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Instead of writing what you think the admissions office wants to read, write about what you want them to know.Again, the essay is a great space to reveal something new about you, so stand out by being yourself and showing another side of you as a person or student. Using lofty language and complex sentence structure can make you sound sophisticated, but is that really how you speak?
According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, application essays are the most important “soft” factors, or non-quantitative elements, that colleges consider when making admission decisions, right behind “hard” factors, or quantitative components, like grades, curriculum, and test scores.
The personal statement and other essays and short answer questions, in conjunction with recommendations, extracurricular activities, and other qualitative application elements, can provide admissions committees with context and details about students that can’t be found anywhere else in the application.
Find something else that reveals something new and that shows you put a lot of thought into your essay. When developing a topic that reveals something new, find a way to frame the story or idea that shows a slice of your life or the event.
If your study of AP biology conflicts with your religious views, write about that and how you reconciled the two. Be descriptive and give details that appeal to the senses – taste, touch, smell, etc.
Don’t let your voice get lost in the pursuit to impress readers.
Instead, write like you speak – keeping in mind that proper grammar and spelling is still important. Spellcheck won’t catch every spelling or grammatical error!While it’s important to put considerable effort into all college application components, essays are often the finishing touch and should be treated with great care and consideration.Here are some college application essay dos and don’ts for students to keep in mind as they complete their applications this fall.Take the time to read over all your essays carefully and keep an eye out for things like “out” when you meant to say “our” and other common typos.Have a parent or counselor read over the essay, too, to catch any errors you might have missed.Essays are an important component in the college application process.While the essay alone won’t gain you admission to your top-choice college, a poorly written one can send you to the “no” pile pretty quickly.While the Common Application prompts for the main essay are general enough to allow students to write about whatever they choose, it still needs to be clear how that essay addresses the prompt. Check and double check that a clear connection is made between the topic or lesson of your essay, and the question the prompt is asking. If you’re applying to 10 colleges and wait until two weeks before applications are due, you’re going to have a lot of writing to complete in a very short amount of time.Waiting until the last minute leads to stress and rushed essays that don’t accurately convey your message.Spelling and grammar errors can take away from an otherwise stellar essay – so be mindful. This is one of the most common mistakes that students make.In the pursuit to write the perfect essay, many forget to connect it to the original prompt.