How to Write a College Application Essay That Will Be Remembered
When you enter a college, you will be asked to write a college application essay so readers can learn about you, find out your goals, expectations from studies, and plans for the future. The essay plays a huge role in the selection of students, so you need to relate to the writing process seriously. Before we find out how to write a college application essay, we should give a definition to this type of paper.
What is a college application essay? It is an essay about yourself where you should reveal your best qualities and demonstrate to an admission committee that you can stand out from other applicants. Write a unique essay. It is through the essay that the staff of the admissions committee can communicate with you and hear your own voice. Many applications for admission are similar and equivalent achievements are mentioned in them. Stand out against the background of others with the help of an essay. Do not try to seem like another person – imagine that your friends and relatives were given 1000 written works, and that they should be able to notice your essay among them.
Steps for Writing a College Application Essay
- Think carefully about what you will write. Ask yourself: which question should I answer exactly in this paragraph or in the whole essay? What is the best way to answer this question? What is the most important part of my answer? What will be my introductory sentence and my main thesis of the whole work? What facts or arguments can I give as an example to support my introductory sentence or thesis? How do I make this paragraph or entire work interesting? Do I need more information on this topic, and where can I find it?
- Choose a topic that is relevant to you. This does not mean that you need to play on emotions, telling how your pet got into trouble. Do not praise yourself – your CV and your academic success is better for this. You have to choose a topic that you can reveal, and at the same time show yourself as a person, allocating yourself from a huge list of entrants. Write simply, with accessible and understandable words, avoiding professional vocabulary.
- Begin to write. Do not delay writing an essay for later, as you run the risk of not having time to send it on time. There is nothing wrong with creating an essay from scratch; you will gradually come up with new ideas, and you can improve your work to make it more attractive to the reader.
- First of all, write down the answers to each of the above questions separately in your notebook.The answer should be brief and contain the basic idea of what you will write in a paragraph or in the whole essay. It does not take long, but it helps to organize.
- Find and write down enough facts and arguments that are related to the theme of your essay or to the topic of questions in the application form. To save time and avoid doing the same job twice, make sure that you are looking for specific facts for specific questions to be answered.
- Write down your own ideas on the issues or themes of the work. Ask yourself: what else can you add, and what is interesting to people in this topic? Why is this topic important?
- Your answer to a question or the essay as a whole should contain the basic idea. Define for yourself the most important arguments and formulate the main idea that you will defend throughout the work.
- Submit your arguments and facts in such a sequence that they logically revealed your main idea. When you have already decided on the basic idea of the text, you should be able to present it to the reader correctly. Look at the facts that you found, and your own ideas about the topic. Choose only those that best argue the main idea of the work. However, selecting the necessary facts and your own ideas is only half of your work. The next, no less important step is the consistent order of the statements on paper. A small scheme will help you with it, which you can use as a guide for writing your essay.
- Write a college application essay outline. It should include the main points of your work that you will describe in your essay. Using an outline will help you to write a well-structured essay.
- Write a college application essay introduction. Include a thesis statement that reveals the main theme of your essay. An introduction is the best part of the essay to grab the reader’s attention. You should write an introduction in the way to make readers read your essay further.
- Write as much as possible and edit. Write down every idea that comes to your mind, even if it seems absurd to you. Later you can choose the most important points. Read your essay aloud and correct any shortcomings that you meet until you are proud of your essay.
- Show your essay to other people. Read the work that has been done to your friends, parents, and relatives. Everyone will gladly agree to help you and share advice with you.
- Check again. Look carefully at the essay to find grammatical errors; they should not exist in the essay, because they can spoil the impression of you. Take into account all the recommendations and comments that you received from friends and make sure that your essay is original and will be accurately remembered by the staff of the admission committee.
How to learn to write ideal college application essays? For entrants, there is a large number of collections of the best works, the authors of which are studying in the top educational institutions. The best way to learn how to write essays and other papers is to practice more – write more. An invaluable help will be provided by the recommendation of a competent teacher who can point out shortcomings and work with you to achieve the goal.
