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What Should be in Your College Application Essay?

Writing your college application essay may appear to be the more terrifying part of applying to a college, but here are some writiting tips that should make it go a little smoother.

The most important thing you can do is to be yourself. Don’t spend your time trying to impress. Ditch the thesaurus of upgraded, more sophisticated words, and use your vocabulary. Don’t pick a topic just because you think it is what they are looking for. The best topic you could chose is one that is meaningful to you, one that you can express in your writing one hundred percent. The key is not to just summarize the event but to reflect on it. You should take a creative angle on the question you are answering, but stay specific. Meaning, you should stay detailed and avoid boring bland sentence without going on long tyrants that end up leading the reader to confusion.

The essay is to give them a little bit into your personality, and help you not be forgotten in the crowds. A great way to be remembered is to make them smile. Cracking a joke is risky, but if it works you’ll have saved a spot in their head. The risk in it is, what you find to be funny or entertaining, may not be the same as what adults working on a college board find funny. Keep in mind that by the time they get to your essay they’ve already read several hundred. Which is why if you are different, if you are able to make them smile, laugh or emotional is one of your greatest assets.

Don’t be afraid of drafts. Write as many as possible! Having seven or more drafts is common and honestly expected. Start with a basic outline of everything you want in your essay. Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect! It can be wordy, inconsistent, and just over all bad. As long as you’ve got your main points in it, it’s a great start! Set aside each draft for a few days, and focus on something else, that way, when you come back to it, it’s easier to pick out the things you want to change. While reviewing your essay, put yourself in the shoes of its intended readers. Is your essay interesting? Does it all flow well? Is it written in your voice and does it reveal something about you?

Other things to keep in mind are that they aren’t looking for perfection, they are looking for personality, and promise. Try to avoid repeats or contradictions. If you are contradicting yourself in your essay, you might want to find a different topic, same if you are very repetitive, it shows that you do not have that much information on the topic you are writing. Always follow the instructions. Colleges put a lot of thought into what they ask for, and are looking for your answers. Instead of trying to start off with a gripping first line, start with a story, a memory that ties into your topic. Starting with something personal is already giving them more information about you. Lastly, before you send in your essay have someone else proofread it, your best option is a teacher or college counselor.

Colleges are looking for three things in your essay, voice, unique perspective, and strong writing.