Writing the Perfect Admissions Essay

Strategizing is key and some essay-writing tips can help to do so.

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 23, 2019

Writing the Perfect Admissions Essay
When it comes to writing college admissions essays, the task can be daunting. Strategizing is key and some essay-writing tips can help to do so. Utilize these essay-writing tips to write a winning essay.

Don’t Reuse Unedited Content

Colleges can see right through a generic essay, so personalize it based on the school where you’re applying. There’s nothing wrong with having a standard format and adding in information, but one size does not fit all when it comes to admissions essays.

Be Creative

If you look at it from an admissions officer’s perspective, they read hundreds, if not thousands, of admissions essays daily. You want yours to stand out amongst the pile and creativity is key.

Get Editing Help

It never hurts to have a second, third and fourth set of eyes on your essays to edit for voice as well as grammatical errors. Ask your teachers, guidance counselors and family members to help you out – they will likely oblige.

Edit More Than You Think You Should

If you’ve gone over your essay a million times, it probably is all starting to look the same. But, that doesn't mean you should stop looking it over. Take a break, walk away and then come back to it. It may take a fresh set of eyes, but it’s worth doing several times over.

Don’t Rush

If you haven’t already, create an outline of what you’d like to say in the essay. Give yourself enough time to think it through and create a rough draft. From there, return to your work and revise it each time. If you give yourself enough time, you can accomplish more than you would if you left it to the last minute. Great writers take it slow and write, rewrite and rewrite again and again. It may seem tedious but that's how the process works!

Stay Positive

Focus on all your positive attributes, but be sure to steer clear of bragging. There’s a fine line between confidence and narcissism.

Use Your Own Voice

Admissions officers want to get to know you – you as you are, not that you want to be. Write well, but maintain your voice, expressing what you’re most passionate about and what you picture for yourself in the future.

Be Honest

While focusing on the positive, stay true to yourself. Don’t over exaggerate or lie in any way – admissions officers can spot lies – no matter how small – from a mile away. Remember, reading college essays (and deciphering who a student reallyis from that essay) is part of their job description.

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