The college essay is a fantastic place to show off your writing skills. It’s also one of the few aspects of college applications in which students can let their personalities shine through.
Unlike test scores and transcripts The college admissions essay is a chance for students a chance to showcase their individuality.
“The essays are important for a variety of reasons, including an opportunity for students to communicate directly with the admissions department,” says Adam Sapp, assistant vice president and director of admissions at Pomona College in California.
Students who are considering college want to write their essay, sometimes called a personal statement, in order to make a good impression and increase their chances of being accepted, but they have only several hundred words to make it happen.
It can feel overwhelming.
Niki Barron, Hamilton College associate dean of admissions in New York, says that this is the area where students typically find the most difficulty. “They’re looking at a blank sheet of paper and don’t know how to start.”
The pressure to submit scores may get more intense as colleges have made it optional to take tests.Read about suntrics At website Some schools have gone test-blind and don’t consider such scores at all. Some admissions experts suggest that other aspects of the application will receive more attention, like the essay, even in absence of test scores.
College admission policies and priorities are different for each candidate.
Barron wrote an email to explain that “being test-free hasn’t changed the way essays are utilized in our selection process, but I would not say that the essay is used to substitute for standard scores,” Barron said in an email. “A student’s preparation for our classroom is always a top priority during our process of reviewing applications.”
Essay writing tips provided by experts emphasize the importance of being clear, coherent, congenial, honest and accurate. The applicant must also be able and willing make use of vivid examples or anecdotes.
College students should learn about creating strong essays.
How to Begin Your Journey to College Essay
The ideal moment for students to begin working on their essays is in the summer prior to their senior year, according to experts, in which homework and other activities aren’t consuming time and mental energy.
It gives students plenty of time to draft multiple drafts before the college application deadlines. The deadlines could be as early November for those who are applying for early decisions or early action.
Students can read about the essay requirements of schools that they are interested in applying to online. Common App is a platform that is used by over 800 schools. It can be utilized by students who want to begin their application process.
In addition to the main essay, some colleges require applicants to submit one or more additional writing samples. These are essays that are less lengthy than the main essay and are designed to aid students in articulating their passion for a particular college or academic area.
Students will need to plan additional time to write if schools ask for supplemental essays.
“Most selective schools won’t ask for more than one essay. Sapp recommends that you do not focus too much on one essay and not enough energy on the other sections of your application. He also points out that you may be asked additional questions that require carefully written responses.
How long should a college Essay be?
The Common App, which students may submit to multiple colleges note that there aren’t any word limit for the primary essay. However it suggests a word limit of approximately 650 words.
The Common App website says that “We will not stop reading after 650 words, but we can’t promise that an essay that is too long words will be able to keep our attention for as long”
The word count is much less for those supplemental essays for specific institutions typically, which range from 250 words.
How to Pick a College Essay Topic
The most difficult and often the most difficult part of essay writing is choosing a topic to write about.
In college applications, there are often several essay prompts. Barron says that they are likely to be broad and open questions that allow students to examine a wide range of topics.
The essay doesn’t constitute a complete autobiography, says Mimi Doe, co-founder of Top Tier Admissions, a Massachusetts-based advisory company. “It’s daunting to consider putting your whole life in one piece of writing,” she says.
Experts suggest that students narrow their focus to write about an experience or hobby that tells you something about themselves for example, their thinking style, the values they hold or their strengths. Students can also write about something that highlights some aspect of their lives. A paper on something that is commonplace is compelling if it’s done well.
Students don’t have to discuss any significant accomplishments on their essay, a popular misconception. U.S. News spoke to admissions officers about essays that were about everyday subjects like fly-fishing or the student’s journey from school to work and to return.
The most important thing, they suggest, is that a college essay is well-thought out and tells a compelling story which provides insight into what a person is like as an individual.
Ethan Sawyer, creator of College Essay Guy website that offers essay-writing tools for both free and premium students, stated that they will write about themselves no matter the topic they pick. “What we consider the topic is merely the lens or framework we use to look at other aspects of ourselves,” says Ethan Sawyer the founder of College Essay Guy.
If students are having difficulty thinking of topics to consider, they can ask friends or family members for advice, says Stephanie Klein Wassink, founder of Winning Applications and AdmissionsCheckup, the Connecticut-based college admissions advisory companies. Wassink suggests students ask their family or friends questions, such as “What distinguishes you from other people?” Or, “What is my quirk?”
Experts suggest that the essay should alert college admissions officials about something they aren’t aware of. Experts recommend students make sure that they’re writing about something that’s not included in any other part of their application.
College Essay Writing
Experts advise students to sketch out their essays prior to beginning writing.
There are a variety of options to tackle it, says Sara Newhouse (senior consultant at Enrollment Research Associates) and ex-vice-president of admission and financial planning, Birmingham Southern College in Alabama.
She states “Your writing style should be your own.” Newhouse urges students not to copy the approach that worked in the past to write assignments for English or other high school classes.
The first draft doesn’t need to be perfect. “Just do a brain dump,” Doe says. “Don’t modify yourself, just put it all on the paper.”
If students are having a hard starting their essay, they should focus on their first sentence, Doe suggests. She suggests that the essay’s opening sentence, or hook, should draw the attention of readers.
Submission and editing of the College Essay
As admissions officers attempt to understand the students through the essay, they’re also assessing their writing skills So, applicants must ensure they have submitted top-quality work.
Sapp affirms that “Rewriting is the best way to write.” “You should never give me your first draft.”
Doe suggests that students ensure their initial drafts are demonstrating rather than simply telling. This means students should show their readers examples that prove they have certain traits or values, as opposed to just saying that they do.
Experts advise students to seek outside editing assistance once they’ve finished editing their essay. There are numerous companies and people who offer editing services for a fee like workshops for essay writing or editing services. But families and students might not have the money to pay the cost of these services.
But, there are options to defray the costs. Sawyer For instance, offers scholarships to students coming from families with lower incomes. The scholarships pay for one-on-one consultations with an essayist.
There are numerous essay advising companies that offer free feedback. Some college prep companies offer short consultations for no cost. Workshops on writing essays for free could be available through local high schools, libraries in public libraries or community organizations. Khan Academy, an educational platform that is online and offers free education, offers numerous videos and other resources specifically designed to help students with writing essays.
Barron says that colleges might have their own resources. Hamilton’s website includes pages that offer writing advice as well as examples of essays for admission that have been successful. Hamilton hosts online panels to discuss how to write admissions essays.
In terms of help with their essay students have several options. Students have several options to get help with their essays. They can seek out assistance from teachers, family members and school counselors.
Newhouse claims it’s beneficial to have proofreaders read an essay in two stages. The first phase concentrates on the contents. This stage is most critical. The second stage of proofreading focuses on style.
But proofreaders should not alter the style of your essay. “Don’t let anyone edit out your voice” Doe cautions.
While editing is fine however, having someone else write the essay could not be.
Students usually upload their essay once they have completed it. On the Common App, for example, students will copy and paste the essay into a text box.
Sapp affirms that, although college admissions officials focus on the essay, students needn’t be stressed about the essay. According Sapp that the essay is the window, and the application is the house. “So keep in mind that an application is made of several pieces.”