because you assume it is what the committee will find of interest. That is a sure fire way to create a dud. There really isn't any subject that will have a unanimous "like" or "dislike" advantage. Most admission committee members will vary in age, gender, background, etc.. Many applicants think that an epic or tragic subject will give them an advantage. You should not make this assumption. Of course, if you have such an event, then share it, but you should never concoct it. Your inconsistencies during the interview process will usually scream that the essay is fictitious.
Tip 3: Convey The Essence Of Your Essay
You should always pick a subject that you are passionate about, portrays your values, depicts your personality, and reveals something about who you are as an individual. Some colleges will offer suggested topics, while others will leave the specific topic up to the applicant. Either way, the essence of your essay should leave the writer with an insight as to who you are, what is of value to you, how you think, and why you are original. It may take several days or weeks of contemplation to find the subject that will best portray these things about yourself without being trite. In other words, football may showcase everything that you want the committee to know about you. However, think about how many applicants have (and will continue) opting to write about their athletic adventures and misadventures. Unless you can put a truly unique spin on your subject, avoid it!
Tip 4: Correctly Present The Information
It isn't enough to just present all the necessary information. You must also present it in an interesting and organized way. How you write is just as important as what you what you write. Try to evoke reaction by using dramatic and descriptive language, but without being overly contrived. You should use examples to demonstrate important points. For example, if I wanted to ensure that the reader knew of my commitment to volunteer services, then I could include an example of my time volunteering for a hospital. That will make for a more fluid and interesting read than just saying: "I volunteered for hospital." You should create a fine balance between highlighting your substance and exhibiting modesty. You should not be confused with any masked super hero; however, you do want to humbly display what makes you unique.
Tip 5: Practice, Then Practice Some More
Ideally, you should begin drafting your essay the summer before your final year in high school. This will allow for ample opportunity to Find a subject, make drafts, revisions, and then a final copy. Settle in on a subject, and then create an outline of the topics that you need to cover. Now, create a first draft, and then leave this draft alone for several days or even weeks. Proofread the draft and make any grammatical, structural, and informational changes. You might find it helpful to show your second draft to peers, teachers, family, and/or councilors. Make notes of all the advice and corrections that you receive. However, take advice from family and friends with a grain of salt. They will often be biased, and therefore less critical. Leave the essay alone for several days or weeks. Then, proofread it again. You should continue the "practice makes perfect" process until you are completely satisfied with your essay.
The college admission essay isn't the "bad guy." It is actually an invaluable opportunity to differentiate yourself from every other applicant, and in a way that no other part of the application process can. So, cease your opportunity!