Students that are aspiring to join different colleges or universities of their choosing are increasingly facing serious challenges. A large number of students are handing in applications for a limited or same number of spaces. When colleges open applications, all the students have an equal chance of joining their favorite college or university.
However, each student has to prove why he or she thinks she is the best candidate to be given a chance to join the institution. Today, a majority of universities throughout the country and overseas are using application essays as a useful assessment tool for recruiting new students. A college application essay is a crucial component of a student's application today. Whereas university's selection board still consider the common student selection criteria such as pass mark, an application essay has become a valuable tool for testing students' writing skills and creativity.
Since students score good grades that meet the cutoff mark set by the universities, an application essay gives students aspiring to join colleges the chance to show the college the quality, skills or talent that tests cannot communicate. Therefore, this essay seeks to identify and discuss the key points to consider when writing a university application essay. When writing an application essay, students should ensure that the essay is concise, organized, coherent, accurate, and smart, follows instructions, and proofread the work.
Prepare for the essay
The initial step in writing an application essay involves preparing adequately. Preparing yourself to join the university is the same as preparing to write the college application essay. After students know their assigned topic, writing an excellent essay on the subject depends entirely on the content. Obtaining good content thus requires students to do their research on the topic. Students can search for information in online databases such as Google, or visit their school libraries. An excellent essay thus depends on the extent of preparation.
Reading the instructions
However much the topic looks simple, students should read instructions carefully to identify the requirements of the essay. You should read the instructions several times to establish exactly what the prompt requires. Students may ask friends or relatives to read the instructions for them so that they give their understanding of the assignment. Although you are the one writing the essay, asking other people to read the instructions is important because they can offer vital insight and ideas that can make your writing easier.
Plan the essay
After obtaining sufficient content about the topic, students should take the time to compile the thoughts. A good essay requires organizing the ideas starting from the most compelling and persuasive points to least impressive ones. Students can organize their essay by planning their essay. Planning the essay may involve developing an outline including essential items incorporate in the paper is necessary to assist the students in staying focused on the topic (Page, 2013). Planning the essay helps students to present the ideas in a logical manner. Developing a plan may involve making a list of important points to include and the things to consider in the paper. Hence, students should spend adequate time to come up with a detailed outline to make it easier to write the final paper.
Length of the essay
The length of the essay is given together with the topic and other essay requirements. A good essay is the one that adheres to the particular length given in the instructions. Adhering to the length of the essay is important as the board may disqualify the essays that exceed the required length. For instance, if the board states in the instructions that the length of the essay should be between 700 and 1500 words, it implies that the word length should be within this length. Nothing less and nothing more.
Narrow and personal statements
Making short personal statements tend to spice up the essay. Besides, such short personal statements reserve the space in the essay for one to include additional important information concerning experiences that contributed to such personal statements (Jacobs & Hyman, 2010). Writing a narrow essay with short personal statements also allows a student to cover unique information that can differentiate the application from other applications presented to the board for review. Because the university board receives numerous application essays, it is important for an applicant to stand out despite the competition.
Coherence and accuracy
A coherent essay is easier to read and follow the flow of ideas. In a good essay, students should talk about a single idea at a time. That is, the essay should not try to cover all the information. A coherent essay gives a series of snapshots, which may look inevitably incomplete but informative (Jaffe & Hilbert, 2009). You cannot include everything in the essay, so the board expects an overview of relevant personal information. Furthermore, accuracy requires that the students focus on various mechanics of quality writing such as conventional punctuation like commas and semi-colons among others.
Revise the essay
A complete essay is not complete until it is revised. Revising the essay is vital as it helps one to point out the mistakes. When revising, one should check for grammar and spelling errors (Carlotti, 2014). Revising the essay requires students to proofread the paper a few times to test the things overlooked. When proofreading, one should evaluate the essay to ensure ideas are expressed sufficiently. A good way of proofreading the essay is by asking a friend or family member to read it over. Proofreading by reading the essay loudly is important it makes it easier to spot simple errors. Moreover, one can write a good essay by asking them to offer their insight, suggestions or criticize the content or structure of the paper be submitting it. Also, some with good command in English or background on the topic should edit the paper to improve the content and structure before submitting the finished paper.
Here is a sample university application essay: