If you find the idea of writing an application essay a bit intimidating, you are certainly not alone. This part of the process is where you have the opportunity to show the Admissions Committee what kind of student you would make and prove that you deserve a place at their school. Following these top 10 essay writing tips for your admissions essay will help to increase your chance of being accepted to your first choice school.
1. Give yourself plenty of time to write your essay.
You won’t be able to do your best work if you leave the essay to the last minute. You will need to spend time on the essay to craft something that is unique and reflects your personality and writing style.
2. Read the instructions carefully and thoroughly before you begin to write.
You want to make sure that you are writing an essay that responds to the writing prompt correctly. If the question contains two parts, be sure that you are answering both questions when you prepare your essay.
3. Brainstorm some ideas before you start to write.
Rather than diving in and starting with the first thing that comes to mind, give yourself time to develop a concept for your essay. Shut off your inner editor and write down any thoughts that come to mind when you think about your admissions essay.
4. Plan to write at least two drafts of your essay.
Your first draft will be a rough version of your work and may bear little resemblance to the one you ultimately submit to the Admission Committee. It’s normal to write more than one version of your essay, which is why you need to give yourself ample time to work on it.
5. Choose a single theme for your work.
While you may have plenty of ideas that you want to share with the person who will be reviewing your work, choose one and make sure that you focus on it exclusively from start to finish.
6. Use specific examples and explanations in your work.
When you are writing your essay, support the points you are making by providing detailed examples. Where appropriate, draw on something from your personal experience. After all, this is your admissions essay. You want to give the piece some personal flavor.
7. Proofread your essay before you hand it in.
Make sure you go over the essay in detail before you submit it. Check for spelling and grammar errors. You will be judged on these as well as your content, so be diligent about rooting them out.
8. Ask someone you trust to review your essay and give you their opinion.
It’s possible to be so close to your own work that you can’t see it from a reader’s point of view. Don’t hesitate to ask for essay writing help and get a second opinion. Another person can point out where your essay is strong and where you can improve your work.
9. Keep revising and polishing your work until you are satisfied with it.
It’s normal to go through several drafts before you are ready to submit your admissions essay. Revising and polishing the work is normal, so don’t get discouraged by this part of the process. You need to keep working with your words and changing the work until you get your application essay just right.
10. Be sure to use your own voice.
There is no “right” way to write an application essay. The college wants to read your story, and you are the only person who can write it. Tell the reader who you are and why you would be a great addition to the student body. Be creative! That’s what they really want.
The author of this article, Leslie Anglesey is an educator working at University of Southern California and a freelance contributor to EssayTigers. Apart from writing she loves travelling and lounge music.