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Step Three: Writing the Essay, Tips for
Even seemingly boring topics can be made into
exceptional admissions essays with an innovative approach. In
writing the essay you must bear in mind your two goals: to persuade
the admissions officer that you are extremely worthy of admission
and to make the admissions officer aware that you are more than
a GPA and a standardized score, that you are a real-life, intriguing personality.
Unfortunately, there is no surefire step-by-step
method to writing a good essay. EssayEdge editors at www.essayedge.com will remake
your essay into an awesome, memorable masterpiece, but every topic
requires a different treatment since no two essays are alike.
However, we have compiled the following list of tips that you
should find useful while writing your admissions essay.
- Answer the Question.
You can follow the next 12 steps, but if you miss the question,
you will not be admitted to any institution.
- Be Original. Even
seemingly boring essay topics can sound interesting if creatively
approached. If writing about a gymnastics competition you trained
for, do not start your essay: "I worked long hours for many
weeks to train for XXX competition." Consider an opening
like, "Every morning I awoke at 5:00 to sweat, tears, and
blood as I trained on the uneven bars hoping to bring the state
gymnastics trophy to my hometown."
- Be Yourself.
Admissions officers want to learn about you and your writing ability.
Write about something meaningful and describe your feelings, not
necessarily your actions. If you do this, your essay will be unique.
Many people travel to foreign countries or win competitions, but
your feelings during these events are unique to you. Unless a
philosophy or societal problem has interested you intensely for
years, stay away from grand themes that you have little personal
- Don't "Thesaurize" your Composition.
For some reason, students continue to think big words make good
essays. Big words are fine, but only if they are used in the appropriate
contexts with complex styles. Think Hemingway.
- Use Imagery and Clear, Vivid Prose.
If you are not adept with imagery, you can write an excellent
essay without it, but it's not easy. The application essay lends
itself to imagery since the entire essay requires your experiences
as supporting details. Appeal to the five senses of the admissions
- Spend the Most Time on your Introduction.
Expect admissions officers to spend
1-2 minutes reading your essay. You must use your introduction
to grab their interest from the beginning. You might even consider
completely changing your introduction after writing your body
- Don't Summarize in your Introduction.
Ask yourself why a reader would
want to read your entire essay after reading your introduction.
If you summarize, the admissions officer need not read the rest
of your essay.
- Create Mystery or Intrigue in your Introduction.
It is not necessary or recommended that your first sentence give
away the subject matter. Raise questions in the minds of the admissions
officers to force them to read on. Appeal to their emotions to
make them relate to your subject matter.
- Body Paragraphs Must Relate to Introduction.
Your introduction can be original,
but cannot be silly. The paragraphs that follow must relate to
- Use Transition.
Applicants continue to ignore transition to their own detriment.
You must use transition within paragraphs and especially between
paragraphs to preserve the logical flow of your essay. Transition
is not limited to phrases like "as a result, in addition,
while . . . , since . . . , etc." but includes repeating
key words and progressing the idea. Transition provides the intellectual
architecture to argument building.
- Conclusions are Crucial. The
conclusion is your last chance to persuade the reader or impress
upon them your qualifications. In the conclusion, avoid summary
since the essay is rather short to begin with; the reader should not
need to be reminded of what you wrote 300 words before. Also do
not use stock phrases like "in conclusion, in summary, to
conclude, etc." You should consider the following conclusions:
- Expand upon the broader implications of
- Consider linking your conclusion to your
introduction to establish a sense of balance by reiterating introductory
- Redefine a term used previously in your
- End with a famous quote that is relevant
to your argument. Do not try to do this, as this approach
is overdone. This should come naturally.
- Frame your discussion within a larger context
or show that your topic has widespread appeal.
- Remember, your essay need not be so tidy
that you can answer why your little sister died or why people
starve in Africa; you are not writing a "sit-com," but
should forge some attempt at closure.
- Do Something Else.
Spend a week or so away from your draft to decide if you still
consider your topic and approach worthwhile.
- Give your Draft to Others. Ask
editors to read with these questions in mind:
- What is the essay about?
- Have I used active voice verbs wherever
- Is my sentence structure varied or do I
use all long or all short sentences?
- Do you detect any cliches?
- Do I use transition appropriately?
- Do I use imagery often and does this make
the essay clearer and more vivid?
- What's the best part of the essay?
- What about the essay is memorable?
- What's the worst part of the essay?
- What parts of the essay need elaboration
or are unclear?
- What parts of the essay do not support
your main argument or are immaterial to your case?
- Is every single sentence crucial to the
essay? This MUST be the case.
- What does the essay reveal about your personality?
- Could anyone else have written this essay?
- How would you fill in the following blank
based on the essay: "I want to accept you to this college
because our college needs more ________."
- Revise, Revise, Revise.
You only are allowed so many words; use them wisely. If H.D. Thoreau couldn't
write a good essay without revision, neither will you. Delete
anything in the essay that does not relate to your main argument.
Do you use transition? Are your introduction and conclusions more
than summaries? Did you find every single grammatical error?
- Allow for the evolution of your main topic.
Do not assume your subject must remain fixed and that you can
only tweak sentences.
- Editing takes time. Consider reordering
your supporting details, delete irrelevant sections, and make
clear the broader implications of your experiences. Allow your
more important arguments to come to the foreground. Take points
that might only be implicit and make them explicit.
- Have your Essay Professionally Edited.
The application essay is too important not to spend $50 for its improvement.
Editing houses like EssayEdge at http://www.EssayEdge.com
will significantly improve your essay's style, transition, voice,
grammar, and tone; EssayEdge will also make content suggestions
to ensure your essay is unique and memorable.
- For more tips, click here.
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