Admission, application and entrance essays: writing, editing, proofreading

How To Write A College Admission Essay In 5 Steps

You will know from the very beginning that your college admission essay is pretty much a make or break document. In some cases a brilliant college admission essay will be sufficient for the writer to receive an invitation. In many cases the essay will be good enough to see the student offered the chance to visit the college and present at an interview. A poor college admission essay will unfortunately result in you not being offered a place.

So what can you do to improve your chances of success? There are no guarantees but there are certainly proven steps you can take which will increase the likelihood of you being offered admission to the college of your choice. Here are those five steps.

  • start with a bang
  • do not write War and Peace
  • reveal the inner you
  • make them smile but not laugh
  • forget the clichés

Put yourself in the shoes of the person who has to read dozens, if not hundreds of college admission essays. You don't want them to groan as soon as they start to read yours. Start with a cracking opening sentence. Make it such that the reader sits up and takes notice. If you hook them from the beginning, chances are you can hold them throughout.

The college admission essay should not be long. How long is a piece of string? The point here is that you are not writing a 100,000 word novel. Less is more. Once you have finished your college admission essay, you will naturally go over it to check for spelling and grammar errors, but you will also go over it with an eye to cutting it, for making it shorter. Brevity is the soul of wit.

Your essay should reveal your personality. What sort of person are you? What sort of things do you like to do? How will you be a valuable member of this college? It is most important that you do not come across as a formal and stuffy person. You have a personality. Reveal it in your college admission essay.

Don't be a comedian. It is great if the person reading your admission essay is mildly amused and even manages to smile. You don't want them laughing at your work. Be polite and humble but don't try and be a comedian.

And finally you really do need to avoid the clichés. Everybody uses clichés so don't let yourself be another one. Set yourself apart from the others by writing clean, fresh and interesting prose.

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