The most daunting aspect of the college application process is writing your personal essays. Depending on what program you are gunning for, you might be asked to write a personal statement of purpose and an academic statement. Some other schools will request a teaching statement and another essay for the scholarship and financial aid office.
The sheer amount of work involved can be incredibly daunting. If you have found yourself in this position, you probably now understand why students buy college essays online. Before you settle for that option, you might want to understand the anatomy of successful college application essays and how they are written.
Before you start sweating over your essay, it is important to know what makes a successful essay and how to go about writing one. The admissions officers only spend less than five minutes reading essays that would have taken hours to write and revise. It is important to know how to make a good impression on the professors who will be reading them.
Before we delve into the tips, it is important to know why the college essay is vital. Your essay reveals your personality. Your test scores and CGPA will not reveal this one essential detail. While your essay should highlight your writing skills, it should also tell the admissions’ team important facts about you.
The following tips will help you write the most successful college essay.
1. Start With A Story
Ignore those how-to posts that discourage essays that open with anecdotes. The truth is that stories are effective attention grabbers.
Since the admissions’ officers only spend very periods reading and reviewing applications, it is very important to ensure that you open with a gripping tale. According to experts, stories work better than those cliché catchy lines. Humans are wired to appreciate well-told stories.
So what kind of story should you use in your opening paragraph?
An unforgettable moment. One that reveals your character and personality. It should show the admissions office who you are and how you came to be the person you are today.
2. Imagine What Kind Of Students The School Wants
Every university/college wants to accept the best of the best. When students go on to be successful in their field of expertise, their schools get all the glory and praise. The ranking of the school shoots up.
Your essay should demonstrate your love for learning and critical thinking. If you are passionate about other things, make sure that your essay says so. Most importantly, show that you are eager and self-aware and that you are ready to grasp all the knowledge the professors will present to you.
3. Be Yourself. Ditch Pretentiousness
Jettison your thesaurus. The last thing you want is to distance yourself from your reader. Use a voice and tone that strikes the right balance. The essay is neither a journal entry nor a press release. See your admission essay as a document that markets yourself.
Don’t try hard to impress. You’ll be surprised to find that the professors find the regular, specific topics interesting to read about. Avoid tired stories and be true to yourself. Be creative!
If you haven’t read George Orwell’s Rules of Writing, it is important that you do. Use active verbs and short sentences. Don’t use long words where short ones will suffice. As much as possible, use a smart, interesting and witty voice.
Educational counsellors advise that students must make sure their essays communicate a sense of perspective and self-awareness. These things make an essay very interesting.
4. Read A Wide Range of Successful Application Essays
If you have ever sweated over college application essays, you’ll agree that it helps to have sample essays that have worked. Successful essays are often very simple and down-to-earth. Those essays are often so compelling and gripping, they are difficult to abandon unfinished.
The first step is to choose a topic that interests you. The next step is to sit down and write. Don’t edit or make corrections. Shut out the editor in your head and just write from your heart.
Get objective feedback from a friend or family member. This will help you determine whether or not your essay is strong enough or if it needs more work and how much. When you feel overwhelmed, put the essay in your drawer and come back to it after a few days. You’ll be able to look at it with fresh eyes. Revise your essay as much as you can until it’s the best it can be.
5. Follow The Instructions
Follow the directions on the applications. Don’t assume they do not matter. They do. Schools take these directions and instructions seriously and they expect applicants to obey each instruction religiously.
Bottom-line: give them everything they ask for.
Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam writes creative non-fiction and prose fiction. Her works have appeared in Romance Meets Life, Flash Fiction Press, MTLS, Saraba Magazine, Sentinel Magazine and others. Her first novel, Finding Love Again, was published by Ankara Press. She owns and manages Creative Writing News.