The application essay is not only an opportunity to showcase one’s writing skills, but it is the only part of a university application where a student’s voice can shine. Unlike test scores and transcripts, the application essay gives students a chance to showcase their personality. Prospective students want their essays to make a good impression and increase their chances of acceptance, but they only have a few hundred words to make that happen. This can mean a lot of pressure. Tips offered by experts emphasize the importance of conciseness, consistency, congeniality, honesty, and accuracy. The applicant should also flex some intellectual muscles and include vivid details or anecdotes.
Getting started on your application essay
A good time to start working on essays is in the summer before the school year, This is a time when homework and extracurricular activities are not taking up time and mental energy. Getting an early start also gives students plenty of time to work on multiple essay drafts before the college application deadline, which can be as early as November for early-decision students. Students can review online the essay requirements for the colleges they wish to apply to, such as word limits and essay topics. Many students can start with the Common App, an application platform accepted by nearly 900 schools.
In addition to the main essay, some colleges ask applicants to submit one or more additional writing pieces. Students are often asked to explain why they are interested in a particular school or academic field in these supplemental essays, which are usually shorter than the main essay. The more time a student has managed to manage the writing process can be very useful if the schools they are applying to ask for supplementary essays.
How long should my college essay be?
The good news is that the colleges and application systems they use will give you specific word lengths and maximums. The most popular college application systems, such as the Common Application and Coalition Application, will give you a maximum of 650 words for main personal statements, and usually less than that for additional school essays. Other systems usually specify a maximum word count. The word count is much shorter for institution-specific supplementary essays, which are usually around 250 words.
Which application essay topic should you choose?
The first and sometimes most daunting step in the essay-writing process is figuring out what to write about. There are usually several essays prompts to choose from in a college application. These are usually broad, open-ended questions, giving students the freedom to write about a range of topics.
Experts suggest that students narrow their focus and write about a particular experience, hobby, or quirk that reveals something personal, such as how they think, what they value, or what their strengths are. Students can also write about something that illustrates an aspect of their past. Even an essay on a common topic can be persuasive if done well. The most important thing, experts say, is that the college essay is thoughtful and tells a story that gives an insight into who the student is as a person.
In order to find a topic, students can ask peers or family members questions such as: , “What do you think makes me different?” Or: “What are my quirks?”. The essay should tell college admissions officers something they don’t already know. Students should make sure they write about something that is not mentioned in their application, perhaps in the activities section, or expand significantly on the topic if it is noted elsewhere.
The process of writing an application essay
First of all, read the instructions carefully. They say that the hardest part is starting the essay. You may think it’s pointless to mention that you need to read the recommendation carefully, but with all the excitement and stress that characterizes this period of your life, it needs to be emphasized. If you don’t follow the application essay guidelines, the admissions officer may assume that you won’t be able to follow the directions of the university program. Page and word limits are given for a reason and you must be able to organize your application according to the rules. Once you have read the instructions a few times and gathered your notes, you can start creating an outline to structure your essay or use bidforwriting.com, which can help you collect thoughts and decide what kind of message to send. Now you can write your first draft.
Secondly, start with an attractive introduction. Great writing is hard to achieve, but it is possible if you are smart. Anyone who works in journalism will tell you that you can capture the attention of any reader, provided you provide a great introduction. Hiring officials will only spend a short amount of time reviewing your essay, so you need to start with a lively paragraph that will engage them. The introduction needs to reveal to the reader what your essay is about and grab their attention. You can start with an anecdote or an interesting story that shows the best parts of your personality and character, offering insight that will help the admissions officers know who you are.
Thirdly, use your inner voice. Universities are looking for authenticity and quality thinking, so don’t try to shape your essay around phrases or ideas that people have used many times before, but base it on your true beliefs. The application essay is your opportunity to impress the recruiting officer with your determination and existing knowledge of your chosen topic. Make sure it reflects all your skills and ambitions and shows how your chosen program will help you achieve your future goals.
Fourthly, avoid stereotypes. When searching for an application essay, we encourage you to look at examples of great essays and get inspired. While this is a great exercise, many students let the examples influence them too much and use a lot of stereotypes in a bid to impress admissions officers. Remember that thousands of other students are applying to the university of your choice and you need to stand out. Reread your essay, remove any sentences that sound like a cliché, and try to find a more original point of view. Admissions staff consider thousands of applications a year, so it is logical that they will notice those that bring a unique personality to life.
Fifth, provide good examples to support your ideas. A college application essay is basically an insight into how your mind works and how you see the world. If you want your essay to be credible, you need to make sure that everything you write supports this point of view. Take some time to think about how the descriptive question relates to your personal qualities, and then write from a particular angle. This means that every time you want to express an idea, don’t simply state a fact, but also provide specific details and examples to develop your ideas. You can do this by providing examples from your personal experiences and writing about what really motivates you and how you developed a particular belief.
Stick to a clear plan for the essay. Creativity is an aspect highly valued in writing, but don’t assume that a creative essay is not also organized. Of course, you don’t want to write a bunch of meaningless words, so only write about one topic at a time. You will have a maximum word count, so the secret is not to try to describe everything in your essay. Create a plan before you start writing, divide the essay into three parts (introduction, body, and conclusion) and decide what main ideas you want to express.