College Application Essay

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Before they make a final decision on whether or not to accept your application, most colleges and universities read the college entrance essay that you submitted to them. You may be wondering how important this essay really is. After all isn’t grades and activities that really count?

Here is the truth. The college application essay could be the deciding factor if you and another student are in the running for the same seat. Here’s another example. Let’s say your grades just barely meet the school’s standards. If your essay really makes an impact, you have a significantly better chance of making it in.

Steps For Writing a College Application Essay
  • 1

    Choose a Topic That You Can Use to Highlight Your Best Attributes. If the school doesn’t provide one for you, take the time to choose a topic that will allow you to demonstrate that you are the kind of student the school needs. It can be a topic that shows personal growth and achievement, for example. You can also write about overcoming a challenge.

  • 2

    Research The School Thoroughly so You Know The Characteristics They Want. Do some background research. Learn about your school’s most favored alumni. What have they accomplished. What were they like during their time at the school. You shouldn’t pretend to be someone you aren’t, but it’s okay to highlight the personality traits you do have that match the perfect student.

  • 3

    Read The Application Materials Carefully. Your school may have very specific instructions for you to follow. Don’t get disqualified for using the wrong college application essay format, or writing an essay that is too short or too long.

  • 4

    Plan Your Approach. It’s time to decide exactly how you are going to approach your essay. Should you use humor, or take a very serious tone? Are you going to tell a story, or simply describe yourself and make an effort to prove that you are a good fit.

  • 5

    Create an Outline or Mind Map. It’s important to get your thoughts on paper and organized. Some students prefer the straightforward approach of using an outline. Others like the flexibility and creativity of mind mapping.

  • 6

    Write Your Rough Draft. Now, use your outline or mind map and get your rough draft down on paper. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar problems. Just write your essay.

  • 7

    Edit And Proofread Thoroughly. Now is the time to start editing and proofreading. Read through the essay yourself and make any corrections you  need. Then, use an app like Grammarly to really double check things. If you aren’t confident about your writing, the Hemingway app will help.

  • 8

    Have Someone Who Knows You Read Your Essay. Get some outside perspective. Have someone who knows you well take a look at your essay. They may be able to make suggestions or see things that you haven’t considered.

  • 9

    Make Your Final Changes. If you have any additions or changes go ahead and make them now.

  • 10

    Submit Your Essay on Time as Instructed. Go back to your application instructions. You want to make sure that you submit your essay on time.  You also want to make sure you have followed all instructions.

Things to Consider
  • 1

    This is your chance to sell yourself!

  • 2

    Show your personality in your essay to make the biggest impact

  • 3

    Be honest and genuine. It will come through.

  • 4

    Make your paper easy to read. Admissions staff has to read dozens of these

  • 5

    You can’t share everything. Make sure your essay has a clear focal point

Do and Don`t
Do
  • Use a Font That is Easy to Read
  • Continue Your Writing Streak And Look Into Writing Scholarship Essays
  • Get an Early Start so You Don’t Feel Rushed
  • Ask For Help if You Need It
  • Check The Web For Application Essay Examples
Don't
  • Be Dishonest And Pretend to be Someone You Aren’t
  • Get Too Off The Wall Just For The Sake of Creativity
  • Forget to Submit Your Essay Before The Deadline
  • Ignore The Importance of Good Spelling And Grammar
  • Write in a Tone That is Overly Formal
Common Mistakes And How to Avoid Them
  • Not Sticking With Your Chosen Topic - Make sure everything you write relates to the topic you selected.
  • Letting Your Parents Get Too Involved - Take ownership of this process from the start.
  • Repeating Yourself - It’s not convincing. It’s just boring
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