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Writing Effective College Admission Essays

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Writing Effective College Admission Essays

Many universities and colleges require applicants for admission to write essays as part of the admissions process. This is because the data that can be gathered through application forms may not contain enough information about the applicant, especially with regard to the candidate’s personal outlook. College admission essays are useful in assessing the suitability of aspirants.

Because it has become such a significant factor in gaining admission to the college of one’s choice, would-be college students are understandably nervous about writing the admission essay. However, remembering a few basic things about essay-writing should help overcome that and get the all-important piece of work written. The main point to remember when writing college admission essays is that these are just like any other kind of essay. The writing process is no different and the components are still the same, namely, the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion.

Some schools allow applicants to choose their own topic while some do not. When allowed to freely choose a topic, the applicant should pick one about which he has knowledge and/or experience as this will make writing the essay easier.  Choosing the topic of the essay is part of prewriting, and once that is done, next comes brainstorming for ideas. List thoughts about the topic as well as ask the questions who, what, when, where, how, and why about it. Then go about answering those questions through research.

After doing research on the topic, the material should be arranged in a logical order. When organizing the material, the target audience as well as the purpose for writing should be kept in mind. In writing college admission essays, the target audience should be the general public and not the college admissions board, and the purpose of the piece should be to impart information, or tell a story, and not “get admitted to college”.

Concentrate on getting ideas on paper when writing the first version of the essay. Don’t try to get it perfect on the first draft. Just write it and then review the result. Details can be added, unnecessary words can be removed, and sentences and paragraphs can be rearranged as necessary when reviewing the draft. After each revision of the essay, set it aside and do something else entirely, and then go back and view it from a fresh perspective. Once satisfied with the result, proofread it for errors in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

Another important thing to remember when writing college admission essays is to use specific words and construct simple sentences. Make decisions as to what details can best develop the topic and choose the most appropriate words to use. Examine the essay to determine that it is conveying exactly what is meant to be said. If an element does not help get a message across, either replace or remove it. A simply-written, well-researched and well-organized essay will go a long way towards getting admitted to any college or university.