10 Tips for Writing an Effective College Application Essay

10 Tips for Writing an Effective College Application Essay

We all know how important college application process is for any student. Usually, it is based on three things: your GPA, your test scores, and your entrance essay. Among these things essay might seem the easiest task as it doesn’t take years to write. However, it’s not like that.

Actually, an essay it the most challenging part of the whole college application process. Moreover, it’s very important. Imagine a scenario when an admission committee receives two applications that are almost identical: at least their GPAs and test scores are the same. In this case, it’s the essay that can help to determine the student who will be accepted.

Moreover, sometimes your college application essay is even more valuable than other things, as it’s the one thing that actually shows the person behind the scores. The biggest colleges receive many applications every year and most of them are written by very smart and skilled students. You can’t surprise the admission committees of these colleges by good grades – however, you can do so with the help of a stunning essay.

So, if you want to learn how to write a truly effective college essay, here are 10 useful tips that could help you.

1. Understand what admission board wants.

Every college is different: they have their own recommendations and requirements. That’s why if you want to apply to a certain college, you have to understand what to focus on in your essay. Do a proper research before you start writing: re-read the requirements, search the web for some additional information, maybe try contacting some students and asking them what they wrote about in their application essays (forums could help you with that).

Think about what makes you special

2. Think about what makes you special.

As we mentioned above, the admission boards want to see people, not scores. Your goal is to give them that, and to do so you have to understand your strong sides and to be able to present them well. Think about the things that make you the person you are. Maybe you are passionate about human rights, or you write good novels or do something else.

3. Find the way to present yourself.

Now that you know what makes you so special, you have to come up with a way to present it to the admission board. For example, you know some foreign languages – that’s good but many other applicants know them too. You have to present it differently, for example, by saying how learning these languages changed your way of thinking or how the culture of these foreign countries affected you.

4. Suggest a contribution.

Yes, you want to get in, and the goal of your application essay it to persuade the board that you really do. However, you also have to show them that they’ll benefit from accepting you too. Maybe you can write for a student paper or become a valuable part of some sports team? Don’t forget to mention it in your essay.

5. Organize your writing.

While some of us can write spontaneously when an inspiration strikes, using this approach with an application essay wouldn’t be a wise decision. You have to follow the previous tips before you start writing – and you have to organize everything before writing, too.

It’s good to create a writing plan, listing everything you need to mention. Writing a few drafts could also help: this way you’ll be able to see which one of them looks the best as well as prepare yourself for the actual writing.

6. Try to be as accurate as possible.

Your essay has to be flawless, and we’re talking not only about the grammar here. If you doubt something, better double-check it and do additional research if necessary. Think about a structure of your essay, make sure that it’s readable, and so on.

7. Make it easy to read.M

Usage of complex words and long sentences doesn’t necessarily make you look smart; sometimes it just makes an essay hard to read. You have to be very careful with this. Avoid using complex words if they aren’t necessary, avoid long sentences and long paragraphs – this would simplify the reading process greatly and help to create a good impression.

8. Do your best to be vivid.

When you write a very important paper, you shouldn’t make it boring. Remember that every essay is a story, and you have to write it to make it look like one. Use some details to make the reading more interesting or try to mention some personal stories or interesting facts.

9. Don’t forget to be careful.

Sure, some details, like jokes, can make your essay more vivid – but they can turn away the admission board too. There’s a thin line between making your essay interesting and making it look ridiculous and not serious enough, so be sure not to cross it.

Show your essay to the others

10. Show your essay to the others.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to notice some mistakes, even if they are obvious. However, this doesn’t mean that such mistakes won’t happen, threatening to ruin your chance of getting into the college of your dreams. That’s why to be sure to show your work to other people who could give you a proper feedback: your teachers, your parents, your friends, etc.

Summing it up, we can say that in order to write a good essay you have to:

  • understand the requirements well;
  • find a way to present yourself in a good way;
  • come up with a structure and a plan before you start writing;
  • work on your style;
  • remember to check your final draft and to show it to someone.

Sure, this can look challenging – but, hopefully, this also can give you a clear understanding of what you have to do if you want to make your application essay as good as possible. We hope that these tips will be useful to you and will help you get into the college of your dreams. Good luck!