More On Writing College Essays

Posted on September 2, 2010. Filed under: admissions advice, college admissions, College Advice, college applications, college counseling, college essays | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Many students seem to hit a wall and claim writer’s block when it comes to writing their college essays. For many, this is a new style of writing and something that is not learned in high school.  Most students are told not to write in the first person and written assignments are generally three to five pages long. College essays are first person, self- reflective and have limited word or character count. So, naturally students feel doubt and need support and guidance.

Colleges do not want students to feel the stress, but merely want them to reveal more information about themselves.  In that way, the college admission officers can gain more insight. The most difficult thing admission officers face is measuring the student’s character.  The essay is a way to let them know who you are.

The essay is an opportunity for the student to stand out and tell their unique story. Simple slice of life stories are often the most compelling. It’s important for students to discuss their passions, how they have applied what they have learned and what they hope to accomplish.

It’s essential to start early.  Perhaps making some journal entries, doing some free writing or brainstorming topic ideas may help begin the writing process. Students should use their voice and not try to impress by using multi-syllabic words they would not use in conversation. If students do choose to write about something from their activity resume, they need to go into depth and present a new angle. Don’t repeat what admission officers have already seen. Share your essay with someone whether parent, counselor or friend.  Additional input can be valuable. Do read some sample essays but do not use any topic from previous years, originality is key. Try to enjoy writing and include your sense of humor.  Admission officers like to see a social and academic balance. They need to know you can adapt well, live with people and be a team player on campus. Make editing the last stop before your final draft. Do not repeat what is elsewhere on the application. Continually present different sides of yourself and demonstrate depth and continuity.

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One Response to “More On Writing College Essays”

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The essay is very important. When you have your college interview, they’re going to want to see the same person that wrote the essay. So be yourself.

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