After having filled out all the boring formalities of a college application, comes your time to finally express yourself and show them who you are. That is when you ask yourself: how to write a college admission essay? This essay showcases you not as a set of grades or GPA but as an individual with true ambitions and goals in life. This is the part of the application that the admissions committee looks to heavily for choosing applicants. Writing an essay for college admission can or break your application, as it carries a heavy influence over the committee's decision. Before writing an admission essay, you must have written countless papers in high school. But few of them, if any, were truly about you.
The college admission essay definition is a narrative essay where you sell yourself for the competitive spot, demonstrating the power of the written word that you are exactly the applicant they're looking for. This essay is about your experiences, achievements, and future life goals. In this article, we will help you learn how to write an essay for college admission and get into the school you've always dreamed of going to.
Success Tip #1: NEVER Rush Your Essay
Considering how heavily important this is, rushing your college admission essay and writing it in under an hour would be a terrible idea. Papers such as this are usually made within several weeks, as it's important to return to and review your work continually. Although they might be small (most admission essays are maximum of two to three pages in length), every sentence counts. The students who truly get in spending at least a month polishing their admission essays and even writing several for different schools! If that thought frightens you, perhaps it's useful to find an essay helper who can help put your achievements on paper.
Working With Templates
Because the school didn't teach you how to sell yourself or how to write a college admission letter, you might find yourself staring at the black page of an admissions essay and asking: what the hell do I do? That's where useful templates come in. Templates can correctly direct you, helping you sort out your thoughts on paper. They will usually include an essay outline, which will assess brainstorming and give you a stronger idea of how your admission essay format should look.
But although templates are great, relying on them won't get you through. Think of it this way: admissions go through hundreds of essays daily. Savvy as they are in seeing repetitive ideas and texts, they can spot a template essay in a second. Truly the best way to make your college admission essay stand out is to stick to your guns, keep it original, starting strong, and to end on a confident note.
College Admission Essay Format
The college admission essay format doesn't differ too much from the essays you've already written in high school. If you're familiar with reflective essays and narrative essays, then you'll find the admission essay to be a mix of both. Typically presented in a 5-paragraph admission essay format, this piece focuses on you, reflecting on your academic journey up to this point. Necessary to include are elements of a narrative (telling an intriguing success story) and a cohesive 5-paragraph structure.
Although this is your essay, and you should create the college admission essay outline it the way you feel right, we must recommend sticking to the 5-paragraph format. The reason is that this is the most widely accepted format for most essays, and the admission committee will have an easy time skimming through your written work. They skim through hundreds of essays for college admission. If the familiar formatting is completely absent, chances are that they won't make it past page one. Now let's get into the structure of a college admission essay.
How to Start a College Admission Essay
Ironically, thinking about how to start a college admission essay is something that you should do last. Most people are confused about how to start their essay and never put anything down on paper as a result. A pro tip would be: write your essay first and then work on the introduction.
Now to get more specific. Like every other essay, the introduction to college admission essay should start with a hook. That means an interesting or exciting piece of information or story that grabs the reader and doesn't let go. The rest of your introductory paragraph should explain who you are, where you come from, and give a hint (in form of a thesis) of the story you're about to tell.
However, the hook is the most important part and here's why: if other essays are intended to slightly amuse your professor, this one is not to be taken lightly. Rather, the importance of the hook is amplified by ten because if you don't get the admissions committee's attention right away, they'll just move on from your essay. So when writing an essay for college admission, don't forget to start strong with a hook.
After luring your reader in and introducing the story, it's time to get to the fun part. The college admission essay main body paragraphs are the bulk of your essay and where most of its story lies. Body paragraphs explore the events that occurred in your story, signifying the importance of given events and the experience obtained from them.
- Each paragraph is focused on a specific event, topic, or experience.
- Paragraphs use transition sentences to establish a consistent flow of ideas.
- Each idea, event, or experience is crucial in shaping up your character for the admissions committee.
Just like a narrative essay, every story has a protagonist, a conflict, and a resolution. In the case of college admission essays, these story elements serve to position you as the most remarkable and perfect applicant for the school you've applied to. Once you've got the paragraphs working, it's time for the closer.
Writing a Conclusion
The college admission essay conclusion may seem tricky, but if you think of it as a second introduction, it's not that hard. Some common pitfalls of an application essay's conclusion include gems like "this is why I am the best candidate for your college" or "I fit perfectly in your college, and my academic performance speaks for itself." Laughable as they may be, they are essentially the main points you want to convey in your conclusion. However, this is where the popular tip 'show doesn't tell' comes into play.
Having worked so hard on shaping your narrative, you probably want to keep the same enthusiasm for the college admission essay conclusion. In such moments it's important to ask yourself: what can I say that will make a lasting final impression on the reader? When you write your college admissions essay, remember that a strong closer is like a reverse-hook. While the hook lures your reader in, the closer is supposed to keep them thinking about your essay even after they've finished reading it. End confidently on a strong note as you started, and you're guaranteed to earn that competitive spot.
College Admission Essay Tips to Help You Stand Out
Finally, with the structure and main idea out of the way, we can give you some practical tips on how to write an admissions essay with dazzling results:
- Apply to the reader's emotions. The best way to evoke emotions from a reader is to talk about something you're passionate about. It could be a movie or a book that has changed your life or a memorable event in which you've experienced growth or transformation. Make sure that your topic relates to the success story you wish to tell.
- Reflect on Experiences. Whenever you tell a story or a recount of events, there always has to be a moral. Without a moral, it's like a joke without a punchline. Always describe what you've learned from your experience.
- Use Jokes Carefully. Humor in academic essays is a great way to ease tension. A pun or two in the right place can showcase your bright personality and demonstrate a likable urge to challenge conventions and set your own rules of the game. Those are very powerful personality traits that most colleges look for in students. But keep in mind that overloading your admissions essay with unnecessary humor can backfire, so choose your punchlines carefully.
- Start a Month Ahead. Admissions essays aren't written overnight. They usually take weeks of editing and reflection. Even having several drafts of different essays is fine, as long as it helps you achieve the essay, you'd be proud to present. Perhaps you could ask a professional 'write my essay for me' and have a draft ready a month ahead of schedule!
- Include Your Accomplishments, But Be Cool About It. Boasting accomplishments is another common pitfall for students when writing admissions essays. The easiest thing to do is just list your strengths and pull out your high GPA as proof of your awesomeness. However, that would just be bland and boring. Try to be cool, and have your essay mention your accomplishments in a way that makes you look like a natural winner.
- Show Don't Tell. Given that you're essentially writing a narrative essay about yourself, it's important to use descriptive language and evoke imagery rather than stating bland facts.
- Get Advice from Family. Your family has always been by your side; they know your strengths and weaknesses. In many cases, they'll remind you of achievements you've had, which you'd long forgotten, and help you spice up your essay. Don't ask them to do my essay, but giving the final result to a friend or family member for proofreading is highly recommended.
- Get college admissions essay help. Very frequently, students find themselves unable to sell themselves with the written word. This is when they can ask for college admission essay help, hiring a professional to write a college admission essay for them. Sometimes it's a good choice when you're running behind schedule and need to have a draft on your hands ASAP.
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