Pointers for Essay University Applications

Reference & Education

  • Author Jane Dabad
  • Published December 10, 2013
  • Word count 514

Many students get stuck and need essay help when they have to write the essay portion of their college applications. This is usually not because of writer's block rather because nobody knows what the application reviews want.

The truth is, you can often make a great application essay by writing around a few tested themes. Write about an important experience, achievement or risk that you have personally had in your life. You can also try relating an ethical dilemma or difficult decision that you had to face.

Begin the writing process with a vision or general idea where you want your essay to go. There is nothing worst than having to read an essay that has no point after one thousand words. Before you write your first sentence, have an outline to follow. With an outline in place, it takes a lot of anxiety over worrying about what to include in your essay. Make sure your outline has a beginning, middle and concludes in the end. You can write some general ideas to include in the essay with the purpose of expanding on these ideas in detail as you write the body of the essay. This is the best way to begin any writing project, especially writing pieces that need to express complex ideas.

Most essay applications will relate a personal experience. This is probably the easiest topics to write about because you are writing something that you are already familiar with. It is also important to be as authentic as you can, since this will show in voice with which you express yourself in writing. It does not really matter on what topic you choose to write about so long as it is relevant to your University application and that you express yourself well.

The most mundane event can be expressed with great sensitivity so that it reads like poetry. Then again the best way to make a big impact on a reader is to write about a dramatic event, in which case any shortcomings you might have in writing style can be compensated with the excitement of the story. Many college applicants are teenagers who have never left their own families and whose life experiences are limited. So expectations of college admissions reviews are realistic about the topics a teenager can be knowledgeable about. If you are older with more life experience, you actually have more to share in your essays.

Since college essays are personal essays, your essay should be able to relate to you as an individual. Everybody has different background and perspectives and it is important that you are able to express your own opinions in a genuine manner. It is also important to make it clear that your essay is about a significant experience in your life that has affected your character or left an impression on you. This needs to be explained in such a way that a reader who does not share your background would understand. When you have finished your essay, have somebody else read it back to you to check if they understand it.

Jane Dabad writes about college admissions on her blog, College Application Essay Guide. For more tips, check out these helpful guides: College Resume Application Tips and College Essay Insider.

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