An admission committee considers different criteria when deciding whether to accept an applicant. Even though your previous academic performance and test scores are important, the admission essay is your chance to get the admissions reader to really understand who you are and what you are all about.
Admission officers are taking a holistic approach to understand you as an entire person, not just your scores and grades. While they are reading your entire application rapidly — think less than five minutes — the essay is your chance to grab their attention. I always say: make them laugh or make them cry. The important thing is to get their attention and draw them into the story that is something interesting and compelling about you. They are asking themselves who are you and what do you bring to our college community? Are you going to be that awesome roommate? Are you going to make the most of the opportunities presented during your college experience? Why should this spot go to you and not candidate x, y, and z? Here are some tips that will help you explain what makes you unique and special.
1. Understand the Prompt
Writing an admission essay is a long process. You may have already brainstormed a myriad of ideas. Yet, do not forget to take some time to make sure you genuinely understand the prompt a college or university suggests. You should be specific and adhere to the requirements. There is no need to squeeze all your achievements and ideas into a two-page essay. You should focus on the provided prompt questions, developing three or four of your most important points within it. A narrow focus will help you to convey your thoughts more effectively.
One goal of your essay is to convince the admission committee that you have the potential to succeed and can contribute to the academic life of the institution. How do you want the admission officers to perceive you? What impression do you want to convey? Once you come up with clear answers to these questions, highlight the features of your personality and experiences that give the true impression of yourself, and also convey your essay goal.
Reading examples of successful and compelling essays be a great source of inspiration and get your creative juices flowing. However, you should not rely on them fully. Your aim must be to present your own authentic experiences and perspectives. Some people will begin the process and pay for essay to get a draft written by professionals. Regardless of your preparation strategy, you should present a piece with clearly formulated goals.
3. Focus on Yourself
The purpose of the essay is to allow the admission officers to get to know you. You do not need to try too hard or, even worse, write what others want to hear from you. It is time to be yourself. It does not mean that you should take yourself too seriously or run up a list of your accomplishment. In contrast, winning essays are always effective narratives that draw the reader in and connect with them emotionally. They need to speak about your experience. Writing your piece, think:
- Why do you do what you do?
- What makes you who you are?
- How did your experience shape you?
4. Personal Story
The best way to impress your reader is to tell a memorable story. Analyze your experience and see what shaped you as the person you are today. Identify a moment in your life that had an impact on your identity, describe how you contributed to your community, reflect on your past mistakes, etc. Find a compelling story you care about and present it from an original perspective. Do not include blank statements or clichés. For example, some students overthink their essays and add empty metaphors or imagery. You want to sound natural and authentic.
Colleges are looking for people, not robots. They want to see your personality with emotions, human connections, feelings, and thoughts. Find a way to express these aspects of your life. Do not exaggerate or give the admission officers the wrong impression. Instead, identify your strength and be specific about them. Try to find specific traits that describe you best and illustrate that with a compelling story.
6. Identity and Reflection
The admission officers need to see that you are a mature person who can learn and grow from experiences both good and bad. You will want your story to have insights based on self-reflection. Use the different essay opportunities to demonstrate different facets of who you are. Have a strategy to present, for example, three different aspects about yourself through the three essays that you submit. You don’t want to repeat your points, but you do want all three to hang together to reveal the entire person that you are.
7. Structure and Grammar
Editing and proofreading are essential. Take as much time as you need to eliminate grammatical errors. Work to eliminate repetitive or unnecessary words. Think about the structure of your essay. Try to grab your readers’ attention at the beginning of your essay with a good opening line. Then, divide your admission essay into several meaningful parts. Make sure the ideas flow smoothly.
For the essay about Why This College, make sure that your essay is not so generic that it could be used for any college. Double and triple-check that you have the correct name of the college in your essay!! Your essay should not have any evidence of cutting and pasting from your other college applications!
An admission essay is an important part of your college application. It should reflect your personal voice and values. Try to offer a story that the reader will remember. Choose something that speaks to you. This approach will make your admission essay persuasive and genuine. The best strategy you can choose is to let your identity come through. You are the only you! And you are awesome!
p.s. Related posts:
Applying to College: How To Select Colleges
Making the Most of Your Child’s College Visits
How To: Apply Early Decision To Get Into College
Top Art & Design Colleges for Undergraduates
Applying to Art School: Portfolio
Tips for National Portfolio Day
First To College Program at Newton North High School
Top 5 Tips to Choose a College & Visiting Trinity College
Dorm Room Essentials & My Daughter’s Move In
How To Write a Great College Application Essay
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