Getting admitted to a college or a university these days is quite a challenge. This is due to the high number of applicants while the number of places available remains limited. So, how do you get the chance to be among the chosen few who join the college of their choice?
A college application essay is a part of college application process, and there is a thin line between acceptance and rejection. It describes you as a person, your goals, challenges, and life experiences. The college administrators get to know you better apart from what they see from your academic qualifications and your co-curricular activities. The application essay should not include your whole life story, you should choose one interesting moment in your life and focus on telling about it. Remember that this essay should be interesting and appealing to the admission officers and it should make you stand out from other applicants.
We have come up with a few steps to help you in writing a good college application essay. The best way to go about it is by doing it bit by bit or rather step by step, and we have these simple steps laid out for you.
- Read and Understand the Essay Questions and Prompts
This is the first and most important thing to do as you tackle your college application essay. You cannot write about something that you don’t really understand. Read and re-read your essay question thoroughly until you grasp what’s required of you. Take a few minutes to think about the question as this will help you have your ideas in place.
- Choose Your Essay Topic
There can be several college essay questions. After going through them you can go ahead and settle on one topic that you’re going to write about. It's advisable that you chose a question that you can comfortably write about without running out of ideas and creativity. Your topic should be original and appealing to the reader.
- Brainstorm Your Essay Topic
This is the point where you gather up all your ideas. Before starting to write, you need to think about the message you want to pass across.
Some points to note here are:
- You begin by reflecting on yourself in relation to the essay question.
- The next step is to write down all your ideas and then narrow them down to that one idea that describes you. The idea you choose should have enough supporting details and should capture your strengths, achievements, and beliefs.
- Create an Outline
Creating an outline for your essay is like making a plan. Plans are easy to work with since you can’t get lost in the middle of your activity. A well-written piece has a beginning, a body, and an ending. Strategize on how you are going to begin your essay and find a tone for your essay based on your ideas.
Make it have that natural touch and feeling. Having a well-laid outline for your essay will save you the agony of losing your course and having to restructure everything in the middle of your writing.
- Write the Essay
At this point, you have all your ideas and a well-outlined format. All that's left for you is the writing. At this point, there are some things that you need to keep in mind:
- Start as early as possible and give yourself an early deadline to enable yourself to come up with a well-crafted statement.
- Brainstorm first. Brainstorming is very important as it enables you to collect your thoughts before starting to write.
- Draft your main points. This helps you organize your major points, such as your strengths, goals, and achievements. Make sure that you say something about yourself that hasn’t been included elsewhere.
- Be original in your writing. This is very important. Remember that you are talking about yourself. Just like in a product review or advertisement, make sure you ‘sell’ your qualities, attributes, strengths, and abilities in the best possible manner.
- Spend the most time writing your introduction. Make sure that your introduction is well written and that it catches the attention of an admission officer. This will make them read on. Do not summarize your introduction but rather create mystery in it.
- Ensure that the body paragraphs relate to your introduction. Do not go out of topic. Having a smooth flow ensures that your message gets delivered in a logical manner.
- Be simple and clear. Do not use big and complicated words in your writing. Also, avoid using clichés. Be creative and imaginative; use transitions well as they help to keep the logical flow between paragraphs.
- Be concise. Avoid using too many words in situations where just a few words can drive the point home.
- Start with the major point in the first paragraph and let the others follow it in the other paragraphs. Ensure that each paragraph develops and supports the major point you are communicating.
- Be natural in your writing. Ensure that you use an expressive and formal voice that shows and brings out your personality naturally.
- The conclusion should be short and should not act as a summary for your whole text. "In conclusion" or "in summary" are a no-no! Instead, consider linking your conclusion to your introduction. You can also consider finishing with a famous quote that is relevant to your essay content.
- Proofread Your Essay
This is the last step. It is very important that you re-read your essay and check for any grammatical errors. Use spell check tools to correct your spelling mistakes and grammar. Letting a close friend or a professional to reread it and give their opinion is an excellent idea. A small error or a mistake in your essay can ruin or lower your chances of being accepted to a college.
Writing a good college application essay can be challenging since the majority of people find it hard to express themselves through writing. Many colleges use these essays as one of the ways to learn about the student beyond their academic benchmarks of test scores and GPA. They use the essays to learn more about the applicants' goals, interests, etc.
Learning from each other’s experience will help you. If you’re writing your essay right now, then we want to wish you all the best. Let us know if our ideas helped, be an inspiration to others. Already written your essay? Let us know what worked for you. Remember, the essay may just be what will help you get into your dream college.