17
May

Tips for a Successful College or University Application Essay

Most college application essay questions are designed for college and university faculty members or admissions officers to discover information about you. Therefore, they are your chance to tell colleges about yourself in your own way while answering their specific questions. The initial step to writing an effective college admissions essay is picking the proper topic since you will often have a choice among several possible essay questions. Choose a topic that allows you to give the school the best representation of who you are as an individual. What are your interests? What are your dreams? What’s important to you? These are all aspects of the persona about which faculties and admissions officers are enthusiastic. If you do not have a choice and are required to answer a specific set of standard essay questions, you can still use that as an opportunity to put your best foot forward.

Model your admissions essay as may have some of your previous school essays. Start with an outline or graphic organizer (such as a bubble map) to brainstorm the structure, content, and specific details that you want to include in your essay. Consider your strengths and weaknesses, and then explain one or two in detail in reference to the question. There are many ways to structure your essay. You could, for example, focus solely on one of your positive attributes that would help convince the admissions officer or committee that you are a student they would want to attend their school. Alternatively, you could choose two or three of your best qualities and devote a paragraph to each. The narrative essay is also a common and helpful format; in the narrative essay, begin with a brief and engaging account about yourself, your personality, and your strengths as a student and person. You may want to relate an event in your life that highlights your creativity, persistence, problem-solving capabilities, or the capacity to help other people.

When composing your essay, highlight your positive qualities as well as detail your accomplishments. (ex. “I volunteered at an animal shelter”). Go the extra mile to show how your pursuits reveal your persona and values. For example- “All my life, I’ve been particularly passionate about animal welfare and animal rights. While volunteering at the local animal shelter, I was able to put my passion and knowledge about animals into practice.” Articulating about your strengths and values provides a much deeper insight into your personal qualities than merely listing a few of your actions.

Finally, proofread and edit your essay. Make sure your writing reads smoothly, clearly, and is free of errors. It is especially important that college admissions essays be written to the very best of your ability because they could determine whether you are admitted into the college of your choice or not. It is to your benefit to send it to a professional editing service for polishing. Not only would an expert editor check for simple grammar errors, but an editor could also give you beneficial feedback about the content of your essay. A professional editor could even help reduce the number of words in your essay if you have a specific word count requirement. After all, this is your chance to show the school of your choice why they should admit you!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 at 11:02 am and is filed under Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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