That exciting time of year is upon us where high school seniors are anticipating those college acceptance letters and scholarships to start flooding in! But before the celebrations can begin, the application process must be tackled accordingly. A major part of this process is formulating a good essay. The following article will discuss 5 Tips For Writing an Effective College Application Essay.
1) Analyze The Writing Prompt
Take three to five minutes to thoroughly read through and dissect your writing prompt. One of the biggest mistakes students can make is write a 300 page application essay that completely misses the mark on what was initially asked of you. Errors like this show college admissions officers that you lack attention to detail. (That’s NEVER a good thing!)
2) Stay on Topic
Rambling on an on has no place in your college application essay. Most prompts will ask you to describe a specific time when you dealt with a certain situation or feeling. Each element of your essay should build toward answering the question that’s been asked of you. If you begin to venture off with your essay, you will surely lose the reader’s attention.
3) Be Yourself
Never write what you think an admissions officer wants to hear. Always stay true to who you are, and illuminate your real life experiences, ideas and goals. Your mind and how you think are the distinctive traits that admissions officers are looking for.
4) Be Concise
Most college application essays have a suggested limit of at least 250-500 words. There are generally no maximum word counts. However, college admissions officers are reading stacks upon stacks of essays per day, so it’s a good idea to keep your essay as close to the word minimum as possible, while still answering the writing prompt effectively. Sometimes, saying less speaks volumes.
5) Show, Don’t Tell
Try not to simply state facts and ideas, instead provide specific details, examples and reasons that help drive your point home. Describe what you were doing at specific moments, how you felt and why. Offering detailed anecdotes that depict why you reacted to a situation a certain way and your thought process behind your reaction provides the admissions officer a strong sense of who you are.
Having someone other than yourself fine-tune your essay is an essential piece of the entire college application process. Proofreading allows you to find the little silly errors that we all make from time to time. Whether its grammar, spelling, typos, structure or even the wording of your essay, putting in the time to have your essay carefully critiqued shows that you respect the process enough to develop a quality, error-free paper. Admissions officers will certainly appreciate that
The key to writing an effective college application essay is ensuring that it stands out from the crowd. Be original, be creative and most importantly, be YOU. There will always be another student with better grades, more extra-curricular activities, and higher SAT scores, but there is only one you in this world. So emphasize who you are and the qualities that you bring to an institution, and you’ll be receiving those acceptance letters in no time!
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