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Crafting an Unforgettable College Essay

1. Get to know your prompt

❶If you include other examples from your life where you applied this life lesson, you will naturally share other specific parts of your life. Thousands of happy customers are what we are proud of.

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Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay
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Telling Your Story to Colleges

Write the story no one else can tell. Ease yourself into the essay-writing process. Take time to understand the question or prompt being asked. The single most important part of your essay preparation may be simply making sure you truly understand the question or essay prompt.

When you are finished writing, you need to make sure that your essay still adheres to the prompt. College essay questions often suggest one or two main ideas or topics of focus. These can vary from personal to trivial, but all seek to challenge you and spark your creativity and insight. Get your creative juices flowing by brainstorming all the possible ideas you can think of to address your college essay question.

Believe it or not, the brainstorming stage may be more tedious than writing the actual application essay. The purpose is to flesh out all of your possible ideas so when you begin writing, you know and understand where you are going with the topic. Architects use a blue print. A webpage is comprised of code. Cooks rely on recipes. What do they have in common? They have a plan. The rules for writing a good essay are no different.

Create an outline that breaks down the essay into sections. By now you know exactly what you will write about and how you want to tell the story. So hop on a computer and get to it. Try to just let yourself bang out a rough draft without going back to change anything. Then go back and revise, revise, revise.

Before you know it, you will have told the story you outlined—and reached the necessary word count—and you will be happy you spent all that time preparing!

You have worked so hard up until this point, and while you might be relieved, remember: A single grammatical error or typo could indicate carelessness—not a trait you want to convey to a college admission officer. Writing the college essay takes time and effort, and you should feel accomplished. When you submit your essay, remember to include your name, contact information, and ID number if your college provided one, especially if you send it to a general admission e-mail account.

Nothing is worse than trying to match an application essay with no name or, worse, an e-mail address such as donutsarelife domain. It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work. But it's also a unique opportunity that can make a difference at decision time. Admissions committees put the most weight on your high school grades and your test scores. However, selective colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit.

You have a unique background, interests and personality. This is your chance to tell your story or at least part of it. The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you. Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through.

Admissions officers have to read an unbelievable number of college essays, most of which are forgettable. Many students try to sound smart rather than sounding like themselves. Others write about a subject that they don't care about, but that they think will impress admissions officers. You don't need to have started your own business or have spent the summer hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Colleges are simply looking for thoughtful, motivated students who will add something to the first-year class.

It could be an experience, a person, a book—anything that has had an impact on your life. If you can tell a story in response to the prompt or question, do so. Telling a story will be much more engaging or interesting than just listing a bunch of reasons why you want to go to college.

Admissions officers are often looking for students who can engage their audience, and the more interesting your essay is, the more an admissions officer will want to read it. A personal story can also help the reader connect with you on a personal level and learn something about who you are as a person.

Focus on one topic. Focusing on one theme helps keep your essay organized and to the point. Like any essay, the college admissions essay should have a clear thesis that summarizes your main ideas and presents your theme in an engaging way.

Recount an incident in your life when this happened to you, and reflect on how the experience changed you. Start with a few lines that introduce the topic of your essay in a compelling and personal way. Have a great opener. The person reading your essay will be reading stacks of them, so getting their attention right away is a great way to get the reader's interest immediately.

You could start with a quote, or a piece of advice you once received, or even a provocative way of setting up the theme of your essay. Write in your own voice. Write a first draft. You should not do this in your essay under any circumstances. You might be tempted to try to make the admissions officer who is reading your essay laugh. Humor is a great way to make friends or break the ice with someone new, but you should try not to rely on it in your admissions essay.

Use a positive tone. College can be difficult, and one thing that admissions officers might be looking for is evidence that you've overcome obstacles and been able to work through hard situations.

Using a positive tone in your essay helps emphasize that you've been able to get through and learn from difficult situations. For example, if you're writing about a time when you helped a friend through the loss of a parent, part of your essay will obviously be sad. But you can also strike a positive tone by saying something like "It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and it changed my friend in a lot of ways.

But I also learned that you can never take a single day for granted and what it means to really be someone's friend. Be honest and open about what getting into college means to you, personally. This will help the admissions officers connect with you and your story on a personal level, and will make your essay stand out. When I toured the Big State U.

Tie it all together at the end. A powerful closing statement is just as important as a good opener. Look for a way to connect the ending of your essay to the themes you presented at the beginning.

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By writing a stellar personal essay as part of your college admissions application. It may be only words — or sometimes only words — but the admissions essay(s) portion of a college application can mean the difference between acceptance and .

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How to Write a Supplemental Essay for College Applications Discover tips for tackling writing supplements, and read a sample essay from a current student. By Kelly Mae Ross, Staff Writer | April 16, , at a.m. Nearly all colleges rate application essays as either important or very important in their admissions process. A poorly executed essay can cause a stellar student to get rejected. On the flip side, exceptional application essays can help students with marginal scores get into the schools of their dreams.

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college application essay: Share a personal story from your life. Explain what you learned from that moment or experience. Explore why what you learned matters. Yup. Just those three steps. If you can write several paragraphs on each of these topics, and present your essay in this general order, you will have a solid college application essay. An irreplaceable part of college entrance process is a college application essay, and this is a deciding point which may define whether a student will enroll or not. It is important to make this college entrance essay flawless by using a reliable admission essay writing .