How to Write Your College Essay
Many students consider the essay the most dreaded part of applying to college. Actually, it is a rare opportunity for you to talk directly to the colleges’ admissions committee allowing them to see you as a thinking and feeling individual. Whereas the application and the transcript simply give the committee facts, the essay allows you to be more personal. Other than an interview, it is the only chance to share your thoughts, insights, and opinions. In addition, the you can highlight accomplishments and convey your maturity and outlook on life. Many colleges and universities will either give a topic to write about or present several specific topics from which to choose. Regardless of the topic chosen, you should observe the following guidelines:Do’s and Don’tsDo reveal yourself in your writing.
Don't wait until the last minute.
Do write in your own voice and style.
Don't write what you think others want to read.
Do take time to organize your thoughts, developing a logical progression from one idea to another.
Do set a tone that is appropriate for the topic.
Don't use a flowery, inflated, or pretentious style.
Do write with enthusiasm, vivid details, and interesting examples.
Don't neglect the technical part of your essay (grammar, spelling, and sentence structure).
Do leave room for flexibility, humor and creativity.
Don't be guilty of plagiarism.
Do narrow your topic and be as specific and illustrative as possible.
Don't be sarcastic or melancholy.
Do accentuate positive things about yourself.
Don't use generic examples or “gimmicks”.
Do include unique life experiences and small incidents that have made an impression on you.
Do try it out on your family, friends, English teacher or counselor…edit.
Never underestimate the importance of the college essay. It is worth the time and effort to submit the best possible finished product. The college essay may set you apart from others and be the determining factor for admission to college.