Sitting down to write a college admissions essay is tough. For many high school students, this is the first time they will write an autobiographical piece. Instead of writing a book review or a analytical piece about a theory, they have to talk about themselves. Trying to get creative when discussing your life can be difficult. Many students question: what have I done in my 16 years that is essay worthy? These 4 tips will help you figure that out.
4 Tips to Write an Incredible College Essay
1.- Brainstorm. Your essay needs to show a reader who you are as a person. So, who are you? What are your strengths? What do your family members or friends say when they talk about you? Are you outgoing? Are you a silent leader? Are you analytical? Are you creative? Are you passionate about something? Make a list of the things that are uniquely you. Asking those closest to you in coming up with this list is a great idea because it is often hard to try to think of these things alone.
2.- Choose a Story. With the list of personal traits and/ or passions in front of you, reflect on your life. Is there a particular instance that really reflects those characteristics? It doesn’t have to be a big, life changing event. Maybe your leadership qualities are reflected in the fact that you are an oldest sibling often left to babysit your siblings. That is inherently you. It is a great part of who you are as a person, and a college admissions officer would want to hear about it. This isn’t about listing your proudest moments or accomplishments–it’s about coming up with stories that are true to who you are as a person. They’ll learn about your accomplishments from your transcripts and activities on your application. This is the time to write about your life.
3. Get organized. Once you have your story chosen, begin outlining. Map out your introductory sentence, your story’s flow, and your conclusion. What do you want to accomplish at the end of this essay? We encourage you to make your intro captivating. Draw your reader in! Use your conclusion to reflect on a life experience or life goal.
4. Write and Revise! Give yourself time to write your essay and revise… several times. It will take time to get your essay exactly where you’d like it to be, and most likely you’ll need to write more than one essay for your applications. Take your time, get creative, and allow outsiders to help read and critique your essays. At the end of reading your piece, the reader should know who you are as a person.
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