Do’s and Don’ts in your Admissions EssaySunday, December 5th, 2010
Mistakes to avoid in your admissions essay
Admissions essays are scary, aren’t they? You are trying to get admitted into colleges, and you know this little piece of paper may decide your whole academic future! You may be asked to write a personal essay (“The day that changed your life”), a critical essay (“Express your viewpoint on affirmative action”) or any other essay type. In any case, an application essay can be based on personal experience as well as objective information.
Since an admissions essay is a common method of evaluation, widely used in many universities for selecting their applicants, you need to know how to get things right. After all, writing an admission essay can be more difficult than you may think, especially if you are doing it for the first time. So read carefully the following tips before starting to write.
– Choose a good essay topic: Since you are going to spend at least some hours working on your essay, you should pick a topic that you find interesting. If you get bored while writing your essay, probably the readers will find it boring as well.
– Plan your essay: It is very important that you organize your essay, by thinking of an essay introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. A plan, a sketch or a first version of the essay will help you success in the following versions. It will help you when you find yourself in front of the blank page, and you feel that awful writer’s block.
– Choose a hypothesis: Your admissions essay may require a hypothesis for a proper development. That’s the case, for example, if you write a research essay.
– Expand your sources: Quote many different authors, do not constrain to just a couple of them. Include as many texts, documents and testimonies, as you can in your essay. Of course, always quote the used bibliography and reference the essay appropriately.
– Don’t change the requested word count: If you are asked to write 2000 words, you may as well write 1950, or 2100. However, submitting a 3500 words paper would be as wrong as submitting a 500. Always match the examiner expectations. After all, he or she is the one with the power to welcome you into college… or to refuse you admission for good.
– Never commit plagiarism: This is one of the most serious mistakes you could commit, because it can keep you out of college for good. Admission will be refused if you copy quotes but “forget” to mention the author, their work, the publisher and the year, as well as the page where you took the quote from.
– Never submit an essay that hasn’t been proofread: When it comes to checking your spelling and grammar, you can never be too careful. Even the best text software can confuse “your” with “you are” or “sun” with “son”. That is why you should seriously consider hiring a professional editing and proofreading service.