So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share. Try anyway. When you open up about your feelings —especially in response to a low point—you are more likely to connect with your reader s.
Because we've all been there. So don't overlook those moments or experiences that were awkward, uncomfortable or even embarrassing. Weirdly, including painful memories and what you learned from them! Chances are, you also shared a mini-story that was interesting, entertaining and memorable.
This college essay tip is by Janine Robinson, journalist, credentialed high school English teacher, and founder of Essay Hell , has spent the last decade coaching college-bound students on their college application essays.
I believe everyone has a story worth telling. Sometimes the seemingly smallest moments lead us to the biggest breakthroughs. Keep it simple! No one is expecting you to solve the issue of world peace with your essay. Remember, this essay is about YOU. What makes you different from the thousands of other applicants and their essays?
Use vivid imagery. This college essay tip is by Myles Hunter, CEO of TutorMe , an online education platform that provides on-demand tutoring and online courses for thousands of students. Honor your inspiration. My parents would have much preferred that I write about sports or youth group, and I probably could have said something interesting about those, but I insisted on writing about a particular fish in the pet store I worked at—one that took much longer than the others to succumb when the whole tank system in the store became diseased.
It was a macabre little composition, but it was about exactly what was on my mind at the time I was writing it. I think it gave whoever read it a pretty good view of my 17 year-old self. I'll never know if I got in because of that weird essay or in spite of it, but it remains a point of pride that I did it my way. This college essay tip is by Mike McClenathan, founder of PwnTestPrep , which has a funny name but serious resources for helping high school students excel on the standardized tests.
Revise often and early. Your admissions essay should go through several stages of revision. Ask your parents, teachers, high school counselors or friends for their eyes and edits. It should be people who know you best and want you to succeed. Take their constructive criticism in the spirit for which they intend—your benefit. Write about things you care about.
The most obvious things make great topics. What do I mean? Colleges want to learn about who you are, what you value and how you will contribute to their community. I had two students write about their vehicles—one wrote about the experience of purchasing their used truck and one wrote about how her car is an extension of who she is.
We learned about their responsibility, creative thinking, teamwork and resilience in a fun and entertaining way. Don't tell them a story you think they want, tell them what YOU want. Of course you want it to be a good read and stay on topic, but this is about showing admissions who you are.
You don't want to get caught up in thinking too much about what they are expecting. Focus your thoughts on yourself and what you want to share. This college essay tip is by Ashley McNaughton, Bucknell University graduate and founder of ACM College Consulting , consults on applicants internationally and volunteers with high achieving, low income students through ScholarMatch.
Be yourself. A sneaky thing can happen as you set about writing your essay: you may find yourself guessing what a college admissions committee is looking for and writing to meet that made up criteria rather than standing firm in who you are and sharing your truest self. While you want to share your thoughts in the best possible light edit please!
Show your depth. Be honest about what matters to you. Be thoughtful about the experiences you've had that have shaped who you've become. Be your brilliant self. And trust that your perfect-fit college will see you for who truly you are and say "Yes! This is exactly who we've been looking for.
Admission officers can spot parent content immediately. The quickest way for a student to be denied admission is to allow a parent to write or edit with their own words. Parents can advise, encourage, and offer a second set of eyes, but they should never add their own words to a student's essay. This college essay tip is by Suzanne Shaffer is a college prep expert, blogger, and author who manages the website Parenting for College.
Don't just write about your resume, recommendations, and high school transcripts. Admissions officers want to know about you, your personality and emotions.
For example, let them know what hobbies, interests, or passions you have. Do you excel in athletics or art? Will it still fit into your sentence? Avoid overdoing it. Essays that are riddled with advanced vocabulary can seem pompous or even inadvertently comical to the reader. Write succinctly Can you say what you need to say in fewer words? Can you substitute an advanced vocabulary word for a phrase?
Writing concisely expresses to the admissions officers that can organize your thoughts and that you respect their time. Combine like ideas into more sophisticated sentence structures The vast majority of the sentences in your essay should be compound, complex, or a combination of both compound-complex sentences. Save simple sentences for instances when you need to create impact.
By focusing on details, you set yourself apart; many people love museums and could list some artists that they like.
Not many have taken the time to geek out about Edward Hopper on paper. Write how you speak: If your friends, family members, and teachers would describe you as silly, outgoing, and uninhibited, why would you submit a collection of essays all written in a formal, subdued tone? Thoughtfulness, introspection, and an unassuming tone make for great college essays too!
Many college essay writers choose to tell me outright that their personality is this way or that way. Telling me that your friends would describe you as silly and outgoing is, unfortunately, not enough. As the admissions officer reading your application, I need proof — in the form of a written tone that matches your spoken one.
As I read through your essays, I am crafting an image in my head of the person who will arrive on our campus in the fall if admitted. What you should be are doing is getting noticed as unique. If you are on a date, you would naturally want to be smart, funny, nice, caring, unique, not boring. You also want to have an opinion, not step back like an unthinking geek. Write your essay as though you would be a great second date. Make your essay correct and beautiful Dates should look good, too.
You can make your essay beautiful by giving thought to a few things. Use a font that is readable. Consider whether or not bold type face could make your essay easier to read. Provide the essay prompt at the opening. Separate paragraphs in a consistent way, either by indenting each paragraph or by using block style, keeping all the words to the left margin but spacing extra between paragraphs.
If there are a lot of mistakes in your essay, it can not be pretty. Describe what you learned from the experience and how it changed you. Being funny is tough. A student who can make an admissions officer laugh never gets lost in the shuffle. But beware. What you think is funny and what an adult working in a college thinks is funny are probably different.
We caution against one-liners, limericks and anything off—color. Start early and write several drafts. Set it aside for a few days and read it again.
Often your instinct is to write about something else - an experience, another person, a favorite activity - rather than your personality, passions, or quirks. No one is expecting you to solve the issue of world peace with your essay.
No one is expecting you to solve the issue of world peace with your essay.
In reading aloud to kids, colleagues, or friends we hear things differently, and find room for improvement when the writing is flat. Leave your reader with a lasting impression People remember last things first or, at least, best.
And before you send it off, check, check again, and then triple check to make sure your essay is free of spelling or grammar errors.
Don't worry about making it perfect, and don't worry about what you are going to write about. I'll never know if I got in because of that weird essay or in spite of it, but it remains a point of pride that I did it my way.
For now, that second page is incomplete because I have no precise itinerary for my future. Have you given enough background information? Until I am able to do all that, I can prepare. So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share.
So application essays are a unique way for applicants to share, reflect, and connect their values and goals with colleges. This is exactly who we've been looking for. Even among synonyms, there are shades of meaning. The sentence in bold above is essentially her thesis. Have you provided an ending?
I then paste it onto a polka-dotted green paper with a glue stick. It's all about detail: As I see it, you have two options when exploring a topic in your college essay: go broad or go deep.