The college application essay is an important qualitative factor considered by colleges and as such can be stressful to applicants.
But unlike other aspects of the application the student can control the essay and give the best possible glimpse of themselves as an applicant. On the flip side it can also be where the most mistakes are made. Other than understanding and following the prompt thoroughly there is a plethora of advice available for what to do and not do regarding the application essay.
College counselors and tutoring companies can help their students by compiling a comprehensive list of tips and the all-important dos & don’ts for writing their college application essay.
The following 3 articles have great tips from which you can compile your list and each come at the task from a slightly different angle. Follow the individual links for more information.
Peterson’s tips concentrate on the style, pitch and vocabulary of the writing:
- Analyze the Prompt Thoroughly
- Organize your writing
- Show instead of tell
- Know your vocab
- Write succinctly
- Combine like ideas into more sophisticated sentence structures
- Seek qualified second opinions
The IvyWise tips are aimed predominantly at the author’s voice throughout the essay:
- Don’t repeat your resume
- Do show a slice of your life
- Don’t copy and paste
- Do show your knowledge of the college
- Don’t say what you think the admissions officer wants to hear
- Do use your voice
- Don’t rely on spellcheck
- Do double check you’ve addressed the prompt
- Don’t wait until the last minute
- Do seek feedback from your counselor
A great slider presentation from Big Future concentrates on the creative process:
- Let your first draft flow
- Develop three essay parts
- Be Specific
- Find a creative angle
- Be honest
- Get feedback
- Proofread and make corrections
The above articles all approach the college application essay from a particular, angle make sure your list includes items covering the full spectrum.
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