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The college admission essay may not be the only thing that matters for your application’s success, but a fantastic paper can actually compensate for not-so-good grades. Likewise, you could have maximum grades to show off – if your college application essay is bad, your chances of getting in will lower considerably.
This is why you must pay great attention to this composition and treat it as a way to stand out and show the commission who you really are. Here are our top tips for writing a winning college application essay:
Avoid the Obvious
Regardless of the topic you decide to write about, make sure you keep it interesting – stay away of those overused, boring answers that the admission commission has probably seen millions of times. Your essay’s success will not depend much on what you decide to talk about, but how you write about it.
Therefore, avoid anything that makes you seem narcissistic, avoid superlatives (“the most life-changing experience ever”, “the best day ever”), and avoid clichés like “that moment helped me grow as a person”.
Focus More on Feelings Rather than Events
Many students focus too much on what they’ve experienced and not on how an event made them feel or what they’ve learned from it. Remember that you’re not writing a news report here – you’re trying to show the commission who you really are.
So don’t simply summarize what you did last summer, for instance. Write about how the experience affected you emotionally, how it changed you, how it helped you become who you are now. It can be hard to talk about feelings and deeply personal aspects, but this is what will make your essay unforgettable.
Since you probably have a lot of knowledge on the topic you’ve chosen, it may seem that it’s enough to write just a few sentences about it. But keep in mind that the persons reading your essay don’t know anything about you except for your name and a few statistics.
Therefore, you need to be as specific as possible in your descriptions, to help them understand your perspective and empathize with you. Stirring empathy in the admission officers is a sure way to get noticed and considerably increase your chances of success.
Proofread and Edit, and then Proofread Some More
You may have found a brilliant approach to your application essay, but if you let stupid mistakes pull it down, all your efforts will have been in vain. Therefore, proofread your paper multiple times to ensure no spelling or grammar errors are left unnoticed, and then edit for style, form, and tone consistency.
Add and cut, rephrase, and restyle until everything is well organized, clear and well-flowing. Then, do another proofreading session to ensure no mistakes have slipped in while editing.
Get a Second Opinion
Once you have the final version of your essay, ask a teacher or anyone you trust who knows a thing or two about writing to have a look over your paper. They may notice problems you would never have spotted on your own.
Writing your college application essay is hard and incredibly helpful, but you know you can do it. Simply relax and have fun with it!