How To Write An Essay For College
How to Write an Essay for College
While the average student spends days trying to condense years’ worth of hard work into a few hundred words, the admission officers spend less than five minutes reading each. The college essay might not be the most important part of the admission application, but it is one of the aspects that might sway the decision either way.
The ability to form and express your opinions clearly is what decides how your academic career in the college will be like. Some methods through which one can learn how to write exceptional college essays are given below.
START WITH A STORY
Everybody wants to start with the story of a struggling boy who later turned out to be one of the greatest minds of the century; or by a quote from the very individual. Instead of adopting these hackneyed methods, try opening with a personal anecdote, preferably one that challenged you to explore your boundaries. This will not only give the reader a glimpse into your personality but also get their attention.
THINK LIKE THE ADMISSION OFFICER
If you were the admission officer of the school you were applying to, would you want to accept a mediocre student with minimal abilities, or one who demonstrates exceptional creative and expressive potential? Be the type of student that you would want studying in your university, were you the admission officer of the same. This does not only apply to the college admission essay, but also to the entire application you send in. Work your hardest to make it the best application you can.
DO NOT WRITE TO IMPRESS: WRITE TO EXPRESS
Most students are under the impression that the college would want to read about the time they helped rescue people stuck in a flood, or braved the odds in a situation that seemed invincible. While the personal experiences might have made you a better person, they should not come across as tools to impress in your application. Write about simple incidents and what their significance in your life is.
Additionally, write in a simple, straightforward manner. Do not beat around the bush: you have only so many words in which to express yourself. A smart, simple, concise, crisp essay is better than a long, winded, flowery one.
BIG WORDS WILL NOT IMPRESS
The primary aim of the college essay is to get a glimpse of the real you. Every college knows that no average teenager will use the words ‘lackadaisical’ or ‘etiolate’ in every day conversation. In fact, writing an essay laced with words that most do not understand only makes you sound arrogant.
Therefore, write like you would speak: simply and concisely. Your goal is to get your point across in as little words and as effectively as possible in a very narrow time window. Accomplish it and move on.
WRITE FOR YOURSELF, NOT FOR OTHERS
If you were given ten minutes to talk to the instructor about anything at all, what would you say? Think about the answer to this question, and write it down as your essay. Any topic is a good topic as long as you demonstrate that you are capable of stringing together thoughts to form a coherent argument. Colleges want to test your cognition, not your volunteer work.
READ ESSAYS BY STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED
You will be surprised at how many successful students wrote essays that a normal, seventeen-year teenager would. Every essay that sits well with the admission officers is one that touched their hearts because of its ingenuity and honesty. These college essays may not have won the Nobel Prize, but they were capable of demonstrating the kind of person that a student is.
DO NOT PRETEND
While the temptation to portray yourself as the perfect student might be strong, you have to understand that every person is flawed in their way. Do not pretend to be perfect: in fact, use your imperfections as your strength. Tell the college why they should accept you despite your shortcomings.
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS
Many students ignore the long list of instructions that come with the essay topic. However, understand that they were incorporated with the topic to provide some structure to the essay. It is exhausting for the admission officers to receive hundreds of essays every year that do not follow the basic format.
What is worse is a good essay violating the instructions, which demonstrates that despite having the ability to express his or her opinions, the students is incapable of listening to others.
DO NOT REITERATE YOUR APPLICATION
Just like many applicants who send in cover letters describing their resume, many students assume that elaborating on their application will make for a wonderful essay.
However, colleges are already aware of what you said in your application—the essay serves to show them what you can do without the help of a paper bolstering you.
Thus, choose a topic that does not parrot your application profile, and write an original, comprehensive essay!