Many universities and colleges around the world require you to write an admission essay as part of the application process. It allows the institutions to evaluate your personality and skills. As an applicant, you need to express yourself and prove to the officer that you are the best student to fill their position. It is important to understand what the selection committee wants to know about you, and this is difficult without any expert assistance and advice. Here are some of the hidden requirements to writing an effective college admission essay.
Create a Plan
A good plan will help you obtain a good result. Know as much as possible about the college and the admission committee. Be confident about your essay subject and the major you are going to choose. Most colleges have specific essays that they will require you to write, so knowing the topics ahead of time and selecting a specific subject that fits your areas of expertise are super important.
Here are some common Admission Essay Question Examples:
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
These are 5 of the most common Topics/Examples that you will see when you write college admission essays for a majority of schools. However, many top level schools (Harvard, Yale, Columbia etc…) will ask you to write a unique essay with super specific prompts. So be ready for anything!
Proper Essay Format
Most universities are much more free-spirited and allow you to write in any format or style you choose, however the general “Intro-Body-Conclusion” is usually the most common path for success. The volume and amount of the body paragraphs are dependent on how much you want to write, but usually just having one fulfilling paragraph can really get the job done, as long as it is to the point and creative! The intro and conclusion should really be written at the end of the essay, after you have spilled your guts out on the main body. Once you have said what you truly wanted to, only then can you add the spices that are the intro and conclusion.
Admission Officers read many essays every single day, so make sure you don’t write 700 words of crap and keep it closer to that 250-word minimum. Just make sure to give each of your sentences a meaning instead of just filling in empty gap space. The shorter your essay is, the higher the attention span is of the reader, keeping him interested in your essay until the very end.
Open up with an anecdote
If you want to know the best way to start a college admission essay, then here it is in a nutshell. Just like we wrote a hook in most of our essays, we must also pique the interest of our admission officer. This is the only opportunity to truly show your unique aspects and give you something that sets you apart from the crowd, so make sure you don’t half ass this part!
This anecdote must implement 3 important parts:
- It must exemplify growth: Show through the anecdote how you have grown and are ready to transition to college life.
- Show them your personality: most admission officers don’t have time to figure out if you’re extroverted or introverted among other things; this gives you that window of opportunity to show yourself in a few lines.
High focus level and specificity: It’s much more effective to give one powerful example from your life that acted as an epitome for your next major life decision, as opposed to a bunch of less effective moments.
An admission essay topic
Some colleges allow the students to do some creative writing, in which the student may write about whatever interests him or something that could make a good story. Some tend to set some specific questions. They may ask you to write about yourself, while others may ask why you chose to apply for their particular college. Some colleges can ask you to write something creative. You need to understand the topic and write accordingly, while still being yourself and writing in your own unique style.
Choose a topic that will highlight you
Talk about your personal life history and examples about yourself. Come at it from a creative angle and talk about your life achievements or educational moments, and avoiding talking about your educational record, such as those not so flawless high school grades.
Even if you have stellar grades, so many students take that as their main angle of approach and although it is effective, let’s face it, most high school students don’t finish with a perfect GPA, and yet a lot of those that don’t still get into top-tier schools.
Coherency is so important!
As much as officers want to know what you have to say, you have to keep things filtered. Keep the order of your sentences logical and consistent and make sure you use PROPER GRAMMAR (yes the caps are on purpose).
Avoid the thesaurus: Although you may think you sound like someone straight out of Shakespeare, sometimes it just makes you look like an ass. Now I’m not saying to only use 4th-grade vocabulary, but don’t go too crazy with the style either. You are high school student entering college, not a 40-year-old dude applying for a position in neurosurgery
Give off the likeable-personality vibe
Let’s face it, colleges see themselves as voluminous young adult communities where people party, work together, build connections and all that good stuff. Universities want to see students who are willing to dive head in to the action and spice up the mixing pot of different personalities. Make sure you sound like someone people want to be around, but make sure you aren’t contradicting your personality either. Find the best of both worlds.
This vibe can and should be subtly included as part of your anecdote. Also, adding small little word jabs into the essay to strengthen this point is helpful as well.
Use Originality to get out the herd of sheep
Considering the fact that admission officers read tons of essays every day, the majority of them get put into the “passable” section; the essay wasn’t terrible, it was just incredibly average and took no stand on anything. Colleges are huge brainstorming clouds, and Universities want various opinions and arguments on all sorts of topics.
Writing about things like politics, religion, and other controversial topics can be effective on giving you the boost to get out of the passable section and into the “oh wow” section, as long as you don’t go overboard and are considerate towards others opinions. Show that your statements are logical and reasonable, and that you aren’t just a spastic rambler.
Show, don’t tell; Give Examples
They say actions speak louder than words right? You bet your ass they do, and this is where you exemplify this. Instead of stating that you like this or that you’re interested in this topic, show them the proactive steps you took in order to PROVE you were interested and not just talking the talk but in fact walking the walk. People like to see action, and nothing gets done without initiating steps or procedures, so what are you waiting for? Start writing this damn essay!
Honestly is the best policy
Too many students try to over exaggerate who they are and their stories of success, and nothing makes an Admission officer cringe more than hearing a bunch of bogus. Instead of over pumping some random nonsense, focus on the things that make you unique, things that separate you from the rest. Even if you weren’t president of 20 clubs, doesn’t mean that you don’t have something special to offer the University.
Read the success stories; see what has worked
There’s no better knowledge you can get than pure experience, and there’s nothing wrong with borrowing thoughts and ideas from other people’s essays just as long as you aren’t straight up plagiarizing.
Chances are, most successful students who wrote great college admission essays definitely shared at least some minor similarities in their works. So if you can use the best little pieces from each and combine them while using your unique style, well the worlds in your hands!
Avoid the procrastinators scenario
I know guys we all love to procrastinate, it’s practically in our blood as students, but take this thing seriously. Submitting your entire application before the early admission deadline is already a huge step; it shows the officers that you’re taking this process seriously and that already makes a big statement before they even open your essay.
Don’t write this thing in 30 minutes and call it there, that’s the antonym of success. Spend time on it, and make sure when you read it back to yourself that you are honestly satisfied with what you are presenting. Hire a professional Essay Writing Service to help you with your paper, if you have no time to write it yourself.