How to: Write a killer application essay!
Here are a few tips to write an outstanding college application essay, no matter what the question is:
- Read, and re-read, the question. It may sound obvious, but this is where so many students go wrong, and the effects can be devastating. The most important thing is to understand what the question is asking, and even re-write the question so that you can see all the different points you have to cover.
- Give specific examples. If the question doesn’t ask you to tell a story, you still have to find a way to include evidence you have the skills you’re trying to show. So don’t just say, “I am a dedicated and motivated person.” Show it. Talk about that time when you made a study group with your peers to get through a huge history test, or when you challenged yourself in basketball to practice every morning before class.
- Make an outline. Once you decide on the story you want to tell and how to answer the question, write down the main topics for each paragraph. This will keep you on track when you begin writing, and make the entire process easier.
- Be interesting but clear. Of course, you want the essay to sound interesting to the reader, but stay away from describing in detail too much, especially if the essay is shorter than 250 words. Be clear about what you say so the reader has a good idea about you when they finish your essay.
- Re-read and edit. Read the question- yes, again. Make sure that you answered it in your essay. Then go back and read through the essay again, checking for any errors.
Take a break before you submit. Never turn something in immediately after writing the essays. Give yourself time to walk away and gain a fresh perspective before you take one last look and press the “submit” button.