Easy Ways To Improve Your Admissions Essay

on March 7, 2017

Sounding intelligent and down-to-earth in your college essay can be a challenge. Not only do you have to articulate your personality while remaining concise and professional, but you might also feel pressure to produce something that college admissions officers have never seen before.

 

If you haven’t travelled the world, started a non-profit or experienced great personal loss, don’t fret — most college applicants haven’t either. Below are a few tips to help you strengthen your essay and stand out in the process.

 

Brainstorm

 

Ultimately, your essay should be a reflection of who you are as a person, so you’ll need a personal anecdote or story in which you can offer your perspective or convey your opinions on a specific issue. Write down a list of experiences that have shaped you, failures that have motivated you or a problem that you solved. Even the most trivial experiences can be interesting through the right voice. Admissions officers are looking for fresh and inviting prose, as well as a further understanding of the qualities and viewpoints you possess.

 

Be Specific

 

Almost every essay you write will have a word limit. Whether you’re allowed 250 or 1,000 words, never exceed the maximum. Make the best use of your words. For example, rather than stating what kind of person you are, use examples that demonstrate your qualities. Every sentence should pack a punch while fitting into your overall narrative. By choosing one compelling story to tell, you’ll have the freedom to communicate a lot of information about yourself. Sticking to one moment gives you a strong foundation on which to build your case.

 

Use Your Voice

 

Students make the mistake of using words they wouldn’t ordinarily say. Don’t fill your essay with words you rarely use or can’t define. Write in your own voice and to the best of your ability. Communicating who you are is the most important aspect of your application essay.

 

Proofread 

 

Though admissions boards love honesty, personality and individuality. What they don’t love are spelling and grammatical mistakes. If you submit an essay without proofreading, they'll interpret this as sloppiness or indifference. Have a parent or teacher read your drafts. Also, read them aloud to yourself and be sure that everything you want to say comes across like it should.

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