Quite often, the personality of an individual cannot be accurately revealed through test scores and grades, but rather through their essays. Apart from merely displaying the writing skills of the individual, essays also shed important light to admission personnel concerning the character of the writer.
- Be brief and concise. In as much as admission essays should commonly not be below 250 words, while the maximum word count is not often stated, the essay should not be too lengthy since the admission personnel have numerous other essays to go through. An admission officer therefore prefers to spend the least amount of time on a single essay. Many admission officers reckon that essays that often go beyond 700 words make their work tedious and can hence portend negative outcomes for the writer.
- Stick to Honesty. Avoid overstating your roles, titles, and achievements. It is essential to mention that you are simply a treasurer in a local Green Club or a newspaper’s copy editor, than to lie about one’s position. The writer ought not to inflate their value, and will feel good when they don’t go out of their way to paint themselves falsely.
- Present a Unique Individual. When writing the essay, the writer must ask themselves how they can differently distinguish themselves from the numerous other applicants for the given college, that they already know and those applicants they do not know as well. Such cannot be accomplished by simply stating interests and activities. An individual transitioning to college from high school is most likely a teenager. Teenagers do teenage things. It is the manner of thinking and the mind of the individual that will offer the much coveted distinction from the sea of other applicants. It is difficult to explain how an individual thinks, but the process is sure to put the applicant ahead of the others.
- Coherence is valued. The applicant makes certain not to babble through the essay, but to take time to tackle one issue at a time. The essay is not meant to cover every aspect of the writer. Attempting to talk about everything will not only make the writer sound superficial and scattered, but also busy. The admission essay is basically a number of snapshots on what the writer does. It cannot be complete in itself, and the admission officers do not expect this either. It is thus important to play along with the officers’ expectations.
- Adhere to Accuracy. Accuracy in admission essays goes well beyond simple spell checks. Rather, this also calls for total adherence to various other hallmarks of sound writing, such as the use of appropriate punctuation marks like semi-colons, commas, and so on. For instance, if a writer is writing concerning Dickens, they do well not to say Dickens wrote Wuthering Heights, or if one is writing about Nietzsche, it is important to spell the name correctly, and so on.
- Writing should be vivid. A sound admission essay is like a good story. In most instances, the essay gives a narrative of important events. The writer should thus indulge certain details that assist the reader to visualize the setting of the story. The writer should use or create the names of the other personalities in the piece, such as the coach, teacher, or brother. This approach importantly gives the writing a human touch. Moreover, this demonstrates to the admission officer that the writer is trying to attain their appreciation for the writing, which may work in favor of the applicant.
- Be likable. Colleges are considered world over as communities in which people ought to get along with colleagues and superiors, such as in classes and in dormitories. The writer should therefore strive to display a character that one can take pleasure in having a conversation with, hanging out together, or even sharing a meal with. The writer should device silent approaches of demonstrating this likability instead of sounding corny by straight forwardly stating that they are likable. The key to this is subtlety.
- Humor should be applied cautiously. It is impossible to tell how an individual who is unknown to the writer may respond to various jokes/ humors presented in essays. What may be humorous to the writer may not be funny to the reader at all. The writer should only utilize humor when they deem it necessary, but even so, careful thought is strongly advised.
- If possible, be controversial. Most applicants often write essays that do not make a stand on any topic or issue, therefore coming out as bland. It is allowed to comment on religion, politics, or any such serious issues, so long as the comments are thoughtful and balanced. The writer should not appear to state that they have the final authority and word on the subject. Moreover, the writer should be careful when venturing into such sensitive topics and not just enter recklessly into the ‘debates’. On the other hand, the writer should, where appropriate, consider contrary opinions on the issue in an objective fashion and then offer arguments and reasons that support their perspectives. Colleges are hotspots for the deliberation of ideas. Therefore, admission personnel thoroughly appreciate the diversity of thought.
- Be smart. Colleges are places of intellect. Therefore, there is often very little talk of sports activities available in colleges, dormitories, and so on. The writer should also consequently demonstrate vitality in their intellect. For example, the writer can talk about what excites their mind. This is not similar to stating where the applicant intends to major, but rather why a given subject is of great interest to the applicant.