One of the most important parts of your college application is the essay. Those words can be the definitive argument that will guarantee that you will be accepted by the institution of your dreams. An essaywill give you the chance to show the best about yourself, something that your grades and the form that you filled out might not be enough to deliver.
But a college application essay is also very daunting, and many students have nightmares just thinking about writing it. They can be hard work as it is not easy to put into words why that college should be happy to let you join it.
Good news is that, according to many experts, there are several tips that you should put into practice so to increase your chances to impress your admission officer. And here they are together for you:
# 1 –Read the instructions carefully
A silly mistake that many students make is feeling so overwhelmed by having to write an essay that they don’t manage to understand the instructions very well. They panic, their brains go foggy, and they end up write about everything but what they have been asked.
So make sure that you read the instructions carefully and that you check that you are following them by the dot. Note that if there are guidelines regarding formatting (number of words, font, spacing, etc.), they are as important as the topic suggested.
# 2 – Keep it short and sweet
You should always put yourself on your admissions officer’s shoes while you are preparing your essay. And one of the things you should consider here is the fact that they receive a huge amount of essays at the beginning of each academic year.
So don’t get them tired by writing a long and boring essay. Make it short and sweet, possibly something between 250 to 700 words, except if the guidelines say otherwise. Make sure that each sentence counts and that you aren’t repeating yourself at any stage.
# 3 – Be careful with humour
If this is part of your personality, it can be very tempting to add some humour to your text. And while there isn’t anything wrong with it in principle, you should be very careful here.
You probably don’t know enough about the personality of the person who will read your essay. Neither in which mood they will be. So, except if you really know how to do it, or if the topic calls for it, keep the jokes out of your essay or to the minimum.
# 4 – Craft a perfect first sentence
As said above, your admission officer will be reading a high number of essays on thesame day. So you will have to grab their attention from the first sentence if you want that they keep reading it. That is to say that your first sentence needs to be at its best.
Don’t worry if you don’t get it right when you start writing it. Finish your first draft without caring about it, and then get back to it when you are editing your text. But don’t consider it done until you find a highly engaging first sentence to your essay.
# 5 – Show your unique characteristics
More personal is the topic suggested for your essay, better are your chances for you to use it to show your unique characteristics. Students with not so stellar grades can have on the essay their best ally so to show that exams aren’t enough to show how good they can be.
So don’t waste the opportunity to show your unique characteristics in your essay. Let your personality appears in your words, by defending your ideas and writing how you feel about the topic. You can also personal stories to your essay if relevant.
# 6 – Let them know how you think
One of the skills that will be analysed through your essay is critical thinking. The admission officer will want to know if you can be coherent and demonstrate an idea without being vague or irrelevant.
So make sure that you add a few things that can describe how you came to your conclusions, such as research done, interviews you made, or else. And craft your writing so to make it sound as easy to consume as possible.
# 7 – Avoid big words
Many students think that big words are the best way to show expertise. But they couldn’t be more wrong. If they already are part of your vocabulary, by all means, go ahead. But if they don’t, those words will sound unnatural on your text and only make it sound confusing.
So, yes, have a thesaurus with you when you are writing so to avoid repetitive words and to find the best way to say what you mean. But stay clear from pretending that you can write in a way that isn’t your style. It won’t work out and make you sound silly.
# 8 – Ask someone to proofread it
After getting your essay done, don’t deliver it without asking someone else to proofread it for you. No matter how confident you are about your writing skills only the fact that you are under emotional pressure should be enough to make you overlook some mistakes. Use Grammarly, Hemingway, Smart Paper Help, or any other helpful tool to make sure everything is perfect.
Wrapping it up
Nobody will lie to you here. Writing a successful college application essay is a big deal. But many people have done it before, and so can you.
Just make sure that you don’t rush it away, and that you use all the resources available to help you. Stick to the rules while bending them a little bit so that you can stand out from the competition.
Best of luck!
About the author:
Rick Riddle is a content manager and an up-and-coming blogger whose articles can help you with self-development, entrepreneurship, career, and digital marketing. Feel free to follow Rick on twitter and LinkedIn.