On the other hand, the prompt is designed to give you some freedom for creativity, which will allow you to work in those three or four key ideas that you have developed through tips 1 through 4. You are encouraged to find novel ways of answering the prompt, so long as you do indeed answer the questions provided. If you need more help choosing a topic , you can find some tips on our Choosing a Topic for Your College Essay page. At this stage in the college admissions essay writing process, you have considered the goals and psychology of the college admissions board.
Now it is time to actually write the essay. The key to excellent and memorable writing is to write in fine detail. The more specific your essay, the stronger an impression it will make on the admissions board. Despite having a degree fever and being required to stay in bed, I still completed my draft speech on the possible impacts of global warming on agriculture. The admissions officers are expecting you to celebrate yourself, to underline your strengths and personality, so they can make a quick, accurate judgment about you.
Diction word choice is the fundamental structure of writing. Your word choice reveals a great deal about your personality, education and intellect. Furthermore, as an international student, you want to reassure the college admissions board that you have an excellent command of the English language remember: they want you to succeed; they need to know that you can actively participate in English-only instruction.
5 Easy Ways to Start a College Essay (with Pictures)
With this in mind, you should replace lower-level words bad, sad, thing, nice, chance with higher-level words appalling, despondent, phenomena, comforting, opportunity. You should also remove any slang or casual diction; the university is not interested in casual language in their admissions essays. In this instance, you want to show that you already have college-level writing skills.
So, in writing your college application essays, you should write with the following features in mind:. As with tip 7 , this serves two functions: 1 it distinguishes your essay from those that are poorly written; and 2 it reassures the admissions board of your excellent command of written English. This is one of the most important tips on this list.
How to Write a Great College Application Essay
For this reason, you should ask a friend or a relative or an English teacher to look over your essay and check your:. College admissions essays require a tremendous amount of work. As you work and rework the essay, pay attention to the admission deadlines and requirements. Every school has their own system for how and when to file your application.
Do not assume that, because one school uses e-mails and PDFs, that another school does as well. The best way to stay organized through the college admissions process and at the university when courses begin is to rigorously maintain a calendar that includes:.
Discover Ways to Start a Good Essay: Most Common Mistakes to Avoid!
At some point, you will file your college admissions application. With these tips, and your determined intellect, you have an excellent chance of being accepted to an American university. Take a look at our college essay samples to get an idea of what colleges are looking for in your essay. Back InternationalStudent. Sign in to Your Account Done. Sign in. Don't have an Account?
This is not to say that the story has to be about something important or unusual in the grand scheme of things—it just has to be a moment that stands out to you as defining in some way, or an explanation of why you are the way you are.
You then pivot to an explanation of why this story is an accurate illustration of one of your core qualities, values, or beliefs. The story typically comes in the first half of the essay, and the insightful explanation comes second —but, of course, all rules were made to be broken, and some great essays flip this more traditional order. What are the ingredients of a great personal statement introduction? I'll list them here and then dissect them one by one in the next section:. You've got your reader's attention when you see its furry ears extended … No, wait.
You've got your squirrel's attention. Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step.
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Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now :. So my suggestion is to work in reverse order! Writing your essay will be much easier if you can figure out the entirety of it first and then go back and work out exactly how it should start. This means that before you can craft your ideal first sentence, the way the short story experience of your life will play out on the page, and the perfect pivoting moment that transitions from your story to your insight, you must work out a general idea about which life event you will share and what you expect that life event to demonstrate to the reader about you and the kind of person you are.
If you're having trouble coming up with a topic, check out our guide on brainstorming college essay ideas. It might also be helpful to read our guides to specific application essays, such as picking your best Common App prompt and writing a perfect University of California personal statement.
In the next sections of this article, I'll talk about how to work backwards on the introduction, moving from bigger to smaller elements: starting with the first section of the essay in general and then honing your pivot sentence and your first sentence. Don't get too excited about working in reverse—not all activities are safe to do backwards.
In a word essay, this section will take up about the first half of the essay and will mostly consist of a brief story that illuminates a key experience, an important character trait, a moment of transition or transformation, or a step toward maturity.
Once you've figured out your topic and zeroed in on the experience you want to highlight in the beginning of your essay, here are 2 great approaches to making it into a story:. Later, as you listen to the recorded story to try to get a sense of how to write it, you can also get a sense of the tone with which you want to tell your story.
Are you being funny as you talk? Trying to shock, surprise, or astound your audience? The way you most naturally tell your story is the way you should write it. After you've done this storyteller exercise, write down the salient points of what you learned. What is the story your essay will tell? What is the point about your life, point of view, or personality it will make? What tone will you tell it with? Sketch out a detailed outline so that you can start filling in the pieces as we work through how to write the introductory sections. Baron Munchausen didn't know whether to tell his story sad that his horse had been cut in half, or delighted by knowing what would happen if half a horse drank from a fountain.
How To Write a College Essay, With Examples
In general, your essay's first sentence should be either a mini-cliffhanger that sets up a situation the reader would like to see resolved, or really lush scene-setting that situates your audience in a place and time they can readily visualize. The former builds expectations and evokes curiosity, and the latter stimulates the imagination and creates a connection with the author. In both cases, you hit your goal of greater reader engagement. The experience of coming out is raw and emotional, and the issue of LGBTQ rights is an important facet of modern life.
This three-word sentence immediately sums up an enormous background of the personal and political. Wolf, my fourth-grade band teacher, as he lifted the heavy tuba and put it into my arms. This sentence conjures up a funny image—we can immediately picture the larger adult standing next to a little kid holding a giant tuba. It also does a little play on words: "handle it" can refer to both the literal tuba Matt is being asked to hold and the figurative stress of playing the instrument. I live alone—I always have since elementary school. Kevin Zevallos '16 for Connecticut College.
This opener definitely makes us want to know more. Why was he alone? Where were the protective grown-ups who surround most kids? How on earth could a little kid of years old survive on his own? I have old hands. What are "old" hands? Are they old-looking? How has having these hands affected the author?
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
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