Tips on Writing the College Essay

1. Begin weeks in advance
       -Most effective essays require up to three to four revisions

2. Create an essay that reflects you as an individual
      -Provide insight about yourself that is not evident in other application materials
      -Avoid controversial topics

 3. Do not write an essay based on what you think the admissions department wants to hear
       -Be yourself and demonstrate your uniqueness or area of expertise in comparison to the
        many other applicants

 4.  Write your essay according to the length and topic specified on the application.
        -Follow the directions

 5. Remember that you are writing to ‘an unknowing audience’…they do not know you. So don’t
     presume knowledge about your life experiences
        -Be clear about what you write and what you mean
        -Let the reader ‘walk a mile in your shoes’
  6. Use powerful language and vivid imagery
        -Be free to use analogies
        -Create a picture through your words
        -“Show, don’t tell’

  7. The depth of your topic is more significant than its breadth   
        -Hone in on a small, specific, and significant part of your larger
          topic…it will be more effective

  8. Use good mechanics as if your essay was being written for an English grade
          -Create an interesting opening sentence or introduction to ‘grab’ the reader’s attention
          -Have an introduction, body, and conclusion     
          -Grammar, spelling and capitalization are all important

 9. Do not use generalities or absolutes…they will dilute your message
         -Be sure to develop a specific explanation for your comments

   10. Proofread, revise, and proofread again
         -Enlist the help of your college planner, English teacher or writing coach after you have
         written your essay


Remember, a great essay includes compelling content and excellent mechanics.
  College Connections can assist you with editing your college essays.