5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your College Admission Essay Writing Skills
Are you facing the tough task of composing a college admission essay? No worries, you can write an effective essay even if writing is not your forte, as long as you are willing to learn and try. Here are five things you can do to improve your college admission essay writing skills:
College administrators are not mind readers, and they shouldn’t have to guess about what your ambitions and experiences are. Therefore, when you are pitching yourself, you need to be as explicit as possible when communicating your ideas. For example, instead of saying, I did many things in high school that prepared me to work towards my future goals, tell them about what, exactly, you did in high school and what your future goals are.
Use strong verbs
The most commonly used verb is to be. While you can’t avoid to be altogether (and you shouldn’t even want to), you should work to replace excessive weak verbs such as to be with strong verbs. For example, the passage written as, She is an inspiration to me. She is strong, and is a leader of a female empowerment group, could be effectively revised in this way: She inspires me because she exudes strength and leads a female empowerment group.
Find new ways to say I
College admission essays are first-person narratives, so this may be a challenge; however, beginning every sentence with the word I is not only boring and repetitive, but it also makes you appear to be narcissistic. If you flex your creative muscle you’ll find new ways to refer to yourself, as well as new ways to begin sentences.
This is one of the most common admission essay no-no’s, and it can zap the life right out of your essay. Approach the writing of your college admission essay with a less is more approach, using only words and sentences that are necessary to your essay’s form and function. For example, a passage like, I clearly remember the night in December, when I first learned of the fact that Santa Claus did not truly exist could be more effectively written as, I remember the December night when I learned the truth about Santa. As you can see, superfluous words just make the reader work harder to receive your message, which reduces engagement. At a time when you need your reader to be as engaged as possible, this is an extreme mistake.
Don’t use cliches.
You’re not going to prove that you’re special or exceptional by using tired phrases that have been used by everyone in the entire world for years. Find unique ways to communicate your ideas and avoid clicheacute;s.
These five tips can help you revive a dull essay. If all of this seems overwhelming, then just begin with a rough draft, and then go through each step to eradicate the problems that can bring your essay down. Happy writing!
About the Author
Joane Beswick works with a group of home tutors who not only help students with math and language skills but with writing, specifically when it comes time to write college admission essays.