Tips on Writing the College Essay

1. Begin weeks in advance
 -Most effective essays require up to three to four revisions

2. Create an essay that reflects you as an individual
-Provide insight about yourself that is not evident in other application materials
-Avoid controversial topics

3. Do not write an essay based on what you think the admissions department wants to hear
-Be yourself and demonstrate your uniqueness or area of expertise in comparison to the many other applicants

4.  Write your essay according to the length and topic specified on the application.
Follow the directions

5. Remember that you are writing to ‘an unknowing audience’…they do not know you. So don’t presume knowledge about your life experiences
        -Be clear about what you write and what you mean
        -Let the reader ‘walk a mile in your shoes’

6. Use powerful language and vivid imagery
        -Be free to use analogies
        -Create a picture through your words
        -“Show, don’t tell’

7. The depth of your topic is more significant than its breadth
        -Hone in on a small, specific, and significant part of your larger
          topic…it will be more effective

8. Use good mechanics as if your essay was being written for an English grade
Create an interesting opening sentence or introduction to ‘grab’ the reader’s attention
          -Have an introduction, body, and conclusion     
          -Grammar, spelling and capitalization are all important

9. Do not use generalities or absolutes…they will dilute your message
-Be sure to develop a specific explanation for your comments

10. Proofread, revise, and proofread again
         -Enlist the help of your college planner, English teacher or writing coach after you have written your essay

Remember, a great essay includes compelling content and excellent mechanics.

College Connections can assist you with editing your college essays.