6 Tips for Writing the College Essay
If you’re entering your senior year summer time is an opportune time to tackle the essay for your college applications. However, many can get stuck and forever stare at a blank page. The prompt can help, but if your essay is profound to the point of acceptance and consideration for scholarship then the prompt won’t matter as much. Here are some tips to help get the writing juices flowing.
- Ask the people around you how they would describe you and what your strengths are. The point of the essay is to allow the college to know your character outside of academics. Describing yourself can be hard. Ask others (teacher, mentor, parents, friends, coach, etc.) for an outsiders perspective of what makes you, you.
- Be original! People get into college writing about their favorite food. The point again is to express who you are, what makes you unique and how you’ll be a great addition to the campus. Your essay shouldn’t be the standard 5 paragraph essay you’ve been taught to write in your English classes. Instead, be creative with what you write and how you write.
- Start writing and don’t worry about editing, spelling or grammatical errors. Allow your stream of consciousness to take over and become words on a page. The more detail in your first draft the better.
- After you have a 1st draft give it to someone else to read. Have them pick out the nuggets that really help you shine.
- Don’t write what you think they want to hear. Again be creative!
- Edit, edit, and edit some more. Allow plenty of time to allow for editing. After you have a draft put it away for a few days before you begin to edit again. Also, consider different atmospheres like the library, coffee shop, or different room in the house when you edit.
If you do find that you are stuck and can’t seem to get any words on the paper use the essay prompts. That’s why they are there. This year the Common Application has changed the essay prompts for the 2017-18 school year. Those can be found here. If you will need to use the Coalition Application the prompts have not changed from last year and they can be found here. The essay prompts for the Coalition App will plan to change for the 2018-2019 school year, however.
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