Useful College Application Essay Tips
- If you submit documents to 10 universities, this does not mean that you have to write 10 different essays. There is a technique called recycling. It is that you simply change parts of your work, depending on the question that is put before you. Let us give an example. One university asks you to write an essay based on the following: “Tell about an experience that has significantly affected you.”
- Another university sets the following task: “Tell us about a conversation that changed your outlook on life.” At first glance, the themes are different, but it is not so. You can write how your father’s breakfast cooking shaped your outlook on life. This essay will accurately answer the first question. If you start an essay with this phrase: “Despite the fact that in my life I had countless conversations with my father, the most important conversation did not take place …” then you will answer the second question. Such a beginning is also suitable for the topic based on the following: “Tell us about the most sad moment.” When writing essays, do not bow to one topic – write so that you can change a couple of details and compose an essay for another university.
- It happens that everyone writes about the same thing. Your task is to stand out. Your essay should be original and different from others. Make sure that what you write affects the original topics (usually write about travel, parents, sports). You need to demonstrate a unique approach to the topic. Your idea should be supported by good examples or stories. Experts of the admission committee should analyze your essay, so it will be good if you do not have superficial ideas and you will be able to think about certain things. It is also important to remember that in the admissions office, people do not have particular knowledge, that is, there is no need to write specific terms or things that are difficult for your friends, parents, and examiners to understand. Read again your essay and make sure that it shows you as a person, that the topic is really meaningful for you, and that you managed to show interest in the topic and to find an original approach.
- Be yourself. Do not think about what the admission committee would like to see. Choose college application essay topics that you can reveal and that are important to you. Express your ideas and share your experiences.
- Start with an interesting introduction. You need to start the essay so that readers want to read on. For example, you can start with the fact that you are afraid of the sound of weapons. Many will immediately realize that you will continue to write about the war or that you have heard the sounds of shooting. But you share a secret, talking about your phobia of dentists. Remember only that the introduction should not be too long, as you have a limited scope for the essay.
- Share information about yourself. The essay is a unique opportunity to communicate with the university. Your essay should show what you think, your attitude to life, your goals, and you as a person. Focus on yourself.
- Write something that will be remembered and will attract the reader. Put questions before the reader and share feelings, so that admission staff can feel what you felt. Ask yourself whether it is interesting for you to read your essay.
- Use original language. You need to re-read your essay several times to make sure you use interesting words and grammatical structures. Be careful with humor; rarely anyone can use it competently.
- Show growth and development. Employees of the admissions committee want to see how you grew up, when you went through some situation, how your life has changed. They also assess whether you are able to study at a university. Be sure to write about how you have changed and what difficulties have passed, and what you learned in the process.
- Give clear examples. Do not just write that you are an absolute leader. Describe the situation, and give examples where you demonstrated leadership qualities.
- Stick to the college application essay format.
The Most Common Questions for an Essay
Questions can be different, starting with “Tell us about yourself,” or “What is your favorite book?” We have compiled a list of the most frequent questions for the essay:
- Tell us about your most important achievement.
- How do you spend time after class? Describe two activities and their importance.
- Describe the person who influenced you and how.
- If you could improve one skill or talent, what would it be and why?
- What course, person, project, or book affected you? How?
- Describe your future plans.
- What course would you like to go through and how would it help you in the future?
- Based on your life experience and experience of your family, what would you like to tell us about yourself?
- Describe a difficult situation you went through.
- Where did you utilize leadership qualities?
- What additional information about yourself would you like to present?
Collect all the topics for the essay and write them down. Start remembering examples from your life experience that can be summed up under these topics. Write everything that comes to mind. The following questions will help you concentrate:
- What do you like to do most of all? What are your hobbies?
- Do you have certain skills or talents?
- Who influenced your life most of all? Who is most memorable?
- What did you do in the past holidays?
- What is your best day? Describe it.
- What has changed in your life in the past four years?
- Recall the most memorable moment with your relatives, friends, or teachers.
- What achievements are you proud of?
- What makes you unique?
- What is your most important quality?
- Whose philosophy of life do you adhere to?
- Recall the most difficult task that you had to perform.
- Explain when and where you demonstrated leadership qualities.