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How to Write an Outstanding Application Essay

Application Essay

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The crucial thing about application essay writing is that it must make your application more natural and reflect your personal features. While other parts of the application provide the admission office with an image of you as a person who passes tests, gets certain grades and participates in other school activities, this one must familiarize them with you as a person and human being. However, don’t be afraid of such a personal task, because only you can choose what to share and how to do it.

First of all, imagine admission officers of the university who will read your essay along with dozens of others. What makes you exclusive? What is your background, and which facts about you will attract their attention for sure? Determine what story from your life or what important information you would like to share with others to make the best impression. The essay of such a kind is a great opportunity to talk about your personal goals, achievements, challenges, and lessons you have learned. Obviously, it’s a great chance to explain why you fit this institution, and why you’re going to study there. You could describe some your achievements or activities in other parts of the application, but now it’s time to tell the story behind these facts.

Of course, writing an application essay isn’t an easy task at all, but anyone can manage it after a proper preparation. You have to plan your work and manage your time. We suggest writing step-by-step, because such an approach allows you to work on every detail, polishing your essay and making it something that you could be proud of. The biggest advantage that you have is that your audience knows completely nothing about you, so you can take your chance and create the best first impression.

  1. Familiarize yourself with your prompt

The most important thing on your way to success is to clearly understand your task. When your essay is completed, read it a couple times to make sure that it fits the question you’ve been asked.

Quite often, application essays imply one or two general subjects or ideas to focus on. Some of the topics may be almost banal, others may be really personal. However, such essays are always aimed to motivate you to use your creativity and to express your writing abilities.

  • Read your prompts or an essay question as many times as you need. Get your task clear.
  • Take your time and think about this question. Consider it from different points and let your brain produce as many ideas as possible.
  • Even before you start brainstorming, think of what you need to accomplish. What the prompt is asking you to do – support a certain point, or develop a certain idea?
  • If the topic seems to be somewhat odd for you, think how it could be applied to you.
  • Try not to look up for the topic that could fit your prompt in your English class writings. These pieces are unlikely to display your personality.
  1. Brainstorm

Feel free to use your creativity and let your thoughts flow searching for any useful ideas. In fact, brainstorming may tire you even more than the writing process itself. To simplify it, just generate as many ideas as you can. You will have time to get rid of the worst and to pick the best of them.

  • Reflect your life experiences and choose the most specific and substantial examples. You have an opportunity to figure out what are your strongest sides, and what is really interesting about you.
  • Note any thoughts related to your ask. You’ll appreciate your notes further, being able to use more ideas.
  • Narrow your task and choose three best points to discuss. Find out the idea that will keep your readers focused throughout the entire essay, at the same time reflecting your individuality best.
  • Pick one idea that will serve as the centerpiece of the entire work. Look up all necessary details that will show your beliefs, achievements, and strong sides.
  1. Write an outline

Plan all your work while writing an outline. Outlines, blueprints, basic schemes,and recipes are used in all professions. If you have a plan, you will have no problems with understanding what argument to write first, and what to save for later. Brainstorming allows you to decide what you’re going to write about, while an outline allows you to plan how you will do this. When writing an outline, draw up the structure of your essay, creating a few main sections.

  • Every story has a beginning, a central part, and an end. In essay writing, these parts are called an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Follow this simple structure, and your essay will be comprehensible and easy to understand.
  • Develop your strategy. Decide how you’re going to start your essay – it may be a question, an interesting fact, or an anecdote. Make sure that the chosen tone of your essay complies with your ideas.
  • Consider your writing style and voice. It’s especially important that your essay must be written naturally. Write it in the first person, unless the prompt states opposite. Unlike academic essays, application essays allow you to write in your own voice, so use this opportunity. Don’t change your writing style throughout the essay.
  1. Write your essay

If you’ve done everything right, now you know what to write about, and how exactly you will do this. Now just get to it, and write the first draft at once, without changing anything. When it’s done, go back and read it a few times, changing whatever you want. That’s how you write a story that you’ve planned, making sure that it corresponds to all the requirements. Don’t forget about the necessary number of words.

  • Make your essay personal and keep your readers’ attention. It must be based on the key idea presented at the beginning, and it must develop this idea without changing the main subject.
  • Don’t use obvious phrases, generic and clichéd sentences. To make your essay specific, add more details and examples, explain reasons and consequences.
  • Remember that admission officers have read thousands of similar essays, so your essay must be unique. It’s extremely important because your readers know the difference between a good writing work and a story written by your mom or downloaded on the internet. Plagiarism is the worst thing that can happen to your essay, so check it several times to get rid of all plagiarized elements. Add more details that reflect your personality. You may even add a couple jokes if the tone of your essay allows you to do so. Just remember that you don’t apply to a standup comedy university.
  • Write briefly and accurately. Don’t use more words than necessary.
  1. Proofread

When your essay seems to be finished, move to the last step: proofreading. Remember that any grammatical or punctuation mistake can play a bad joke with you, even if the entire essay is informative, unique, and interesting.

  • Take your time. Let your essay rest for a while and get to proofreading with a fresh view. You have to approach it critically, not recalling what you wrote, but looking at your essay as if you saw it for the first time.
  • Grammar checkers are good, but don’t rely on them solely. Even though computers are so developed now, they still are unable to understand the context and your style. This is a reason why you must read your essay carefully, paying your attention to every detail. Avoid using slang words or acronyms.
  • Find somebody to proofread your essay. It may be a teacher, your parents or friends. The point is that you may miss some important details while writing an essay, so others can help you to see what you have to add or what is unnecessary. Just make sure that you found somebody who is perfectly familiar with grammar. Read each sentence a couple times and pay special attention to such details as, for, example, articles.
  • Read your essay out loud. Such an approach forces you to read each word and allows you to find more mistakes. It also helps find punctuation mistakes, since punctuation determines the tone of every sentence and emphasizes certain words.
  • Your essay must be coherent. Don’t switch between different tenses. If you mention the college or university which you’re applying to, make sure that the name is spelled correctly.
  1. Put the final touches

Writing an application essay is a difficult task, so you have to make sure you didn’t forget some important details. Remember that your submission must include actual contact information, your name, and ID number. Manage copies of your essay and note which copy you have sent a particular university. Make sure that your essay reached the addressee.