Tips for writing a college essay
To write an essay on the college application is a rather difficult and very important assignment for every high school senior.
Below, we give some tips for writing a college essay.
- 1. Be laconic. While usually there is only a minimum requirement of 250 words for an essay, with no upper restrictions defined, it is still better to avoid redundant wordiness. A brief but factful essay will be better perceived by an admissions officer resulting in a higher grade. If your essay contains more than 700 words, it is rather an evidence of your inability to be concise.
- 2. Write honest. Mention your achievements and records, if any, but never exaggerate them. It is always better to be modest than to look boastful. Admissions officers have a wide experience in treating college essays and will easily notice where you try to present yourself better than you really are. Don't overdo.
- 3. Show your individuality. Try to find out what could put you apart from thousands of other applicants and focus on these features in your essay. It should be something special. Best of all, if you can show your mature way of thinking. An officer understands that you are a teenager like others and will be pleased to know that you are ready for more adult things – study, analyzing of circumstances, readiness to work hard to achieve the goals of your life.
- 4. Express clearly. Your manner of expressing thoughts should be successive and consistent. Don’t mix everything together. Put up one argument after another. It is always better to express a few deep thoughts rather than a hundred of superficial ones. Remember, that the major task of your essay is to present your strong qualities and best abilities.
- 5. Be precise. Try to avoid logical or factual mistakes. Mention only the facts you know for sure. If you doubt accurate dates or figures, consider using them at all. Grammar, punctuation and spelling go without saying, of course. They belong to basic knowledge and must be respected in any assignment any time.
- 6. Write vividly. The college essay should not look like a bare listing of facts. It is always advisable to add some emotions into the work. Try to make your essay more humane by adding curious description of personal events or circumstances. Some personal names (even invented) of your friend, teacher, or relative will make the paper more informal and improve perception. It may be of use, because can attract attention of the admissions officer who is a living man as well.
- 7. Be pleasant. The college is a community, where students have to be on good terms with each other, because they spend much time together. Also, ability of team work is appreciated. In your essay, you have to show that you could be a good member of this society dedicated to the spirit of alma mater.
- 8. Don’t overdo with humor. Humor is a special and intimate thing. If you are not sure that your joke will evoke the reaction you hope for, you'd better give up that way of relating. Think twice anyway. This type of paper can manage without jokes.
- 9. Use disputatious manner of writing. This is the right way of expressing thoughts in a college essay. You can discuss anything: politics, economics, religion etc. But do not pretend to be the only one on the right side. Express your standpoint, but show you are perceptible to new ideas and respect point of view of other people. Maintain your opinion with arguments and facts, discuss other positions and relevant arguments. Remember, that the college is the right place for discussions, and if you are going to be a student, you must be ready for it.
- 10. Be intelligent. You are going to proceed with your study, so show to the admissions officer that you are smart enough to succeed. This is probably the most important thing to remember when you consider how to write college essay. Tell why you choose the occupation and show you are fit for it.