Written and submitted by Meghan I.
College admissions is a time of anxiety and excitement for high school seniors, and the college admission essay is a perfect demonstration of this. It is exciting because you have the freedom to say what you want to say and talk about a variety of weird and wonderful subjects, but it is also stressful because you have to make the right impression. The following tips are pieces of advice to follow to write a winning essay.
1. Start early. This is an obvious tip – the earlier you start the more time you will have to research and write and revise your writing. It will take the stress of your shoulders to avoid a poor essay.
2. Be yourself. Talk truthfully about yourself, and talk about topics that interest you and you find significant. A big mistake is to write what you think others want to read. This can lead to an essay which does not represent who you are, and is boring to read.
3. Know the goal. You should know the point of your essay before you begin writing. Sometimes the goal will change as you write and this is not a problem, just make sure you keep on top of the goal of the essay. After each paragraph take a step back to see if it is relevant.
4. Be interesting. It can help to be original and quirky in your subject matter and writing style. If you don’t want to go over the top, you should still aim to make your points in an inventive and intelligent way.
5. Be honest. Always be honest with who you are and what you have achieved – never inflate yourself or take liberties with the truth. You should also stay honest in writing and never copy other peoples work.
6. Be concise and detailed. The best admissions essays show and don’t tell, and rely on personal detail that is concisely crafted, rather than long-winded explanations. For example, there is no need to say ‘i learned my lesson’ when you can state ‘my new score was twice as high’. Use a thesaurus to help make your writing concise.
7. Be focused. You have the choice to tackle broad subjects or to focus on something specific, and the second option is always a better option. Why is this? Simply put, you need to be able to demonstrate your right brain and your left brain, and the best way to do this is to show your left brain in what you write and your right brain in how you write it. If you choose too broad a topic you will have difficulty in demonstrating your left brain ability.
8. Revise and rewrite. This is crucial for increasing the quality of your essay. Make sure your introduction and conclusion are strong, and remove unnecessary and vague phrases and words. Give your essay to friends, family and teachers – opinions apart from your own are very useful.
9. Don’t overcomplicate. Trying to impress can often mean overcomplicating your essay. A simple idea written intelligently is always better than a complex idea written confusingly.
10. See the bigger picture. The admissions essay is just one part of admissions, demonstrating a very thin slice of your entire academic and personal life. Admissions officers try to understand the big picture, and place plenty of importance on grades and activities, and not just the strength of the essay.
Authors Bio: The article is written by Meghan I. She is a recent college graduate and currently works as a freelance writer for Scholaradvisor.com, an educational portal for students. There you can find a lot of useful study tips, essay samples and writing guides and get help with your studies.