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Application essays

Application essays are part of the requirement that a student has to meet before he joins a college. When writing your college application essays, it is an opportunity to demonstrate to the admissions officer your personality. You are also supposed to provide information about yourself that is not found in other areas of the application. The common application essays help the admissions offers to see and understand your capabilities especially when you have time to think and work on a project that involves writing.

Application essays are also referred to as personal statements, admission essays, college application essays or statements of purpose. Some of the application requirements demand the student to complete one or more essays while others make essays supplementary or optional. Admission essay topics can be open-ended to specific.  For instance, graduate admission in American colleges and universities uses the common application that requires a general admission essay besides the supplementary essays that member institutions require. A student has to choose from six admission essay prompts

Before you commence the writing process

An application essay has a critical effect on your admission to a college or university; you have to take time, thought and effort on it that its length would suggest. All common application essays, just like other essays follow strict deadlines. However, when writing your essay, do not make it a deadline affair. Take your time to write, read, and re-write repeatedly until the essay becomes clear, compelling, and concise. You need not worry since most of what you are writing about is in your knowledge.

You can research before you start the writing process. This is what you think about:

  • The field of your interest
    Think about the reasons that drive you to enter that field. You should be aware of the benefits and the disadvantages of the field. Think about the career path of your interest, and how the field will propel you towards reaching there. Brainstorm and write your ideas down.
  • The program
    Think of the reasons that make the program ideal for your admission. Highlight anything special about the faculty, the courses they offer, placement record and the facilities that you are going to use. If you have thoughts on something specific, read their brochures, go to the events, or meet with a faculty member or a student in the program. Be honest when writing your college application essays.  Undertake some research on your program to legitimise even the seemingly superficial reasons for your application.
  • Yourself
    Talk about the details or stories that will enable the audience to understand you. Your unique characteristics should be highlighted. If there is anything about your family that is relevant to your application, include it in your essay. Talk about your education, experience in life, or the values that have shaped your decision to delve into this field. Your motivations, interests, special skills are essential to your common application essays. Demonstrate why you are the best applicant in that field. When planning, you can ask a relative to enumerate your strengths.

Writing the draft

Most college application essays are tricky to write because they are much more personal than any other paper that one will face. Think about the questions asked and do freewriting for about fifteen minutes or thereabouts. You have to know the message you want to give the audience and how you want them to feel after reading the message. At this stage, you need not worry about the grammatical mistakes in the paper. Just put all your ideas down.

Look at what your draft and identify the most relevant, significant and memorable statements and focus on them. Find the specificity of the ideas that led to those platitudes and express them more directly. Do away with irrelevant ideas or anything that is likely to elicit controversy for your audience.

At times, some people start with generalisations to land the most meaningful statements. However, you have to ensure that these generalisations are replaced with examples.

Applications that have several short answers require many details. In every case, go directly to the point addressing what they have demanded of you.

Audience

Now that you have ideas for your college application essays, it is now your time to communicate with the decision makers within the application process.  You do not want to bore them with your essay. Assure them that you look forward to the challenges of the program, not just the benefits. Let them understand the nature of the work in the field and how prepared you are psychological, morally and academically. Write an essay that is clear, concise, and organised addressing all the information about you and the application. Do not repeat any information you have included in your essay. When writing your essay, ensure that everything relates to the rest of the essay.

Avoid overstating your case about the intended endeavour because you will come out as presumptuous or naïve. Your objectives might change, and you need to show how this change will not devastate you. Avoid writing in clichés.

Voice and style

The voice and style that you use in your college application essays can intrigue the audience. Maintain your voice throughout the essay. Now that you have been waiting to use the first person in your essays, this is the chance. This story about yourself should demonstrate your perspective, experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Focusing on events and ideas can paint a picture of how they became important in informing your perspective. When talking about these events, focus more on yourself rather than the event or idea.

Your voice should be approachable and intelligent. This type of writing does not allow you to stun the reader with complex language. You are not also supposed to use technical language unless you are sure of what you are doing. Your audience is smart, and as such, you do not want them to read your essay is turning to a dictionary. You do not want them to switch off before they read the first four words of your essay. This is a personal statement and should not sound like a journal article.

You also should refrain from using slang or inappropriate language. When you are told to keep it casual, you should stick to language that is easy to follow, but formal enough to respect the intelligence of the audience. Maintain your natural voice and represent yourself as natural as possible. Think of the essay as a one-on-one interview, only that it is not.

Too much style

The best college application essays are more effective if they make an emotional and memorable impact on the reader. You can attract your reader’s attention when you use personal anecdotes and insights. However, do not turn to melodrama. You want the audience to see the choices that result from your passion and drive. Do not embellish or exaggerate anything in your application essay. Do not bring drama where it is not supposed to be. Get someone else to read your essay and to help you in identifying mistakes or any information you might have overlooked.

Taking risks

There are some common application essays guides that tell you to take some risks by talking about something offbeat or using a unique writing style. This strategy works only when used well since your goal is to stand out from the rest of the applicants. If your essay manages to impress your audience through your ability to think and express yourself originally is much better than the one that demonstrates hesitancy, lack of imagination and interest. 

However, this strategy is a risk, and if you are not careful about what you are saying, you may come off as offensive to your audience. You may also leave them with a negative impression of yourself. Avoid alienating your readers.  Others take the risk of using irony in their application essays beginning with personal failure but demonstrate how one overcame it. This is a risky move because the audience might infer things that touch on the character’s ability.

If you want to take a risk, assess your credential s and the likelihood of securing a slot in the program. If the chances of getting in do not favour you, try taking this risk. If you have some assurance of securing admission, you have flexibility. Ensure that you answer the essay question in an identifiable manner. After completing your essay, revise, proofread, and edit it. Get someone to go through your essay and get another point of view. The feedback is essential when revising your college application essays. Let is accurately represent you.

 
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