ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Writing a Successful College Admissions Essay

Updated on February 2, 2016

College Admission Essays can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. It may be 500-700 words or even shorter but these essays show the admission committee how unique and different you are as a student compared to the rest of them. Admission Essays provide information about a student’s grades, test scores and extra-curricular activities. A student can use the Admission essay to define a favorite action, to tell a story about self, or even a story about his/her dog, etc. What has to be kept in mind is that the essay must be used in ways that capture the reader’s attention and shows the student is exceptional?

With more and better prepared students applying to college, the admissions process has become a lot more competitive. Hence it’s important a student must distinguish themselves from the rest. Though essays and personal statements include only a part of the total application process, they have become a serious factor. The personal information included in the essay makes a student more than just a compiling of test scores and records. Applications to graduate and professional school often need a personal or autobiographical statement.

Some Interesting Topics for Admission Essays are:

  1. As you reflect on life thus far, what has someone said, written, or expressed in some fashion that is especially meaningful to you. Why?
  2. A One-Act Play
  3. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or virtuous dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
  4. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in the college community.
  5. If you could have lunch with any person, living, dead, or fictional, who would it be and what would you discuss?
  6. Discuss an issue you once thought you knew with certainty that you have since re-evaluated. What provoked you to change your opinion?

There are bad essays, not bad topics; but be careful about the following:

  1. Winning or losing the big game.
  2. Death of a pet.
  3. Friendship problems.
  4. Religious or philosophical epiphanies.
  5. Anything that recommends that you don’t see the world beyond high school.
  6. Essays in poor taste.
  7. Parent-bashing.


Types of Admission Essay

There are two types of admissions essays.

One is a personal statement which is common in nature and gives the student an opportunity to tell the admissions counselor more about you or about events and people that have influenced you. The second type of admissions essay involves answering a specific question with a more organized response. These questions cover a wide range of topics and can be creative, logical, or theoretical.

Guidelines and Purpose of Admission Essay

Guidelines to write the Admission Essay

  • Whether your topic is a structured question or a personal statement, take ample time to think through what the writing prompt is asking you to do.
  • Think of many ways to approach the topic before you select one approach or a combination of several.
  • When you have settled on an approach, make lists of details, memories, and connotations.
  • Make a plan for the essay. Whether formal outline is to be used or not, a plan helps connect ideas efficiently and gives a sense of beginning, middle, and conclusion.
  • Write a first rough draft.
  • Revise the first rough draft. Revision means adding, deleting, editing and rearranging.
  • Proofread for grammatical accuracy and spelling mistakes. Read the essay in reverse, a sentence at a time, to see if each sentence is thorough and makes good complete sense.
  • Do think “small” and write about something about which you know and reveal yourself in your writing. Write in your own voice and style and do tell the truth.
  • Don’t write what you think the admissions officer wants to read. Don’t exaggerate or write to impress.

The Purpose of an Admissions Essay

In evaluating the application, admissions faculties are mainly trying to determine three things:

1) Can a student handle the work?

2) Will a student have adequate motivation to do the work and complete the degree?

3) Will the student be suitable for the program?

The steps headed for achieving these three objectives in admissions essay is to know both you and the program.

Know Yourself: This comprises being able to recognize interests, capabilities, values, and personality features. An excellent way to indicate motivation or interest in the topic of education is to give an evaluation of career development say how you reveal interests in the topic, and what choices are to be made which led up to the current decision to apply for the program. Complete, knowing about oneself will enable to express effectively to admissions faculty.

Know The Program: This involves exploring the program which will be beneficial in a number of ways. First, a student will distinguish the essay more efficiently if lot of information about the program is available. It will demonstrate commitment to the admissions board. The more a student knows about the program, the more confident he/she can be that the program fits the goals and that in turn will show confidence in writing.

There are few basic content which a student must address in admissions essay:

1) The history of the student’s career interests

2) Assignments related to the program

3) Understandings or research related to the program

4) Research or specialization interests

5) Future career goals

6) Answers to any precise questions the application asks.

7) Why that certain school or program fits you

Admission Essays should consist of uses strong, convincing language, and give clear, actual examples. Style is the other significant element of the essay besides content. The readers are not only looking to see what the content is about, but also how to communicate. Essays should be one to two pages long unless specified in the application, which means the student will have to write briefly and strongly and include important content. The following are some editing tips –

  • Circle all prepositions
  • Underline all passive verbs
  • Remove any unessential prepositional phrases.
  • Rewrite with active verbs.
  • Make sure you have enough commas to simplify the reading process.

Finally, don’t be tempted to write one general essay and send it with all your applications. Sometimes writing about conditions when you have overcome difficulties exposes your true personality and values. Think imaginatively. Because your essay is one of hundreds to be read by admissions analysts, it needs to make an impression. For instance, don’t just say that you’re a leader. Show your leadership with life experiences and stories instead.

The goal of a student is to get the reader to remember him/her favorably. Be sincere, and let your discrete voice and persona distinct you from the crowd. To keep the reader involved, use present tense, active verbs and other descriptive language; give motivating details and realities; and if possible, use all the senses in the descriptions. How did something look? How did it sound? How did it feel, smell, taste?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)