The dreaded college essay. While some students find enjoyment in the essay portion of college applications, many students struggle when it comes time to determine what they should write about, and how to craft the perfect paper. We can’t write your essay for you, but we can come alongside you and support you throughout the process. Check out our various College Admissions Offerings here, and continue reading for some pointers on what to watch out for while you draft up your submissions.
Do: Use Your Own Words
This one should be a no brainer, but when creating your college essay, make sure it is your own unique work. Colleges do not want to read through a copy and pasted paper that does not show off any of your own personal experiences. You have a lot of personality, and that is what should shine through your written words.
Do: Proofread Your Work
Your, You’re. There, their, they’re. It’s, its. Loose, lose. Then, than. While proofreading your paper, be sure to not only look for spelling errors, but grammatical ones as well. Ensure that you are using the correct forms of commonly mixed-up words.
Do: Use Professional Language
We kno u save lots of time typing like u text, however, text talk is not quite the tone you should be going for in a college essay. Not only does it look unprofessional, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher what abbreviated versions of words truly mean. Don’t leave things up to the imagination, and don’t leave your audience confused when they read through your essay.
Do: Avoid Extra Spaces
Long gone are the days of typing two spaces after a period. Not only is it unnecessary, it is outdated. Way back when typewriters were still a thing, two spaces after a period were necessary to differentiate breaks between sentences. However, modern-day technology accommodates for this by providing enough space already, so an extra tap of the spacebar is not required. Chances are, you probably do not use two spaces unless you learned to type from someone who previously used a typewriter, but in case you do…you don’t need to anymore.
Do: Show Your Personality
While maintaining a professional manner in the composure of your college essay is necessary, writing with too formal of a tone may result in your paper coming across as stuffy and ingenuine. Again, you want your personality to shine through, and stuffing it into a suit and tie may not be the best route to take. Try approaching your paper in a few different ways, to find the best combination of professionalism and personality.
Do: Highlight Yourself Sparingly
It is important to make your accomplishments, passions, and skills known to the colleges you are applying to, however, your essay should not be a grocery list of all the items you have checked off. Sprinkle them throughout the content, and find other areas within your application to highlight what sets you apart from the rest.
Do: Give Yourself Time
Waiting until the very last minute to compose your essay typically results in a sub-standard final product. Give yourself plenty of time to create an initial draft, take time away from it, and revisit to revise. Rushing the process does not allow you to have the time and space to produce your best work.
Do: Limit Outsourced Opinions
Last, but not least, your college essay is your own. It is wonderful to gather input from academic advisors and college counselors, however, involving too many people in the opinion-gathering process can muddle your own thoughts about your paper. Ultimately, what you turn in with your college applications should represent yourself, not your Aunt Becky, her dog, and your best friend’s cousin Jeff. Compose and submit a college essay that you feel good about, and Cultivate your academic success.
If you would like more guidance with your essay composition, or throughout your college admission process, reach out to Cultivate today!