Professional Advice About Writing the College Application Essay

Professional Advice About Writing the College Application Essay
As a professional editor, I have helped hundreds of high school students write winning college application essays. Over the years, I have repeated certain pieces of advice that have led to successfully crafted essays.
If you are in the process of writing this type of essay or will be in the near future, keep these guidelines in mind.

· Do not write an essay that any other applicant can write.

The most important part of the college application essay is the subject and the subject is you. Draw on your unique experiences to showcase your personality or ideals.

If you are writing about losing the big game (which is a very popular theme) make sure you demonstrate how it affected you personally. The essay cannot be generic. You need to show the significance of a certain event to your life.

· Do not be negative.

There appears to be a tendency among people to show that they are better than others. Avoid comparing yourself to classmates, family members, or friends. The essay is about you. Show your strengths and skills in a positive light.

· Be Passionate About Your Topic

Passion is power. If you feel strongly about something, write about it. Your passionate treatment of a subject will reveal aspects of your personality that college admissions officers are seeking. Avoid controversial or embarrassing subjects.

· Communicate Clearly and Concisely

Read your essay out loud after you finish writing it. If you stumble over certain words or sentences, rewrite them for clarity. Pay strict attention to the required word or character count. Do not exceed that limit. One of the important purposes of this essay is to see if you can deliver important information in a direct and succinct manner.

· Don't Overanalyze the Essay Questions

Read the writing prompt and write down your first reaction. There are no right or wrong answers, just be sure to back up your essay with concrete examples and details.

· Keep Your Own Voice

Hiring an editor to review your essay is an excellent idea. However, do not let the editor rewrite your work. A good editor will correct errors in punctuation, spelling, or verb usage, and will offer advice on content. The actual writing of the essay is your responsibility.

Although the college application essay is not usually the deciding factor in the admission process, a well crafted essay will distinguish you from other applicants. It is also an excellent exercise in self-analysis.

Approach the writing of the college application essay with confidence since you are writing about yourself. Be real, honest, and above all, relax. Admissions officers enjoy reading these essays. Give them something to remember you by.

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