Writing an Effective Admissions Essay
Colleges applications are up and the number of seats are down. Many people are more than qualified to get into their college of choice but lose out on the chance because of an ineffective admissions essay. An admissions essay is your chance to show the admissions committee who you are apart from your grades and test scores.
Writing a good admissions essay is a daunting task. Many students have no idea where to start and end up wasting a lot of time staring at a blank Word document and getting frustrated. Below we take a look at some tips on writing a great essay.
This is where you rack your brain to try and come up with an idea for your personal statement. You are more than able to come up with a great personal statement because the topic is something you are very familiar with…You! Here are some questions to help you get going?
- What are some of your greatest accomplishments?
- Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
- Write about a time where you overcame a great obstacle?
- What are you passionate about?
The whole idea behind brainstorming is to let it all out. Don’t edit your comments or discard any topic no matter how ludicrous it seems – you’ll narrow down topic ideas later. After you have brainstormed over the course of a few days walk away and then come back and pick out your three top ideas.
2. Topics to Avoid
- Although admissions committees want to get to know you on a personal level there are some subjects that you should avoid such as:
- Embarrassing Moments – you don’t want to talk about your sex life, immature pranks, and other silly things that may impress friends but will make you look foolish to an admissions office.
- Traumatic Occurrences – attempting suicide, going to jail, and those sorts of things show a personal side but cross the line. That kind of stiff should be used for a diary not an admissions essay.
- Controversial Topics – writing your opinion about abortion, religion, and capital punishment is not wise. You will be evaluated on your merits not your opinions.
- The Big Game – don’t write about how you single handedly won the state championship with two hands tied behind your back. Let others brag about you. Plus, this topic is very cliché.
- Comedy Show – a little humor is good, but don’t try and make your essay like a script for a sitcom. Also, if you are not a humorous person don’t try and become one in your essay.
Once you have chosen a solid topic that reflects who you are and what you are passionate about then you need to draft an outline. An outline may seem like an extra step to some but it will make your essay better in the end. Outlines ensure the essay flows together and transitions well from each point.
After the outline write a series of rough drafts and have them evaluated by someone who is a good writer and can give you honest and valuable feedback. Once you’ve incorporated the feedback you think will enhance your essay you are ready to finish up your masterpiece!