Writing a stellar college essay isn’t going to be easy, but it won’t be impossible either. Each year it seems like colleges get more and more competitive, which means good grades and test scores won’t necessarily cut it! So writing a stellar college essay has become an increasingly more important component to the application process. Following these tips can help take your essay to the next level, which means you’ll have a better shot at getting accepted to your dream college!
1. Read Other Successful Essays
I’ve found that writing a stellar college essay becomes a much easier task after reading other successful essays. Just like reading books helps novelists write successfully, the quality of your college essay can benefit greatly from simply reading past essays! My mom bought me a book entitled “50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays” a few years ago. The example essays are so enlightening that I practically devoured the book! Check your local bookstore for this amazing book or buy it here barnesandnoble.com
Brainstorm all through your high school career! Are you remarkably talented in a certain area? Or are you extremely active in your community? Maybe you’ve just experienced something life-altering in your family or personal life. All of these would go wonderfully in your college essays! But if you don’t make note of them and brainstorm potential essay topics, writing an impressive essay will be a much more difficult task.
3. Hook the Reader
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge an essay by the first sentence. And guess what, colleges judge YOU by your essay! That means that your first sentence is critical to the success of your essay. You need to hook the reader right off the bat, and convince them that they want to keep on reading, because yours is not like the other essays stacked a mile high on their desk. One simple way you can accomplish this is by beginning your essay with a gerund word; a word ending in -ing. This throws the reader into the action and hooks them immediately!
4. Be Yourself
You want to get yourself into your dream college, not your perfect neighbor or celebrity role model. Whoever you think is ideal person you wish to emulate isn’t the subject of your essay; you are. So be open, honest, and above all be yourself! You shouldn’t lie or over-exaggerate in your college application essay; just be your wonderful self!
5. Be Specific
If you’re describing a particular event, don’t be vague or try to smudge out the ugly details. Be direct and specific. You only have a certain amount of words to communicate who you are and why you belong at the college of your choice, so you’ve got to get straight to the point and provide as much detail as possible. This will paint a clear picture in the minds of your readers and ensure a better shot at receiving an acceptance letter!
6. Be Humble
Your essay is all about you and your accomplishments, which means it’s relatively easy to sound boastful. But no one wants to read an essay full of arrogance and bragging. So, as you write, keep that in mind and try to maintain a humble tone. You shouldn’t shy away from highlighting your achievements, but should avoid putting yourself on a pedestal.
7. Make It Personal
As I said earlier, your essay is all about you. That means your readers don’t want to learn irrelevant details about your friends and family. Keep your essay focused on you as you write, and have a plan for where you want the essay to go. That way you don’t risk going off on a tangent and writing an off-topic essay!
8. Edit like Crazy
But not too crazy! There’s no need to hire a professional editor or have every English teacher you’ve ever had edit your essay! It’s natural to have slight flaws in your essay, and readers can overlook those. That being said, blatant lapses in spelling and grammar will harm the readers’ interpretation of you. Errors will make you seem like you could care less about the essay! So, in order to write a truly remarkable college application essay, edit!
9. Seek Advice
To make sure your essay describes you in a humble yet flattering tone, contains no self-sabotaging errors, and is well-written overall, you should seek advice from any trustworthy sources in your life. In order to write a fabulous essay, you’ll need to get outside opinions. These can come from various sources; parents, older siblings, teachers, or counselors will all offer unique and valuable input to your essay!
College essays are a crucial component to many college applications, so if you want to increase your chances of being admitted to your dream school you’ll need to write an outstanding essay! It may seem like a daunting task at first, but if you follow these tips, you may impress yourself with your essay-writing skills! Which of these tips do you think is the most effective?