Tips on Writing College Entrance EssaysMonday, April 6th, 2009
What Makes College Entrance Essays Work?
College entrance essays are your ticket to great universities. All things being equal, turning in a good essay will set you apart from other eager applicants as determined as you are to enter the school of their choice. A common application essay is not just any kind of essay then; How well you do it just might determine which college you go to. In a way, it is a step towards that bright future you have been hoping for.
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Here are some tips to help you get it done:
1)Be honest and sincere. Many students are too eager to please that they stretch the truth too much. Of course, you are going to have to put your experiences as well as other details about yourself in a much better light but do so with some restraint. Otherwise, you might end up turning off your readers by writing something that sounds contrived. Figure out your strengths, outline the experiences that have helped you grow and explain them as honestly as you can. In the first place, this is what you are expected to do in college entrance essays.
2)Don’t be cocky. Saying how great oneself is never worked for anybody and it won’t work for you. Writing has a rule, called “show and don’t tell.” You might want to keep this in mind.
For example, instead of saying that you are one of the most efficient leaders you know, share one project or event which you successfully led. If you received any award or commendation for this, mention this in you most matter-of-fact tone. This way, you allow the reader to conclude that you are great without having to say so yourself. There is a thin line between confident and cocky, don’t be the latter.
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3)Use the right level of language.
The language of college entrance essays must be formal, but formal does not certainly mean boring. It only means you are not allowed to use “ain’t” and “gotta.” “Purchase” is used more than “buy” and so on. While there are no hard rules about word usage, try to make the level of language as formal as possible. All the same, you can be funny, witty, clever and insightful.
4)Use the right tone. As with any personal essay you have to sound like a real person and not a human textbook. But in college entrance essays, keep your tone unemotional. Sob stories don’t work unless you describe them as challenges that you were able to overcome. Universities don’t only need to know that you are smart. They need to know that you have the right attitude to get through difficulties. You need to show that you can handle the pressure of college life like a mature individual.
5)Most importantly, edit your work several times and know the right essay format to use. Grammatical errors will turn off your reader, no doubt. So will using the wrong format and structure.
6)Finally, answer the question as clearly as you can. Also add details that would support your answer. If you don’t address the question exactly, all of the above with be useless. Content is still the most important aspect of any kind of writing.
I hope all this helps. Good luck with college entrance essays and don’t forget: make them like you.
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