With college applications coming up, this is a great time to write essays. But don’t stress out about it – we’re here to help! We know that you can knock your essay out of the park if you keep reading and listening for tips from us on how best to do so.
What is a college admissions essay?
Why do you want to go to college? The standard answer is usually something like “I just think it’ll be a good experience and provide me with new opportunities.” While this could work for some, if your goal is actually getting into the school of your dreams then there should probably be more specific reasons than simply wanting an education or making friends. A great personal statement can help add context by describing what specifically attracts you about that particular university instead of every other one out there—the admissions officers are going to see thousands upon thousands of essays from eager students who all have their hearts set on attending their campus but they don’t know which ones will truly make a difference in molding them as future leaders so why not give them compelling
A college admissions essay doesn’t follow the same structure as a paper you write for class. Instead, it tells your story to show who you are and should be between 400-600 words long.
Writing about yourself can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t think of an essay as a way to talk more about you; rather, consider your personality and experiences in the context of how they make you well-suited for success at this school. With that approach I am sure writing will become easier!
Choose the right topic
When a prompt is given for college essays, make sure to respond correctly. It shouldn’t be creative and disregard the instructions from your school as this may look like you didn’t read them or that it’s not important enough which can lead to an unfavorable outcome on your application process.
Once you have chosen your topic, it’s time to reflect on the prompt. You should take this opportunity to think about why and how you are a good candidate for the school of interest.
The college application essay is often an open-ended question that invites students write their own unique story in response . It’s important not only choose a subject but also one with enough room so they can articulate what makes them qualified applicants . An effective prompt usually looks something like “reflect on when __“. This allows students space either personalize or create new challenges based around these topics instead of directly responding which may be too similar from other applicants
The Common Application asks applicants to write about their most important extracurricular activity, academic achievement, and/or personal quality. Instead of writing about a favorite hobby or why they chose the major that will get them into college (which is what I did), students should think more deeply on these topics: How have you positively impacted your community? What makes you stand out from other candidates applying for admission at this school? If we were chosen as an admissions counselor who would be reading your application essay today with limited information available besides our name and title, how would we choose between two nearly identical profiles based off just one short piece of writing?
The Common App
If you’re applying to one of 900+ universities through the Common App, they will give you 7 prompts on your application. One of these is an open-ended prompt where students can choose either a previously written essay or develop their own topic.
Are you applying to more than one school? If so, don’t worry about sending the same Common App essay for each application. You can submit different essays to schools or revise your essay before submitting it again!
Keep your reader in mind
When you’re writing your college admissions essay, remember that the department is more concerned about whether or not you’d be a good fit for their diverse student body. You can mention them by name, but don’t overdo it in your essay since they aren’t begging to get into Harvard University. One example of how an applicant could show why he would make a great candidate was if his list included “I made time during my busy schedule at high school to serve as president…
Successfully getting into a medical program at Duke University requires multiple essays. Applicants might need to write an essay for the college and another one specifically tailored towards their academic interests in this case, writing about why they chose that specific major or honors college within the school. The applicant wrote: “Successfully applying to get into [the] Medical Program [at Duke University] required me to tailor my original ideas and goals around how I could best serve society through medicine” (Duke Student Essay).
Show, don’t tell
In the example above, the writer used descriptive language to grab their reader’s attention. Here is another example of an essay that shows what they mean to communicate rather than simply telling it:
In this second excerpt from an academic paper on literature , we can see how a change in structure and word choice makes for a more engaging reading experience. Notice how both essays describe “a man who was not sure whether he wanted his son or daughter at first.” But while one version employs basic sentences with simple words like “He didn’t know if…,” other uses phrases such as “The husband had been ambivalent about having children” alongside long adjectives (“ambivalent”) which create greater imagery and engagement as well as intensify meaning by conve
See how this student uses vivid language to paint a picture rather than merely describe their achievements? By doing so, they give the reader an opportunity infer things about themselves from each sentence you write. For example, if you want your essay to communicate that have leadership skills, it would be better for them talk about specific situations where taking the lead was necessary instead of simply stating those facts.
If figuring out how to make your writing more descriptive is making life difficult for you as well feel free check out our guide on spicing up everything with details and examples!
Always, always, always proofread
The last step of the writing process is proofreading. If you’ve gone through your first draft and reworked it to make content as strong as possible, now’s the time for a final read-through. It can be easy to overlook this step–don’t do that! Proofread every part of your application before sending anything in; otherwise, small mistakes could cost you at admission offices.
Above all, be authentic
Why is your college essay so important? Your application could be amazing and you may have a great GPA. But if your essays aren’t up to par, colleges will pass on accepting you into their school. In order for the admissions team at each university to get an idea of who they are looking at beyond transcripts and test scores, having a unique voice should shine through in every single piece of writing that goes out with them name attached it! This includes all materials needed while applying including personal statements or additional supplements like diversity statements. After all, this isn’t going to take place over Skype–everyone has seen how things play out online when there’s no face-to-face interaction happening behind what someone writes down…
To get your college application noticed, show off the right way. Grammarly can help you with that by detecting all of the tones present in your writing and showing you which sentences to use them on so they don’t sound too braggy or self-deprecating when editing for a specific tone.
Don’t let an unpolished essay keep you out of your dream school
If you want to get into your dream school, don’t submit an essay riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. After revising it yourself, use Grammarly’s free plagiarism checker and proofreading tools so everything in the essay is mistake-free, engaging and consistent in tone.