Writing a college admission essay is taxing. After a student has finished writing the essay, giving it a thorough edit may be the last thing on their minds. However, failing to submit a flawless essay increases the odds of getting a rejection. With such high stakes, your final draft must be high quality and free of any errors. Here are tips and strategies you should use to review your college admission essay and make it your best work.
Essay Writing Tips
Take A Break
One mistake applicants make is to edit their essays immediately after completing the writing process. Without keeping a distance from the essay, it will be hard to notice errors. So take a break, even if it’s a few days, and avoid thinking about what you have written. Once you start editing, you will do it with a clear mind and a fresh pair of eyes.
Pay Attention To The School’s Requirements
Some universities and colleges no longer accept standardized test scores. This shows now more than ever just how important the admission essay is. The essay is a representation of the student and a creative way to differentiate each applicant. To stand out, your essay has to impress the admissions board. It must be high-quality and meet all the specifications.
Each school will have its own unique instructions like how long the essay should be and what it should cover. The requirements can differ if you are using the Common App. So before hitting the submit button, check that the essay you’ve written has met all the necessities, including the word count, structure, and formatting.
Check The Introduction
The college admission essay you want to submit has to grab attention from the first sentence. That means the introduction paragraph must be top-notch. Remember, the admission officers read hundreds of essays during the application period. Therefore, they are more likely to reject an applicant if the essay fails to generate interest.
So take time to edit the first two sentences of the introduction until you have the perfect hook. Stylistic devices such as metaphors can motivate the officer to keep reading. An applicant can also use humor, interesting facts, statistics, or rhetorical questions. Ensure the hook aligns with what you are discussing in the essay. If you have trouble writing an engaging introduction, an experienced essay writer can help.
Check The Final Word Count
While the board will not penalize you for adding a few words, it’s recommended to stay within the specified word limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. If you find that you have more words, don’t be afraid to remove some sentences, especially those that don’t contribute to making the essay great.
Repetition can also occur in the conclusion, where the writer repeats the thesis statement, summarizes the key points, or introduces new information. The word count can also be affected by line spacing and font so check that the formatting you are using is the one requested by the school. Remove any big or complex words as they can sound forced. Overall, ensure the essay reads as if you are talking to a teacher.
Check The Overall Message
The two functions of writing a college admission essay are to answer the prompt and showcase your unique personality or how you fit into that school. So when editing, read the essay from the first to the last sentence and ensure the message will impress the reader.
The values stated should align with those of the school. Any stated qualities should be backed up with relevant examples. There should also be a lesson learned. If the message is unclear and not focused on you, rewrite the essay to fix the issue.
Check The Tone
The tone should be positive, conversational, and have a formal feel. The words should read natural, be easy to understand and be respectful. If the tone makes you look like you are bragging, then edit the essay. During the editing process, remove clichés, wrong word choices, and any slang as it makes the tone too casual. Remove words that sound awkward and too academic. Replace them with simple sentences.
Check The Structure
The admission essay should have a beginning, middle, and ending. There should be a logical flow, and the paragraphs should transition smoothly. If you read the text aloud and find it lacking in flow, rearrange the sections. Be on the lookout for sentence structure mistakes and inconsistent verb tenses that lower the quality. Take a step further to run your essay through a grammar checker and edit it multiple times.