Wednesday, November 18, 2015

10 Tips for a College Essay

Essays have become an essential part of college applications. Although important, essays can be challenging and stressful but Pride Guide Kelly Mizuno is here to share 10 tips that will help you write your college admission essay(s).

1. Brainstorm 

Giving yourself time to brainstorm can be the difference between an "ok" essay and a great one! Putting thought into your topic and the way in which you organize your essay is important. Think about a topic that is important to you and shows who you are as a person - that's what admission counselors want to see.

2. Follow Instructions 
Unsurprisingly, many college-bound students don’t spend a lot of time really reading prompts. Make sure you know what a prompt is asking, and address it thoroughly in your essay. While there’s no cookie-cutter guide to success in regards to an essay, following the instructions is a good first step for anything in life.

3. Share an Anecdote 
Many colleges receive thousands of applications, and sharing a personal anecdote that lets counselors get to know you as a person can be extremely important in ensuring they remember who you are. Anecdotes are often interesting and engaging and can be more impactful than an unemotional and bland essay.

4. Be Creative 
With thousands of students applying to universities each year, it can be difficult to find a unique take on an essay topic. For most essay prompts, it’s unnecessary to be formal and detached. Displaying creativity and distinctiveness in your college essays allow a glimpse into your personality.

5. Be Yourself 
Don’t just write what you think counselors want to read. This is your time to be unique and show them who you are. Counselors can easily spot what is fake and what is real, so be honest, and write about yourself and your life.

6. Be Concise 
As much as admission counselors want to know about you and who you are as a person, no one needs to read fifteen pages about someone's life story. Be succinct in your communication, and get the main point across in a clear and concise way.

7. Don’t be a Dictionary 
While it’s great to use more advanced words and phrases in your essays, there is really no need to use every SAT word you just spent months learning. College essays should read at a normal high school level, and not sound like you’re writing a thesis statement for your Ph.D. 

8. Fill in the Gaps 
College essays, while undeniably tedious, are a great way to fill in some gaps in your application. There are certain things that a resume, letter of recommendation and transcript cannot tell a university. Use your essay to show who you are and why a college for university would be lucky to have you.

9. Proofread 
Attention to detail is key. As with any essay, you should be proofreading your college applications and essays. Spell check your essay, look at the punctuation and make sure you are using proper grammar. While these details are often easily overlooked, they are undeniably important.

10. Feedback 
Ask your friends, family members, teachers, anyone really, for feedback on your essays. Most high school teachers and guidance counselors are happy to look over college essays. It’s a great way to find holes in your essay that you may have otherwise missed.

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