Arguably, one of the most challenging parts of joining the college for some students is writing a college application essay. A cloud of anxiety normally engulfs many students and they remain clueless about how to write this essay.
Well, this anxiety is not unfounded. College application essays are not a joke. They are key in determining whether you will be granted admission into the institution. The essay is also a measure of how a student can express themselves as compared to other students. Thus, there is always an element of seriousness with these essays.
A good college application essay will take a considerable amount of time to write. Without a doubt, you will write a lot of drafts. Well, we think that writing is a fun activity but when it comes to writing college application essays, the fun stops.
All in all, this article will consider five terrific pieces of advice for writing college application essays. We are optimistic that with these tips, you will ace that college application essay.
1. Write in a Manner that Shows You’re Targeting the Reader
This is one of the best pieces of advice that should apply to all write-ups. When you write in a manner that shows you’re targeting the reader, your write-up is more objective. It will be as if you’re talking to the reader in person. College application essay readers are normally college admission officers. When writing this essay, you’re actually trying to convince them that you’re worthy of admission into the college. The essay has to help them get to know you better.
Thus, there’s no better way of letting a person get to know you on paper than by writing as if you’re talking to them directly. When the readers have a feeling that you are talking to them directly, their interest is aroused and their attention will be focused on hearing what you have to say.
2. Be Concise
You have to remember that the college admissions office receives applications day in and day out. Your application is just one of the many that they receive. The college admission officers are prone to suffer from burnout because of their monotonous work. You don’t want to contribute to this by writing lengthy essays. They won’t be read. Thus, in order to increase your chances of having a positive feedback, it is imperative that you write in a concise way. Most colleges require a minimum amount of words but there’s no upper limit. If the college gives a minimum of 300 words, try to write the initial 300 words and add a little on top. Remember that the college admission officers can run out of patience, so don’t try it by writing 800 words. Try to be concise. This will enable them to read the whole essay in just a couple of minutes.
Also, you will have an edge over those who write really long college application essays.
3. Entertain the Reader
Well, again, the focus is on the college admission officers. These fellows read tons and tons of essays daily. A great percentage of the essays that pass through their desks are boring, with a small percentage of them proving to be a little bit interesting. You don’t want to be a part of the bandwagon of the boring writers. You should aim at being a part of the group whose essays are considered to be interesting. Your ultimate aim is to shine as the best writer to a very bored reader. In order to accomplish this, you have to captivate the reader. Play your cards right. Choose a specific area in which you can entertain. You can either be controversial, sentimental or even use an impeccable language structure to captivate the reader. You can add a little humor here and there to break the monotony. Have a powerful narrative at the center of your essay. The choice of what to use to entertain the reader is yours. Use your creativity and entertainment skills. A word of caution though, do not entertain excessively. Remember, this is official business. Your aim is to bring in a light moment, not to come off as a clown.
4. Always Write in the First Person
Many people are inclined to write in the third person. Third person pronouns like he, they, and she are often used in write-ups. However, for the sake of your college application essay, write in the first person. This means using ‘I’. The reasoning behind this is that college admission officers want to specifically hear about you. What better way of writing about yourself than to write in the first person. For example, you could write: “I like philosophy since high school.” That sounds better than writing in the third person, for example, “Some people realize that they like philosophy when they are in high school.” There is a personal touch when you write in the first person. In fact, you sound more interesting to the reader.
5. Avoid Grammatical Errors, Punctuation Errors, and Spelling Mistakes at All Costs
A lot of college applicants fail in this regard. Many college application essays are filled with grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors to the dismay of college admission officers. These errors stick out and they paint a negative picture for the readers.
In order to reduce these errors, make sure you proofread your work thoroughly. Subject your work to a grammar and spelling checker. If you have to, have someone else proofread your work with the sole goal of looking for errors. Some mistakes are regarded as silly and careless. What’s worse is how they leave a negative imprint in the minds of the readers. These mistakes have contributed to most rejections of college applications. Let yours not be one of them. You can even use online grammar checkers to fix the mistakes before printing and submitting the college application essay. Checking for these errors enhances the accuracy of your work.
There are important reminders to take note of while writing your college application essay. Take note that an essay has three parts, that is, the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Ensure your essay conforms to this format. Another thing – don’t rush to submit the essay until you’re satisfied with it. Do not treat the essay like your term papers. Carefully choose the words that you will use. Remember that the admission officers expect a short statement and not a lengthy term paper. You only get to prove yourself once, so give it your best shot.
When planning on writing the college application essay, be vivid in your approach. Use real life experiences and real people in your description. Don’t be mechanical. You’re not writing a scientific paper! Be human in your approach. Endeavor to appeal to the other human that will read the essay. An important reminder is to check for clichés. College admission essays should be free from all clichés. They come off as unappealing to the readers. Get straight to the point. Do not beat around the bush. The admission board expects you to be creative.
With the above tips and advice, writing your college application essay will not prove to be a difficult task. Carefully consider them and apply them effectively. Give the essay readers something fresh and new and smile your way into college.
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