A well-written essay can go a long way in separating your application from the rest. Nowadays, colleges give just as much weightage to the application essays as the test scores. Storytelling is important to grab the reader’s attention. It is important to choose authentic stories – readers can sense when a story is inauthentic or vague. When you are presenting an inauthentic story, it undermines your credibility and trustworthiness. The intended audience has no reason to read the essay once they have detected untrustworthiness. Choose a relevant and important subject to you; it should give the reader an idea of your personality and character. When writing college application essays, it is important to use a natural way of speaking and incorporate your sense of humor and personal experiences. Here are some of the key tips for writing a perfect college application essay:
Engage the reader from the Start:
When applying to a college, you are competing against several other applications for an admission officer’s attention. The opening sentence of your application should grab the attention, pique the reader’s curiosity and engage their imagination. Your task is to tell a compelling story, and often, a killer beginning is how you ensure you take your audience with you. One of the common mistakes students can make in college application essays is to list their accomplishments in chronological order. They fill it with facts and figures, their activities, or volunteer work accomplishments. This rarely makes a reader know about you as a person. College admission committees want to know about your individual experiences and the trials and tribulations that made you reach this stage in life. They are interested in knowing about the lessons you learned from the unique personal experiences and adversities you went through in life.
Think Outside the Box:
In most college application essays, we see themes such as sports-related struggles, adversities of life, immigration-related stories, or volunteering stories. Most students focus on their successes and how they triumphed over the difficulties. However, it is important to note that your aim is not trying to impress but being unique. Maybe you can choose a different theme. Whatever the theme of your essay, be consistent with it. You can start with a question, and after tying all your relevant experiences together, answer the question at the end. Such tactics are especially effective, as they engage the reader from the start.
Keep it Short:
Ensure your admissions essay is clear, precise, and to the point. Start with an engaging sentence and end with a punchline. Remember not to repeat any part of the story. Organize your essay with proper paragraphs, transitions, a cohesive theme, and a killer introduction and ending. The essay’s last sentence is as important as the first one – it makes the reader satisfied and want more. Another important strategy is to make several drafts. After writing your initial draft, set it aside, and return to it after several days. This allows for a new perspective and better revisions.