An essay for college applications

Writing your college admissions essay can definitely be stressful. Between work and school, you may barely be able to stay awake , let alone worry about writing this essay. With so many other qualified candidates applying, this one little essay can often mean the difference between being accepted to the school of your dreams and never moving out of your parents' basement. But don't let that scare you away from trying! Think of your college admissions essay as an opportunity to stand out from other applicants and really make an impression.

With some planning and careful consideration, you can draft a great college admissions essay that will vastly improve your chances of being accepted to the college of your choice. Make sure to give your essay a solid theme or thesis. Sometimes a college may specify a topic for you, other times they may let you choose your own; either way, make sure your focus is both narrow and personal. Remember you may only have words. Pick one story or event in your life to focus on; don't try to cover everything and don't ramble.

Don't write a resume or list your accomplishments; this information can be found elsewhere in your application. Your college admissions essay should tell a clear and engaging story, perhaps one about overcoming a difficult time in your life, getting your first pet, or where your love of gardening comes from.

Try to view the college admissions essay portion of your application as an opportunity to highlight who you are as an individual. This is the time to let your passions and personality really shine through. The application gives the admissions officer facts about you, but the college admissions essay tells him or her who you really are. Show the admissions officer you are mature, thoughtful, and responsible. Other qualities he or she will be looking for include empathy, confidence, creativity, persistence, and organization. Be sure to have a great lead to your essay.

Consider starting it off with a relevant quote, anecdote, question, or brief story. Grab the reader's attention and make him or her want to read your college admissions essay, not put it at the bottom of the pile! Don't be afraid to add a little humor to your essay—but just a touch!

You don't want the admissions officer thinking you aren't taking the task seriously. However, a well-placed witticism can lighten an especially deep or personal essay. College admissions essays often have a very limited word count , so make the most of every word.

Avoid being overly wordy; simple language often conveys your meaning best. Watch out for vague or meaningless sentences and be especially aware of unintended meanings.

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Look at any comparisons or analogies and avoid being corny or predictable. You want the person reading your college admissions essay to think you are smart, fresh, and creative; you don't want the reader rolling his or her eyes at an overused simile. Make sure you are being specific.

Don't just say your mission to Guatemala opened your eyes and leave it at that; describe how working with orphaned children really changed your perspective on Western life and why.

Choose Your Test

Use facts, quotations, and examples to tell your story. You can't just write one draft of your college admissions essay and think it will be ready to send. Start by writing a rough draft. Don't worry about quality at this stage. After you've completed your rough draft, take some time away from it and start again with fresh eyes. When you are editing your admissions essay , don't look at particulars like spelling and grammar; rather, look at the college admissions essay as a whole.

Find your essay's weaknesses and work on those. Once satisfied with your revised college admissions essay, it's time to proofread for clarity, spelling, and grammar. Ask someone else to review your paper. Writers are often unable to see mistakes in their own work, so having someone else check your essay will double your chances of catching any stray errors. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to write your college admissions essay; don't expect to write it the night before you need to submit your application. Allow yourself plenty of time to brainstorm ideas, write the initial draft, revise, and edit your application.

The earlier you begin, the better your essay will be. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you can do this. All you need to do is relax and enjoy telling your story! Writing a book report can be a difficult task that requires you to deal with a large amount of information in a relatively small space. While college is primarily an academic experience, important learning also occurs outside of the classroom.

This question aims to understand how you have contributed outside of the classroom which is a good indicator of what to expect in the future. This prompt tries to understand how you think about and would potentially address these problems.

How to Write a College Application Essay

As human beings, we are influenced by many people, places, and things. Whether it was a really great book, a parent, or your favorite hiking trail, this essay will understand what has influenced you in a meaningful way.

How to write your college application essay

As you are writing your supplemental essays, it is essential to connect them to each college you apply to. Instead, tie it directly to professors, curriculum, and research resources at the college in question. The more specific you can be, the better. Essay topics on overly personal or sensitive topics are generally best avoided as they can also be difficult to fully develop in the context of a word essay.

Many who write about these topics wind up writing more about what happened than how they grew from the experience. You might encounter supplemental essay prompts that allow only to words.

How To Write — And Not Write — A College Essay – Coalition Help Center

Our suggestion is to start with a brief story of just a sentence or 2 to hook the reader. Then, respond to the question as succinctly as possible. For your first draft, it is OK to go over the word count a bit and then trim your essay down as you revise. This will allow you to explore different approaches to the essay and see what works best for you.

This includes optional supplemental essays. Make it a point to put time and energy into your responses. It can be tempting, but will ultimately strip the personality and specificity from your essay, harming your case. Every word matters, so make sure everything in your essay is serving a purpose. As you edit and revise, focus on making your story tighter and more concise by eliminating unnecessary words and sentences.

Story2 teaches students applying to college how to write powerful personal statements, supplemental essays, and scholarship essays. Writing in the admissions process can be grouped into 2 buckets: Your main personal statement for the Common App or Coalition Application. Supplemental essays that are college-specific. In this guide, we are going to walk you through the entire essay writing process including:. Supplemental College Essay Tips and Topics.

12222–20 Common App Essays

Do I need to answer them? All rights reserved. Will Geiger , Story2. Top Tips to Win College Scholarships. My Daughter's College Admission Journey.

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