Making a Great College Entrance Essay

Every year thousands of students from around the world apply for colleges in the US.  Because transcripts do not tell the “full story,” many institutions require an essay as part of the application process.  Although non-writers may feel it is unfair, it is a necessary condition, so there is nothing one can do but comply.

Thankfully, there are some easy steps to follow to make the college entrance essay more bearable.

  1. Follow the prompt

Gone are the days of the generic “Tell me about yourself” essay. Many colleges now include specific prompts to help gauge if the applicant will survive the course and fit into the school culture. So do ensure you have read the prompt carefully and that your essay answers everything that is asked for.

  1. Choose something meaningful

Many students try to think of answers they believe the selection board wants to hear.  So they end up picking something generic (like their graduation day), or they may even copy the answers of others.

The best way to get into college is to be yourself. Choose an experience that is meaningful to you.  Not only will it be easier to discuss, but you will also feel that you have shared the best part of who you are.

  1. List the details of what you want to share

Before you begin writing, brainstorm first about the experience you would like to share. List down the details of the event, including what happened, how you felt, and the significance of the situation (how it changed you). If you are choosing between a few options, listing the details helps you determine which is the best experience to share.

  1. Follow an essay format

The college essay is not a text message nor a post on social media. If you want to impress the selection panel, you need to follow the proper essay format: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Not only will it make your essay easier to read, but it also gives them an idea of your writing ability, which may be additional points for your selection.

  1. Read and revise your first draft

The first draft is rarely good enough for the final submission.  So write what you have in mind, read it, and then revise.  Oftentimes, you will notice glaring errors when you view it again, and you will also remember important information you forgot to include.

  1. Seek the opinions of others about your essay

It always helps to get the ideas of others you trust, such as your parents, your guidance counselor, or a teacher you admire. Sometimes you and your friends might think you made a great essay, but a respected mentor might say otherwise.  Your essay may be too trivial, too personal, too negative, or you may have missed the point entirely.  So getting the input from others can help.

Summary

As an important part of the college selection process, your college entrance essay should reflect who you are and no one else. Take note of the pointers above to ensure your essay portrays just that.