The College Entrance Essay- 6 Useful Tips

The college entrance essay, sometimes referred as a college addmission essay, is an important part of the overall application process. Most colleges and universities rate the relative importance of the essay as high. A poorly written essay can result in rejection, an excellent essay can elevate a poor student's standing. The challenge is to create a piece of writing that is reflective of the student’s abilities but does not come off as boastful or whiney. 

1. Research

Firstly, getting to know the institution you are applying to is of the utmost importance. Every school has their own admissions guidelines, requirements, as well as history. The type of student they are looking for can be reflected in the programs they offer, extracurricular activities, or even through their mission statement. A thorough vetting of schools through college information websites such as matchcollege can be very beneficial in framing the essay that is to be written. 

2. Humor

Perhaps the most important and difficult aspect of the essay is to infuse it with a modicum of humor. There is a delicate balance, too much humor and the applicant seems insincere, too little and the applicant is dry and socially awkward. A touch of humor can go a long way, and it is important when writing to find a way to tactfully sprinkle humor while discussing whichever topic one has chosen.

3. Grammar and Spelling

Grammatical errors can kill a college aspirants dreams very quickly. Colleges and universities are flooded with applications and look for any opportunity to quickly and efficiently find cause to no longer review an application. Poor grammar, spelling errors, and punctuation mistakes are the first sign that a student does not take his or her entry into college seriously. Make sure to review any and all essays prior to mailing them in. 

4. Focus

College essays are there to assess the character of the applicant. A well written essay will find a way to bridge what the applicant has done with what the applicant will do if given the opportunity. Utilizing one’s life experience as a gateway into their character is a time honored tradition among college essays. The challenge is making such experiences relevant for the reviewer and for your academic future. To that end, when approaching the essay, it is of utmost importance that applicants remained focus in their writing; the limited amount of words does not work well with meandering thought. 

5. Repetition

Avoid repetitious writing. If one feels their essay is too short, it is better to consider a new topic than to try to fill the missing space with slightly edited rehashes of previous ideas. Repetition speaks of laziness, and laziness is not a quality college admissions officers are particularly fond of. Avoid repetitious writing.

6. Hyperbole

Finally, avoid hyperbole through the overuse of adjectives. Often applicants will attempt to demonstrate how intelligent they are by throwing every large word they know onto paper. The truly intelligent writer will utilize colorful writing when necessitated and otherwise fill the page with relevant and meaningful writing that reflects character rather than a display of one’s verbal prowess. Remember, not everything can be amazing, wonderful, exuberant and vivacious, reserve that language for things that truly are.

The college entrance essay says a lot about the applicant. The essay says things the applicant may not even realize. The goal then is to minimize the subtext, emphasize the focus, and present no opportunity for the admissions officers to second guess your written intent. As a reflection of the applicant’s character, the essay embodies many of the traits of the applicant; unlike the applicant’s character though, many of the negative aspects can be removed with careful editing. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: college entrance essay, college admission essay, college admissions essays