How To Write An College Essay

Bragging or inflating your role or accomplishments is usually ineffective.Having someone else help you too much with your essay, or even writing it for you, is not a good idea.

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After years of practice reading essays the admissions officers and faculty who make admission decisions are quite astute in picking out the student voice.

Don't too closely follow the pattern of essays you find on the internet or in essay books.

Use these for inspiration but start with a completely blank page when you compose your own.

I haven't read a lot of good essays in those books anyway.

The college to which you are applying wants to evaluate your preparedness for that major and your committment to completing your bachelor's degree in a timely fashion.

So, what should you put in your essay; how should you prepare to present yourself in writing; and where can you go for help?

Every admissions office has a story about receiving an essay folded into origami, or embossed on a five pound chocolate bar.

These are not amusing at 11 PM after ten hours of essay reading.

Be passionate about your major subject or your career choice. Show intellectual curiosity and the desire to learn and grow in that field. Your essay should have a clear beginning, middle and end.

Mention particular faculty at that University you might like to study with. Your essay should read like a short English paper about yourself. Coherence is important—don't wander off your topic. Edit out sentences that don't support your thesis about yourself.

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