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7 Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essayby Lori Wade (Share your tips with 56,000+ Malaysian students)
An application essay is one of the basic requirements for college application, however, it is also one of the most important requirements. Sure, test scores and your grades matter too, but there’s quite a big possibility that many other students have the same scores and grades as you do. In this case, an application essay is your only chance to stand out among them, impressing the admission committee.
So, how could you avoid such mistakes and impress the admission committee with your essay? We are going to help you with that, offering 7 tips that could ease your writing process greatly.
1. Develop a strategy.
The main goal of a college application essay is to show your personality to the admission committee. Without that personality, your application will simply look like a list of scores, not saying much more to the people who’re going to decide your fate.
Therefore it’s important to ensure that your personality will shine. A strategic plan could help you do so: start by listing your key qualities and move on to the plan of an essay that will allow you to mention all those qualities.
2. Try to be concise.
Despite the fact that an application essay usually doesn’t have an upper limit of characters, you shouldn’t try to impress the admission committee with the number of words you’ve managed to write. Remember that the admission committee are only people who receive way too many application essays each day and have to read them all. Of course, they aren’t always able to spend more than a couple of minutes reading your essay, so the longer you’ll make it, the lower the chance that they’ll actually read all of it will be.
Don’t try to make sentences deliberately longer and smarter if they don’t have to be so. Instead, stick to being more concise yet still impressive.
3. Show that you are unique.
As we’ve already mentioned above, showing your personality is one of the most important tasks of your application essay. However, some students get the wrong idea about how to do so. They try to list all their achievements or speak about their experience in order to impress, forgetting that most of the students have the same experience or achieved the same results.
Most of the students are teenagers and, knowing that the admission committee doesn’t expect thrilling life stories from them. It’s the mindset that matters the most. Show them how you think, what you believe in, and so on – while it could be hard to do, this could benefit you a lot.
4. Write a vivid story.
Some students try their best to sound like adults in their application essays, forgetting that an essay is more a story than a cover letter. It has to include details, so be sure to work on them well. Mention the names of the people you write about, add the information you find important.
However, try not to overdo it here: while the details are definitely a good thing, wordiness and inappropriate jokes are not.
5. Don’t be afraid to tell your opinion.
While it is completely fine to write about important topics like religion and politics, you shouldn’t simply mention them in order to look smart. Some students do write about those things, using the safest statements possible, thinking that this way they’ll be able to impress the committee without risking to speak their mind. However, such essays usually look unclear, not smart.
It’s okay for you to share your opinion on important topics, but you have to support it too, using various arguments as well as considering other perspectives. The only bad way to do this is to sound like you are the only person who’s right about it.
6. Mind your writing.
You have to proofread your essay and ensure that it is error-free – that goes without saying. However, you should also pay attention to other details, which are just as important: the structure, the tenses, and the words you use. Organize your writing, use strong words, and avoid writing in passive voice – these simple things will make your essay look much better.
7. Get multiple tips.
It is completely normal to ask for someone’s advice when you’re writing an application essay. Your parents, teachers, and friends can help you, voicing their opinion and giving valuable suggestions. However, don’t settle with one opinion only: listen to as many of them as you can, not forgetting to evaluate and discard some of them if necessary.
The good way to make your essay even better is to ask a professional writer to help you. Maybe there’s a writer among your parents’ friends you could talk to? And even if not, don’t get discouraged: you can easily find plenty of high-quality writers online. For example, freelance writers or writers working for essay writing services can easily proofread college application essay for you, making it look even better.
As you see, there are many ways to make your college application essay stand out. Yes, you should know what you are going to write about, but you also have to pay attention to the other things that aren't related to writing directly but still matter. If both your content and your writing are good, you have a huge chance to succeed.
Maybe you know more tips that helped you write your own application essay or have some stories that you want to share? If so, please do so in the comment section below. Both our readers and we will appreciate that.
Lori Wade is a freelance content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. Also, she can help write or proofread college application essay for you. Lori is used to handling many writing orders at the same time and as she likes sharing her ideas and experience, she decided to write a great article for you to show how multiple tasks should be dealt with.
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