Writing a killer college essay is simple if you follow a few tips. Here are ten college essay tips that won’t fail – follow these on the road to your school of choice:
- Be original – this means more than just an original topic, because those are hard to find. It means make sure the content of your essay is different than that of your application. No one wants to read the same thing twice.
- Clear, concise writing – even more than proper spelling and punctuation (and of course these are crucial) is the style of your writing. I have yet to meet an admissions officer or dean who would like you to be wordy just to meet a word count. Make sure your essay is to-the-point and you will get your point across without a lot of extra words.
- Honest and genuine – remember that these admissions officers have truly heard it all. Do not try to impress them or be something you are not. If you get called for an interview you will be kicking yourself, trying to remember what story you told.
- Individuality – this can be accomplished by writing with your own voice about a topic that really interests you. Your background is not much different than the thousands of applicants also writing essays. What is different is your mind, and that is what you should show.
- Use humor carefully – do not try to be David Sedaris in your college essay. Only he can master satire for a broad audience. Since you have no idea who is going to be reading your essay, stay away from sarcasm or heavy humor. Do not be too self-deprecating either. This is your chance to show them who you are with confidence, don’t miss this opportunity.
- Be cautiously controversial – so many people are afraid to take a stand because they are afraid to make anyone mad. Now I am not saying to broadcast your political affiliations and opinions, but it is just fine to stand up for what you believe in if that is who you are.
- Likability – many times, people get a job, or get in a sorority, or get into college, because that organization thinks they are a good fit. These organizations are a family or a community, and if they like you as a person, you are more likely to get in.
- Tell a great story – this does not mean tell a tall tale, this just means tell whatever story you are telling – whether it be about your academic achievements or a personal experience, with flair.
- Showcase your intellect – this is a college essay, after all. While athletic achievements are easily listed on an application, academic achievements are harder to showcase. Use the college essay to make your brainpower shine.
- Don’t be afraid of the mundane – many people try to write a flashy college essay. A simple essay about the day-in-the-life of you riding the subway or taking care of your family may be all you need to impress the committee reading your essay.
Following a few simple college essay tips is all you need for successful admission to a college of your choice. Good luck with your applications!