You have researched colleges and now it is time to write a personal essay. It’s time to construct a thesis that will help you stand out from the masses. It’s up to you to show the admissions committee what sets you apart from others in ways that test scores, grades and extracurricular pursuits cannot. Here are some tips to help you craft your best composition.
Pick your Topic.
When you are ready to write an admissions essay, pick something that you can easily discuss and a subject that it is truthful. You will never want to force an answer or lie. Tap into your passions, different experiences, or anything that makes you seem original, but make sure you answer the question they provided. If you do not, your essay will likely be overlooked.
Outline Your Essay and Start Writing.
Whenever you start writing your first draft, it is best to just let your thoughts flow freely, but also to approach it with some structure. Create an outline. Structure your essay so that it includes an introduction paragraph that states what you will be talking about, a body section with several paragraphs that relate to the introduction, and a conclusion paragraph that leaves an impression. Be original and creative to help show the admissions board a clearer picture of who you are and added reasons why you would be a great addition to the college.
Edits and Feedback.
Review your paper several times and make sure that your essay is concise and reads easily. Reading the draft out loud will help you find anything that does not sound conversational. Most importantly, after reviewing your own work, hand it over to family, friends or even teachers for their feedback. Make sure that the essay “sounds like you” by keeping everything in your own voice. Remember to proofread your essay several times to make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors.
- Use imagery and clear vivid prose by appealing to the five senses. It helps keep the reader engaged.
- Spend most of your time perfecting the introduction to help entice the reader to continue reading. Admissions officers usually only give 1-2 minutes per essay. Make sure you hook them in.
- Conclusions are crucial and leave a critical last impression. Try to link it back to the introduction to create a balance to the essay without the need to summarize everything into a paragraph.
- Take breaks! This essay is important, but do not make it your whole focus. Taking a break from the writing or editing is healthy. Just make sure you meet the deadline!
Best of luck and fingers crossed for the acceptance letters to come in the mail.
- “Writing the Successful College Application Essay.” Writing the Successful College Application Essay. Ed. Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. Quintessential Careers. Web. 7 Jan. 2015. http://www.quintcareers.com/college_application_essay.html.
- “8 Tips for Crafting Your Best College Essay.” <i>8 Tips for Crafting Your Best College Essay</i>. Bigfuture by The College Board. Web. 7 Jan. 2015. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/essays/8-tips-for-crafting-your-best-college-essay