Some Tips for College Application Essays

Some Tips for College Application Essays
College application essays don't have to be so stressful. Here's some tips.

High school students, returning college students, college students off probation or expulsion, or pre-graduate students all have a similar stress when it comes to the college application. How do you write the essay? Whether its finding a good topic or simply figuring out what to write about, there are some things to consider when writing that will set you apart from others—in a good way or bad way. There are also plenty of universities that have unique topics, such as University of Chicago's "How Do You Feel About Wednesday?" or University of Pennsylvania's "You have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit 217." You may also be asked more straightforward or mundane questions that simply want to know about your experience. However, many of these topics still strike fear into the heart of college students. There are some tips that may help you toward a better college admissions essay.

Write concisely.

Essays usually require a 250 word minimum, but applicants commonly go over this limit. Every admissions officer, however, must wade through thousands of words about each student every day. He only will spend about a couple of minutes on each essay. If you go over 700 words, it's likely that you will strain their patience, and you don't want to do that. It's better to make sure that you stay within a reasonable word limit and explain exactly what you want the college admissions committee to know—other than you really, really want to go to school there. What makes you special?

Honesty is the best policy.

You shouldn't embellish your achievements, titles, or offices. You need to just be you. You should talk about unique experiences that made you a better person or changed something towards going to school at the specific university or picking the program that you wanted. You don't have to be the star of everything, and in fact, it's better to have variety and show your differences. You will also feel better about your application if you don't strain yourself to make up stories.

Individualize your experiences.

What made growing up different for you? What makes your business knowledge more personal? What is going to change your life with this school? You need to ask yourself one question when writing your essay, "What will distinguish myself from those thousands of others applying to this college who you don't know, and even the ones I do know?" The answer is not going to be in your activities or interests. Rather, you will find the answer in how your mind words and what makes you distinctive from your friends, parents, family and people that you meet. How do you think? Sure, that's hard to explain, but that's the reason why you are writing the essay.

Form your sentences.

Nothing is worse than trying to read something that is impossible to read—and not because it isn't in English. You don't want to babble about yourself or your experiences. You also want to write about one subject at a time. Thank about telling a story and how stories are told. There are logical sequences to every story that make it more understandable. To ensure that you've written a cohesive essay, read it to yourself aloud and also let someone close to you read it, such as a parent.