College admission essays are essential for getting into better schools, and experienced essay writers know what entrance boards are looking for. By writing your story in a way that creates interest in the mind of the reader, your essay can help you get into your desired college, whether it is a selective private institution, law school, or public university with limited admissions.
While most people can write their own entrance essays, some students, who may have English as a second language or talents in science and engineering, are not suited to writing. Many highly motivated individuals may be well suited for schools that have strict entrance requirements, and an admission essay provides the crucial foot in the door.
Professional essay consultants, who may have been guidance counselors or teachers, or the professors who draw the short straw and have to read all the essays written by high school juniors and seniors, have a couple of tips for writing admission essays. Among them are
- Don’t write about something you did out of privileged. For example, if you spent a couple of weeks on a trip financed by your parents, “volunteering” in a third world country, and use that at the basis for your essay, you are going to alienate the assistant professor or graduate student who has already read quite a few of these essays, all of which are postmarked from the right side of the railroad tracks.
- Should be (1) and that is to say that you shouldn’t ever use quotes when starting an essay, because all this proves is that you are reading from an old essay-writing book and you found a suitable quote online.
- Is to grab the interest of the reader in the first two sentences. You can write about ordinary events in a fresh way, and you can be uplifting without having to invent some kind of family tragedy or sad upbringing. You can be profound without resorting to cliches, and if you remember that your essay is being read out of a stack of other writings, a little originality can go a long way.
- Is not to have someone else write your essay for you. If an adult writes the essay, it will be easy to pick out because it “feels” different than one written by a teenager. Once again, remember that the reader has probably seen a couple hundred college essays by the time yours rolls around.
- Is not to use other essays you found on the web. It doesn’t take time for language and phrases in these papers to become “dated” with expressions that were in vogue, like, thirty years ago, for sure.
- Be bold and daring, even shocking, but don’t go into lurid themes or swearing. Save that for the short story you write later based on the essay.
- Have someone, or several someones, read it. Have them edit it and make comments. Your teacher may or may not be the best judge of what makes a college entrance essay good because they may be thinking of the cliche-riddled abominations that they submitted many beers ago.
- Don’t use a bunch of big vocabulary words. They make you look pretentious. Write in your own natural language.
- Writing about an obstacle you overcame, or how things went wrong, is also enlightening. There are plenty of hip-hop songs where the rapper says he is all that, but this doesn’t make for a good essay, just a multi platinum career. See if you can keep the reader intrigued, because that is a lot more fun, even if you would not admit your embarrassment at failure in the local newspaper.
How to get started on an essay:
- Sit down and write a very rough draft on paper.
- Read it and cross out stuff, then add in other stuff.
- Put it into a word processing program and fill out the paragraphs.
You are not writing a novel, just a brief sketch. Some of you will take a few days to get the essay to mature, and develop it over time so you can put in good stuff that you think about over the week. If you are like me, you are writing it on the last submission date, so here is what I do: I write. I start with a bunch of small sentences that will become paragraphs. I create a conclusion. My secret is that I work my conclusion back into the first paragraph so the whole thing looks cohesive, and the beginning foreshadowed the end.