College Entrance Essays - How To Make Them Shine

College Entrance Essays – How To Make Them Shine

By: - Education - August 25, 2011
college entrance essays %E2%80%93 how to make them shine

Each individual college admissions professional reads dozens, if not hundreds, of college admissions essays each year. It can be intimidating to sit down to write your college entrance essays with the pressure of knowing that yours must immediately catch the reader’s attention and stand out from the rest. However, there are several things you can do to make your college entrance essays stronger and more unique than the average essay.

First, you must pick a topic that speaks to you. If you are emotionally invested in the topic, that passion will come through in your essay, meaning that you will craft an essay that “lives” rather than one that is dry and boring. Secondly, remember to be yourself. Your job is not to present a perfect, idealized person to the college but to present a person who is real, who is committed, who is engaged in learning and growing. Personal hardships, triumphs and personal changes you’ve been through are appropriate topics to include in your essay. Your story should reflect what is unique about you. College admissions essays are not marketing tools. You do not need to sell yourself to the school by tooting your own horn in your essay, since your grades, references and extracurricular activities should do that. Instead, you want the school to know who you are, why you want to attend that particular school, and what kind of member of the community you will be when you are accepted. Do not be afraid of difficult topics, as many of the college entrance essays admissions offices receive are very superficial and lack any real depth. You can write on topics such as something that happened in your life that changed your worldview, how you have dealt with a personal struggle, a person in your life that inspires you, how you see your future after graduation, or a social problem that you would like to solve.
Be conscious of the tone you use in your essay. Instead of writing “if you accept me, I will be a great member of the college community” you can simply write “I will be a great member of the college community.” This conveys confidence and shows that you can envision yourself as a student there. By using more direct language you can help the reader picture you as a student at their institution rather than coming across as insecure.

It is recommended to always have more than one person proof-read your college admissions essay so that you can be sure to catch any grammatical or spelling mistakes as well as receive help in clarifying your message. Remember not to use words that you don’t normally use just in an effort to impress. Avoid telling a story, and instead try to show what happened. Use original and creative language, and focus especially on a compelling introduction and ending. Make sure all transitions between thoughts or topics are clean and graceful. If you follow these suggestions, your college admissions essay will truly shine.


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