How to Write a College Essay

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How to Write a College Essay

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The blank document with the flashing cursor is a hard thing to overcome. You want the words to appear on the page effortlessly. Instead of keeping focused on the task you begin distracting yourself with social media websites. Cat videos and pictures of what your friends had for lunch instantly become more entertaining than a blank page. If you’ve had a case of writers block like what is mentioned above, college essay writing might not be second nature to you. Here are a few college essay prep tips to help you along the way.

Organize Your Thoughts

Start by organizing your thoughts on paper before diving into the content. Physically writing information down on paper can be good for creativity. The last thing you want is to send a very generic essay. Remember the rules for developing a coherent story; you must have an introduction, body, and conclusion. An essay is going to show the admissions office more about you than a test score or your GPA.

Know Your Reasons for Application

What made you want to apply for this college? If accepted into your choice college how does that better your experience? College essays are much like interview question for yourself. Answer questions in your head and write them down. If you were to have a personal interview with the admissions office what would they ask?

Include the Important Details

It’s important to be honest in your essay, don’t include skills you don’t have or over garnish experiences. The following would be good examples of important details:

  • The school is your mom or dad’s alma mater
  • Have you received scholarships?
  • List academic awards have you earned
  • If you are athletic, list achievements
  • Share a story about a peer to peer relationship
  • Have you volunteered in your community?

Starting a list of talking points will help you advance your essay to the next level. Brainstorming is only going to benefit the overall story, even if you don’t use all the information.

Talk to Mentors

Everyone needs a mentor in his or her life. This person could be mom, dad, a close friend, teacher, or co-worker. It’s important you use them to keep your goals on track. Mentors see qualities in us that get overlooked. As a busy person it’s very easy to loose focus on what makes us unique. When someone watches you grow and develop they understand what struggles you had to overcome. College essays are about digging deeper into the applicant and your mentor can give you good talking points. This gives the personal touch your essay needs in order to be a “top of the stack” application.

Know the School

It’s important to know that higher education is more than just a potential paycheck enhancement. College promotes an intellectual stimulation that high school may not have provided. Understanding what sets the school that you are applying for apart from the others will give your essay the upper hand. You should find out when the school was established. What sets the school apart from the others? Based on the location of the school is there significance? The better you know the school you are applying for the more interested you seem. For instance, if you know that a school is known for engineering say that you heard about x, y, and z accomplishment. People that usually work in the school are proud of what they do. They have high regard for the college and are tickled to death to find other people who know what the school has that the others don’t. The more research you do the better, just make sure you use what you know in moderation.

Read Examples

If you are confused and unsure of where to start, know that you can read examples. It’s preferred to start by asking teachers if they have proofread any good examples. They might have a few that students didn’t mind sharing. This can be a good place to turn when you need on the spot help. Searching examples online can be helpful, just know when to detect a bad essay. Once you have a few good samples makes notes of why you thought they were good. What sets the essay apart from the others?

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