Getting into a respectable college is the goal of many high school students. However, the admission process isn’t easy, meaning it will require a lot of effort and commitment. Aside from taking care of your grades and extracurricular credits, the admission board will request that you write an essay.
The admission essay is essentially a personal statement that showcases your reasons to attend a particular college, as well as, your goals, challenges, and achievements. The topics and guidelines are usually unique to each institution, however, the motivation behind it remains the same.
Selecting a Topic
Originality and sincerity are going to be the two virtues of this writing process. Your goal as an applicant is to stand out from the crowd and write something personal, yet, relatable. Do not forget that the admission board goes through hundreds of different admissions. Therefore, you need to grab their attention in the early stages.
Selecting a topic of your paper must be a very conscious and careful decision. You need to choose the one that is going to help you reveal your character. Choose a topic that speaks about your best qualities with the experience that represents it.
Here are some common Admission Essay Question Examples:
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their admission would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, etc. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could take to identify a solution.
- Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
As mentioned before, the topics will definitely vary with some top institutions. Yet, this list explains a general direction of the things you are going to be asked of and what to prepare for.
Proper Essay Format
Most universities are much more free-spirited and allow you to write in any format or style you choose. However, the general “Intro-Body-Conclusion” is usually the most common path for success. Ultimately your goal is to use whatever structure best fits your style of presentation.
Your first paragraph should usually be dedicated to introducing yourself or the matter you are going to discuss. To grab the admission boards attention, your opener should be truly a killer. Usage of tools such as a rhetorical question, factual statement, and so on is welcomed in admission essays as well.
However, it is always important to keep in your head that the essay is about you. Establish a connection between you and the reader and give them a base to understand the information you are going to provide in the body.
This is where you uncover your topic. You need to relate the subject of discussion to your personal experience and your identity. Show why the subject at hand is important to you and what you have to say about it. Do not forget to include the following things from your life:
- Your challenges
- Your successes
- Lessons learned
- Your beliefs
- Your goals
Fill the body of the text with these aspects of your life. Make sure it has a direct relation to the subject to avoid writing an autobiography. Make sure that information that you are providing can be supported within your transcripts or high school progress.
The conclusion can be thought of as an open statement to the admission board. In this section, your aim is to demonstrate why should you be eligible to study at the University of your choice. You can do it in an inconspicuous manner, or you can be straightforward. That will base on the flexibility of institution’s instructions.
Essay Content Tips
Using a Voice
Using a voice in writing is one of the best techniques to show your personality and character. Don’t be afraid of using humor, or speaking to readers directly, because it will only engage them more.
Words can also demonstrate energy and mood. Length of sentences, exclamation marks, and direct statements will contribute to that. It’s all about creating a likable and valuable persona that the admission board would want to have in their university.
Some universities prefer to establish a guideline for admission essay length. If that’s the case, then you need to adapt to it and make sure that within that amount of words, the readers will be constantly engaged and don’t fall out halfway.
Even if there is no word limit, keep it under 500. You will notice that most universities request a number much lower such as 250. The reason for that is that the admission board wants to see how well you can present yourself within limitations.
Considering the fact that admission officers read tons of essays every day, the majority of them get put into the “passable” section; the essay wasn’t terrible, it was just incredibly average and took no stand on anything. Colleges are huge brainstorming clouds, and Universities want various opinions and arguments on all sorts of topics.
Writing about things like politics, religion, and other controversial topics can be effective on giving you the boost to get out of the passable section and into the “oh wow” section. However, it’s very important to remember that these topics are very sensitive and consider the fact that other opinions exist.
You only get one shot at each admission, that’s why we cannot stress enough the importance of finalizing your submission. The first step is to go through a proofreading process. Skim through it yourself and then hand it over to at least one other person. You need to identify if the paper is compelling enough and if it will interest the board.
Go back to the instructions and verify that your essay meets them word to word. Creating an incredible essay won’t do you any good if it doesn’t satisfy the requirements of the institution. Same works with grammar and punctuation. Don’t let typos and silly lack-of-focus mistakes cost you or your spot in the university.
At the end of the day, this essay will be the deciding factor when it comes to admission. It showcases your academic and personal qualities and verifies your in-school progress. Put time in it; put an effort in it; do not neglect the steps above and you will be well on your way to the University of your dream.
Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team
Admission essays are incredibly hard to write. Not only is writing a compelling narrative statement to a prompt a difficult task, but it is also stressful, as this one essay could decide your whole future. When you write your admission essay, whether it is for a course, class, university, or a job, you must keep one thing in mind: you are trying to sell yourself. I have written countless admissions essays in my day, and my advice is always to present yourself in the best light. As the article states, you might want to emphasize some of your negative qualities to contrast it with your positive attributes, but in the end, you need to seem like the best possible version of yourself. Don’t focus your writing on what a university can give you. Instead, show the faculty members who are reading your essay what you can give to them and their institution. What talents, perspectives, and knowledge can you contribute to the student body? All of these questions make you more interesting and thus a more desirable candidate for admissions.
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