How to Write a College Admissions Essay
A great essay can be a deciding factor in college acceptance, especially if you
don't meet all the admission requirements. But writing essays for your college applications
is challenging, even for a future English major! Here are some ideas for writing
a convincing essay.
- Plan. Start by planning early. Read the essay questions on each
of your applications and begin to develop ideas a few months before applications
are due. Choose a subject that will help the college admissions officer get insight
into you, your values and character, and what you want out of college. Your essay
should make you stand out from other students.
- Consult. Talk to your high school counselor about the elements
of an excellent essay. Bounce ideas off him/her and get feedback on each draft.
Ask your English teacher, your parents, and any writers you may know to read your
essay drafts and make recommendations.
- Outline. This is a very important step! You may be limited in
the amount of words you can use. An outline organizes your ideas and helps present
them in a clear, concise, and compelling manner.
- Audience. Write for your audience. Each college is different,
so target each essay to the specific college to which you're applying. Follow each
college's guidelines and answer any questions asked.
- Proofread. Carefully read over your essay and remove any spelling
or grammatical errors. Have a teacher, parent, or counselor read the essay, as a
fresh perspective may find an error you missed!
Plan ahead, take your time, and carefully write (and rewrite) your essays. Make
sure you provide each college with the information requested.