One of the most crucial parts of the college application process is the preparation and presentation of college application essays. This can be a very daunting process... because it's new territory!
College essays tend to be very personal in nature (unlike the usual academic pieces that high school students are accustomed to). Rather than presenting arguments for objective topics, students will need to be introspective and analytical in writing about themselves - from their experiences, to the reasons behind their desires, to their interests, to their dreams and aspirations.
After doing this for over 10 years, we've gathered a few tips to help you write the best College Essay possible.
The most difficult part of writing is starting.
The key to get over this hurdle is to start by creating a mind map. This means taking a blank sheet of paper and dumping all the ideas that you have. From this 'dump', you'll be able to pull some great points and start writing your essay.
Even the most skilled writers don't always get it right the first time. So, on your essay writing journey, remember to be patient with yourself and give yourself the room to write, hate what you write and then start from scratch. You may do this around three times before you finally get it right.
So what does this mean? You have to start writing early. This will give you the time to do all the mind-mapping, drafting and reworking needed to make your essay shine.
College recruiters are sifting through hundreds of thousands of college essays. What makes an essay stand out is the individuality and uniqueness of the applicant. So, be sure to put your true self on display.
Ensure that the essay isn't simply recapping what was already stated before in your application. No need to mention your awards and accolades. The essay is about YOU. You should also never present any misleading information in your essay, especially information that can be fact-checked or that can derail you in an interview.
It goes without saying that your essay's content is the most important aspect. You should ensure that your essay is concise, reflective and coherent. The essay should be easy to read and should invoke thought and emotion. But most importantly, your essay must ANSWER THE PROMPT.
If X College in New York is asking you, "Why do you want to attend X College?" do not write about New York or living in the US or getting on a plane for the first time or anything super tangential to the topic. The essay is specifically asking WHY X COLLEGE... not why New York or why the US or why do you want to travel.
Once you're finished writing, be sure to read over your work. But, it's very common for people to miss simple mistakes in their own writing so be sure to send it to a friend, your guidance counsellor or to your college advisor. Having an extra pair of eyes is never a bad idea when it comes on to your essays!