Writing Your College Essay

A great college application essay paints a picture about who you really are so that the admissions officer gets to know more about you. Your essay is a way for you to elaborate on your application and it is your chance to set yourself apart from other applicants. Admission essays are also a way to show the reader that you can organize your thoughts to write clearly and effectively.

Here are 5 tips for writing your college essay:

Stay Focused: Your goal in writing your essay is to prove a point -- that you are the best candidate for this school. Make sure that you stay focused so that the reader will be able to stay focused. Someone else should easily be able to read and follow your essay from the beginning and all the way up until the end. Remember the fastest way from point A to pint B is by heading there in a straight line. By being precise, clear and organized in your writing your essay will reflect who you really are so that the college will want to have you as part of their freshmen class.

Provide Evidence: Once you have stated the main idea for your essay, you will then need to provide evidence that supports it. Give specific examples, quotes, and reasons that support your main idea. Don't get carried away with providing too many supporting facts, but don't be in a position where you do not provide enough support to your main idea to prove it either.

Be specific: Use specific examples to paint a vivid picture of your supporting evidence and details. Try not to be too generic or use clichés.

While this is a good sentence: "I want to study medicine so that I can become a pediatrician."

This is a better sentence: "I want to study medicine so that I can do medical research, which will help to advance our knowledge of childhood diseases and how we may be able to prevent or cure them.

Don't be predictable: Remember that colleges read thousand of these essays every year. Don't write about what you think they want to hear. Choose a topic that is unique and that sets you apart from the 999 other essays they are going to read on the same day that they read yours. This is not the time to try and blend in with the crowd.

It's not a resume: Your application essay is not a chance for you to reiterate everything that is already listed on your admission application. It is also not a list of your accomplishment, achievements and awards. Your essay is your chance to show the reader that you have the ability to organize your thoughts clearly into words, sentences, paragraphs and ultimately an essay. It is also your chance to differentiate yourself from your competition. It should highlight your most prominent awards and achievements and how these shaped you as a person and affected your life.

So while you are writing your college admission essay, use these 5 tips as your guide. By sticking to them, you will be able to write a clear and precise essay that stands out from the crowd. Be sure to put some thought into what topic you are going to write your essay on before you just launch into it. Don't be nervous. Organize your thoughts, make a plan and then start writing.

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