STUDENT LIFE / JUL. 07, 2016
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Get Accepted: Tips For Nailing College Admission Essay Writing

Getting into college is difficult! You don't just have to get the grades, you also have to write an admission essay! But, we have a few tips for you!

You want to get accepted to your college of choice. The problem is that you don’t really know where to start. Your admission essay has to be spot on and has to convince the admissions office that you’re worthy of acceptance. Here’s how successful entrants have done it in the past.

1. Think About Your Prompt

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Every admissions essay has a prompt. You need to spend some time thinking about it and what it means. Do not skip this step. If you do, you’re asking for trouble. If needed, divide it up into phrases and look at each aspect of it. Why would admissions want to know this stuff? Usually, it’s because it tells a story or gives insight as to who you are as a person and what you might offer the admissions office. What do you think they want to know? How does the information relate to your ability to excel in college?

Write down the prompt and forget about it after you’ve thought about it.

You’ll come back in a few days. But, you must let it sink into your brain first.

2. Organize Your Writing

First, you want to organize all your thoughts. This is one of the best tips on essays that work you’ll ever get.

With no organization, you have a shoddy essay that will get rejected.

Oddly enough, you don't do this by directly organizing. Instead, you should just blurt everything out on paper. Put your pen to paper and write. Keep writing until you’ve gotten it all out of your head.

Don’t think too much about what you’re doing. Make it a “stream of consciousness” that flows out of your brain. Don’t worry. You’ll go back and edit it later. First, you need to get everything out.

Include anecdotes, facts, figures, and proof elements in your essay that demonstrate you understand the college, its requirements, and that you’d be a good student.

3. Show Instead Of Tell

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Remember show and tell? Well, when you apply for college, what you want to do is show instead of tell. Showing means demonstrating something, proving something. Talk is cheap, which is why telling is much less effective.

When you select anecdotes for your essay, pick something that’s vivid and captures a story in minute detail, something that proves whatever it is you’re trying to say. That way, you don’t need to tell the admissions office anything. It’ll be clear that you are who you say you are.

If your story requires a 450 or 600 word essay, you’re not leaving yourself much space to express self-reflection and analysis. Your admissions officers are interested in your perspective of what happened, rather than the actual events themselves.

Also, your admissions officers don’t know you personally. That’s what you’re trying to convey in your essay to them.

4. Have a Good Vocabulary

Your essay needs to reflect the fact that you have a college-level vocabulary. If you don’t, then you’re killing your chances of getting into the university of your dreams. But, just because you need to have good vocabulary doesn’t mean you should overdo it and throw in a bunch of advanced vocabulary. Advanced vocab should be like spice in your food. A little adds flavour. Too much kills the entire meal.

Too many $5 words will make you look pompous and pretentious. No good.

5. Keep It To-The-Point

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Always use fewer words, whenever possible. But, do not chop out words that are essential to what you’re saying. The end-goal is to say what you have to say in as few words as possible. So, length for length’s sake is generally a bad idea.

6. Combine Ideas Into More Sophisticated Structures

Most sentences you use should be compound or complex. They should be a combination of both compound and complex sentences. Simple sentences should be saved for when you need to punch up a portion of your essay or when you need to make an impact.

7. Get a Second Opinion

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Before turning in your essay, give to someone else to proofread. It’s so easy to forget to do this step, but it can stop you from turning an essay full of grammatical or spelling errors. Limit the number of people you ask to proofread it to about 2 or 3. More than that, and you might end up getting a lot of contradictory information. It’ll only confuse you and result in a lower quality essay overall.

After all of this, your essay should be tight, and near-perfect. That’s really the only way into the college of your dreams. Is it easy? No. But, if it were, everyone would get into their first pick.

Do you think we missed out any tips? Let us know in the comments section...

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