It's important to know how to write an engaging student application essay, also known as a college essay. Knowing how to create an essay that stands out can help pave the way to a brighter future for you.
Most college essay questions are designed as a way for colleges to learn more about you. So this is your chance to tell colleges about yourself. The first step to writing a successful college essay is choosing the right topic. Pick a topic that allows you to give colleges the best idea of who you are as a person. What are your interests? What are your dreams? What is important to you? These are all aspects of your personality that colleges are interested in.
Approach your college essay as you would any of your previous school essays. Begin with an outline detailing the structure of your essay, as well as emphasizing the main points. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, and then choose one or two positive aspects of your personality to demonstrate to the college committee. You can structure your essay in several basic ways. In your essay, you can focus on a single strength that you possess, elaborating on it in detail. Or, you can choose two or three significant aspects of your personality to discuss, devoting only a paragraph to each aspect. The narrative essay is also a common and effective format; in the narrative essay, begin with a short and engaging story about yourself, and then explain how that story relates to your personality.
Illustrate your positive traits through the story, perhaps talking about an event that highlights your creativity, problem-solving skills, or your ability to help others.
When writing your essay, make sure to clarify the strengths of your personality, rather than simply stating things that you've done (ex. "I volunteered for a historical group"). Go the extra step to demonstrate how your activities reveal your personality and values (ex. "All my life, I've been extremely passionate about animal welfare and animal rights. As a Historical Society volunteer, I was able to help my community and learn more about our local history."). Talking about your strengths and values gives a much deeper insight into your personality than merely listing some of your activities.
Don't forget to proofread and edit your essay. Make sure your writing reads smoothly, clearly, and is free from grammar and spelling errors. It never hurts to send it to a professional editing service for polishing. Not only would a professional editor check for basic grammar errors, but an editor could also give you valuable feedback about the content of your essay. Also, many college essays have word count requirements; a professional reduction edit could neatly trim your writing down to the required word count.
A student application essay is a great chance for you to show colleges your strengths. Approach it with confidence and dedication, and you'll soon be off to a promising new future!
Heather Todd is full-time professional editor, published writer & marketing consultant whose passion is to help others create a letter-perfect presentation in their writing. Ms. Todd provides advisory & consulting services worldwide to numerous corporations, a small sampling of such businesses include: http://www.FirstEditing.com