Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay
Subjects by Degree Associate. Subjects by Degree Bachelor's. Subjects by Degree Coklege. Subjects by Degree Doctorate. The Quad Magazine Features. The Quad Magazine Magazine. By David A. Laper college essay is ;aper required part of the application process for most selective colleges and universities. The college application essay is your opportunity to distinguish yourself as something xpplication than an anonymous collection of academic stats and achievements.
But it helps to know what college clllege officers are looking for in a college essay. We also enlisted the help wpplication a qualified expert in the field.
Meredith Lombardi, Associate Director of Outreach and Education collegw the Common Application, offers a few tips on exactly what admissions officers are seeking from a great application essay.
If you fall into the excited category, consider applicatino a complimentary resource. Consider this wpplication good set of references as you hammer out your ideas, and work through your essay drafts. Sorry for yelling.
You got this. Paler follow our tips and write from the heart. But first…. Of course, your college application essay is just one part of your admissions package, along with your GPA, your class rank, and your extracurriculars. Every college weighs these factors differently.
But those colleges which require an essay are giving you a unique opportunity to set yourself apart from all the other students who also have awesome grades, ran for student body president, and volunteered at a retirement home. Take that opportunity and run with it. Many selective colleges and universities have their own essay prompts. Other colleges may simply offer you free writing space to provide a personal statement. However, the Common Application is perhaps the best starting point for anticipating likely college essay prompts.
The Common Application, which is accepted by nearly colleges and cllege, is a single-serving college application that allows you to create one admissions package for submission to multiple schools. Meredith Lombardi explains that "For students applying to multiple institutions, the Common App streamlines the application process by eliminating the redundancy of filling out multiple applications.
Our application provides students with the necessary tools to showcase themselves and their talents while providing a unique picture of who they are as an individual. The Common App is also a great way to save time and money. The Common Application also gives you the option of responding to one of 7 different essay prompts.
If you don't plan on using the Common App, these prompts can still offer insight into a topic you'll likely be writing on for your school of choice. On the subject of essay prompts, Meredith points out that the 7 variations offered by the Common App are designed to give all applicants the pper to share xollege meaningful about themselves.
She notes that "The prompts allow students to showcase different personal attributes, such as personal growth, facing adversity, problem solving, or intellectual curiosity. We hope that students can see themselves in one or more of the prompts and that by having a range of options to choose from, they will feel excited rather than intimidated by the writing process.
The Common Application gives you a space col,ege between and words to respond to one of the following prompts:. To learn more, check out The Common Application Guide. Based on the prompts above, you can see that college essay topics generally fall into a few major categories. For many colleges, you can psper writing about something relating to:.
When given this freedom, choose a topic that seems inherently interesting to you. Tell a story that best illustrates who you are and how you can contribute to the unique makeup of a student body. Avoid boasting or merely listing accomplishments. Instead, find an area in which you are naturally confident, and use that area of your life to drive this story. The story will, in turn, provide context for your accomplishments. Be warned that some college essays demand more creativity than others.
Consider the cultural identity of your prospective school as you formulate your topic. Some colleges are more formal than others. Some may embrace a tradition of creative thinking. In some instances, you can actually see this cultural identity reflected in an essay prompt. Approach your writing topic accordingly. According collefe Business InsiderTufts University and the University of Chicago have both earned reputations for their out-of-left-field essay questions. Second, they want to see your creativity.
They want to see how you think when challenged. They want to see how you function when removed from the safe confines of formula and expectation. In other words, when confronted with an unusual topic, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate your creativity, showcase your individuality, and make the case that you would make a unique contribution to the student body. And if the topic is weird, feel free to write a weird essay. Whatever the essay prompt or topic, applicatjon are a few universal tips for writing an awesome college essay:.
That stuff is all in your application. Not too personal, of course. Avoid crossing the line into TMI. Lombardi coolege "When it comes to the college application essay, the ball is fully in your court. What you visit a college is entirely up to you.
Putting your ideas into the right words may take time. Be sure that you papsr yourself that time. You might want to use an outline, laying out your main points, developing supporting ideas, and sequencing your thoughts logically. This should help you to organize a clear rough draft. If you begin taking these steps well ahead of your deadline, you should have plenty of time to read about me resume ideas your own work, make revisions, share your essay with others, and incorporate feedback into future drafts.
According to Erica Curtis, a former Admissions Evaluator at Brown University"we really had to keep up a rigorous reading pace with the regular decision applicant pool. We were expected to read 5 applications appljcation hour, which equates to twelve minutes per application. In those twelve minutes, I reviewed the application, standardized test scores, the transcript, the personal statement, and multiple supplemental essays—all while taking notes and making a decision on the admissibility of the applicant.
Your writing should be sharp, focused, and relevant. And of course, whatever you write, make sure it actually addresses the prompt. Be creative, but also be concise. Tell a story that is short, sweet, and narrowly focused on a single event or idea. And never, ever exceed the instructed word count. This advice applies to most creative writing situations. We assume some well-meaning English teacher shared this advice with you in high school. Well…respect to your English teacher.
That story shows your hard work, dedication, and generosity without ever referring explicitly to these fantastic qualities. Of course, your story should also be true. Part of making your story true is finding your voice. This means establishing a style but also writing in language that feels natural.
You get the idea. Lombardi advises, papeer biggest mistake a student can make with the essay is not using their authentic voice. This can result from writing their essay in a way they think schools want to hear or using words that are not in their everyday vocabulary.
Do coollege words coming out pwper like their own? Like other parts of the application, writing is a process. Students who give it paper college application time it deserves will have more time to write, step away, rewrite, and ultimately submit an essay that truly reflects who they are.
Speaking of future drafts, one of the best things you can do appliccation run your essay by a trusted family member, educator, advisor, or friend.
Get feedback from somebody whose opinion you respect. This feedback will give you a sense of how well resume examples high school graduate ideas are coming across to the reader, how compelling your story is, and how you might be able to improve your essay.
These additional eyes are also critical when it comes to proofing your work, catching typos you might have missed, and helping to refine writing that is unclear or off-topic. Their schoolwork and teachers are alplication them to make the transition to college, and their teachers and counselors are there to help guide them through the process.
Students can take advantage of writing centers, classes, or workshops that are being offered for free at their appliction or in their communities. We are proud to work with the American College Application Campaign and others committed to helping students access higher education.
Students can also check out WhyApply for great resources. The following examples are excerpts drawn from actual essays submitted by students who successfully earned admission into various schools of colpege. These have been shared publicly by the schools identified below and should provide you with a sense of the features that admissions officers are looking for in applicztion strong college essay. Write an Intriguing Opening Line, and tell us why it matters. While waiting for him to finish working one night, I wandered from the modestly finished space at the front of the building to the shop in collfge, which featured high ceilings and colldge stacks of shelves.
Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay
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Sep 23, - Paper college application. Autoethnographic methods include pool will need for living in a mobile. In the bill is conclusion to research paper. Sample College Admission Essays. This section contains two examples of good college essays. Prompt: Please submit a one-page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen State University and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s). As you start to draft your paper, consider all of the aspects that define your It is very important to consider which college application essay subjects are best for.