Students have to write a great variety of academic papers. Commonly, these are essays of various types. We guess one of the most challenging essay types is a college application essay. It is written when a school graduate is about to apply to a college he or she has chosen. This is a smaller part of the entire application that consists of other aspects, too.
One may call it an argumentative essay for definite similarities of both types. The main aim is to provide enough arguments that speak in favor of the applicant. This document is supposed to convince the members of the admission committee that you are a worthy candidate for the college they represent. Your arguments should explain how you can benefit the development of the college you’ve chosen.
At times, you should not write about yourself but about a critical problem that is important to your anticipated college. This is a very responsible task, and this is one of the reasons why so many applicants fail to write it properly. We want to help them, so we have prepared this guest post. It focuses on the best tips and strategies that help to write a winning college application essay.
1. Understanding the Essay Prompt
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When starting the essay, you need to read the essay prompt attentively. This is one of the common mistakes made by many schoolers. They aren’t attentive enough. So, they do not quite understand what must be highlighted by them in the application document. Be sure you clearly understand the main aim of the prompt to provide a perfect answer. You may need to check some samples to make this step right.
2. Choosing a Topic
After you understand the prompt, you should be dealing with selecting a college essay topic. It must be something original, currently relevant, and meaningful. You should either focus on your own qualities and strengths or disclose a topic that is close to the selected college.
If you write about yourself, be sure you add the qualities that are related to your college. Find out its history, culture, traditions, rules, principles, etc. Think of what similar you have to relate it to your college.
In case you are free to choose a topic about something else, it’s also supposed to be something related to the selected college. For example, you want to get into a medical college. Highlight a topic about your attitude toward this science or what you would do to improve the state of the medical industry. The members of the admission committee will appreciate your adult and serious approach. It may help to get additional bonuses.
3. Planning Your Essay
All wise students and teachers will tell you that you must organize your essay. Although it’s not a compulsory stage, it may be useful to craft a good outline. It will help to keep an eye on everything you must do, when, and how. Your plan is supposed to contain the following essentials:
- The main writing parts – the introduction, main body, and conclusion.
- Post-writing – editing and proofreading.
- Timeframes – clear deadlines for every stage.
- Methods – all the tools and techniques you need to apply and when.
At times, the originality in essays is also dependent on how well your plan was designed. When you see a beautifully constructed plan, you can become more creative as you see what must be done and how.
4. Writing the Introduction
The first part of this essay does not differ from other essay types. You need to write the introductory part. This is a short part, which consists of about five sentences, and you will not spend a lot of time on essay editing here. Yet, it must be taken seriously because this part is expected to engage readers with the whole essay.
You ought to be clear and convincing. Interest readers in what you want to tell them about, and offer interesting but general facts. End the introduction with a strong thesis statement. If it’s about you, make sure you greet the members of the admission committee and introduce yourself. Finish this stage by mentioning why you are a worthy candidate for their educational institution.
5. Developing the Body
The next part is the main body of the essay for students who apply for higher educational institutions. This is the part where you support and develop the thesis statement. You need to provide clear and convincing examples, explanations, and evidence that underlines your main argument.
If you write about yourself, mention all the academic achievements, the best skills, and personal qualities. These are the main factors that speak in your favor to the mind of the admission committee. Be honest, and do not brag. You can even mention some of your weaknesses, but you should not dwell long upon them. Simply show how you deal with them and the strengths you have.
6. Concluding Effectively
The last part of the American university supplement essay is to write a good conclusion. When the topic is free, summarize the entire essay, underline the main clues, and explain their value. If you write about yourself, express the hope that you will be accepted, and don’t forget to thank the admission committee for the time of its members.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
There are also definite kinds of problems most applicants face when they try to write this challenging document. There are definite mistakes they commonly make and thus lower their chance for success. You need to be aware of them to avoid them in your application. Make allowances for them here below:
- Exceeding the college essay word limit. Find out all the guidelines, including the word limit. You must never write more or less than it is demanded.
- Writing too long sentences. If your sentences or paragraphs are too long, the readability of your text will be low. Thus, you’ll lose many important grades.
- Using the wrong lexicon. Make sure your text is all-academic. Don’t use jargon, slang, abbreviations, etc.
- Overuse of the passive voice. Your essay must be mostly written in the active voice. Do not allow more than 1 passive sentence per paragraph.
- Not being straight. You should never “dance around” the matter. Be straight to the point, clear, and consistent. No use of “watery” sentences.
Ask Someone to Proofread Your Work
It is also crucial to check your own work. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can read in your head and aloud. Besides, it’s possible to read from the last sentence to the first one. Although this strategy takes a bit more time, it’s more effective as it maintains your focus.
There is also one more way that may be beneficial for you. We know that sometimes a writer cannot notice his/her mistakes. So, it makes sense to find a skilled person who can get through all application essay guidelines and spot all the drawbacks in your text. The eye of a stranger can notice more than you. So, keep this option in your mind.
It is very difficult to write a college application essay. If you cannot withstand the pressure that comes because of it, use the tips we have provided above. They are universal and can suit any college admission committee you will have to face.