Like your ACT score, the essay is just one component of your college application.
An essay can say a lot – or a little – about who you are. The point of the essay is to paint a picture of you to a total stranger. Admissions officers want get to know you and why you belong at their school.
Tips for writing sound essays can be found online from many sources. Just type “writing a college essay” into a search engine. Here are some quick pointers to help craft a stand-out essay.
Plan. Review application deadlines and plan ahead. Outline, then draft, then proof, rewrite, have someone else proof it and then revise accordingly. Give it one last look before submitting. Remember, spell check doesn’t catch everything!
Stand out. Admissions officials review hundreds of applications, and the ones that pique their interest are unique. While the essay should single you out from the crowd, be careful not to focus too narrowly on something others cannot relate to or understand.
Be real. This can be interpreted a couple different ways. First, don’t use a story or essay found online or written by a friend. Admissions officers can spot a “borrowed” essay. Second, don’t write to what you think others want to hear. Show personality and individuality.
Stay on topic. Review each application’s essay question, develop a few ideas and settle on one. Follow that theme throughout the essay.