How to Write a Good College Essay. Useful Tips and Techniques

You have a unique experience, interests and personality. This is your chance to tell your story (or at least part of it). The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay about what matters to you. Be honest and sincere, and your unique qualities will manifest. Admissions officers must read an incredible amount of college essays, most of which are forgottable. Many students try to speak smarter rather than sounding like themselves. Others write about the subject, which they do not care about, but which, in their opinion, will impress the admissions committee.


Do not focus on the past

Admission officers look for college essays in which the student emphasizes his growth and introspection, so your essay should be focused on your learning and growing as a person. Do not brag and do not describe. Your essay should have a moment of revelation: what did you learn from your experience? How did it make you what you are today? Colleges do not want to read essays written exclusively in the past. They need students who are actively looking to their future, so make sure that if you describe a past event, you associate it with who you are now and how it will affect you as a person moving forward.

Ask a question the reader wants an answer to.

This does not mean that you should ask a question in your college essay, but you certainly should keep the reader at a loss: “How will this work out?” “What does she mean?” “How will all this tie together?” To do this, start your essay with a hook that encourages the reader to learn more. For example, you can write: “I sat in the back of a crowded room, not knowing that I would soon be in the spotlight.” This immediately creates an impulse that forces your reader to continue reading.

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Open up

When you talk about an event or experience, be sure to indicate how they felt about you, how they changed your way of thinking, and whether they influenced your priorities and/or values. Readers connect more when you discover a vulnerability than when you talk about power.

Do not summarize

Avoid expounding the essence of your college essay. It is much less effective when you say it to someone. Delete all the words “That’s when I understood,” “I learned” and “The most important lesson was …”. It is not necessary, unconvincing, and deprives the reader of the moment. Instead, let them read between the lines and independently interpret the meaning of your story. You do not need to say something like: “And this is how I learned to stand up for myself,” because the selection committee officer should already know. Often when you watch a movie, the actor’s facial expression, sigh, or closing the door speaks louder than words. Your actions may be small, but they should be full of meaning, that is, the fact that you speak, make a decision, refuse something, or risk it. It might just be a decision to get up in the morning or smile. It just means that you have made a decision, changed, or risked.

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Experiment with unexpected

If this makes sense in the context of your essay, give your story a twist or show something unexpected, that is, something that readers will not necessarily think about what you do, think, or care about them.

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These college essay tips may sound like a routine, and it will certainly require a significant amount of work. But it is also a unique opportunity that can make a difference during the decision. Admissions give the highest value to your grades in high school and your tests. However, qualifying colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar grades and grades – too many to admit. Therefore, they use your essay, as well as your letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities, to find out what sets you apart from other talented candidates.

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