Many colleges require prospective international students to write a 350 to 450 word essay to accompany their admission or scholarship application. This essay is not to be taken lightly as it plays an important role in the admission and scholarship decision. Therefore it is extremely important that your written essay is of a high standard. While there are plenty of resources available on the internet to teach you on how to write a brilliant essay, I thought I would share some pointers that are obvious but ones that we often overlook. Below are three tips that will help students write a better college admissions essay.
Do not plagiarize
This ones a no-brainer. No not copy someone else’s work and pass it off as your own. It is very tempting to copy an essay from the internet, but there are ways in which admissions officials can find out if the work submitted is your own. This practice is very unethical and is strongly condemned in the US. If you are caught plagiarizing on your admissions essay, I can guarantee that your application for admission will be rejected. Therefore, write the essay on your own, give it your best shot and you will be fine.
Choose a topic that is important to you
A lot of colleges are quite flexible and will let you choose your own topic to write the essay on. Choose a topic that is meaningful to you; a topic that you have enough knowledge on to write a few pages without repeating stuff. Don’t make the mistake of writing about something that you think will appeal to the admissions commitee, but something that you have no personal interest in. For example, don’t choose to write on eradicating hunger and world poverty if you are applying to study Computer Science, have never been in poverty and have no history of volunteerism to help the poor and the hungry. Instead, write about your experience of winning that programming competition in high school or the time when you went hiking to the base camp of Everest. These accounts of personal experience will tell the admissions committee much more about you as an individual than an essay on some grandiose plan to change the world.
Utilize proper grammar, spell check and proofread
This is something that a lot of students overlook. Bad grammar can kill an otherwise brialliant essay. No matter how good your content is, a person will usually stop reading midway if there are a bunch of grammatical and spelling errors. Use proper grammar and definitely use a word processor to spell check your essay. Your essay must be completely free from grammatical and spelling errors, and it must be structured into paragraphs. The last thing that you can do before sending off your essay is to have someone else proofread it for you.
Do you have some tips you would like to share with others? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Further reading: 3 Tips to Get a Scholarship in the US
Filed Under: Admissions