What are the key elements of application essays?
Lots of time
- Make a resolution to dedicate at least 3 weeks on the writing of your application essay. It certainly won’t take you that long to write it, but there are a lot more aspects to submitting an admissions essay than just the writing itself.
- Spend a few days researching the school you’re applying to. By doing this, you’ll have an advantage by making the contributory section of your essay (see the third point), more relevant to the admissions board.
- Spend some more time chatting to friends and family about how they see your personality and tell them about the person you want to be and where you see yourself in the near, mid and distant future. Details like this will be apparent in your essay. The more time you spend on your essay, the better it will be.
A catchy intro
- It’s advised that you spend more time on your introduction than the rest of your essay because this is the part that will hook the admissions into reading your essay to the end. A good intro creates a bit of mystery about what more you have to say.
- Get hold of some strong essay introductions online and let them inspire you to write your own unique opening that gives the reader a sense of anticipation.
Be a contributor
- Colleges don’t just want students to pay, learn and leave. A college is a type of community and you’d do well to discover how you can add to the culture that’s present there. Your essay must include a brief section stating how you plan to fit in and contribute to the community of students and staff already residing at that institution.
- Your essay will likely be accompanied with your qualifications so it’s really not necessary to expand on any of them.
- The paper should be written in such a way that your character is displayed, not your past scholarly accomplishments.
Humility and selflessness
- The best ammunition to a good application essay is to actually be the person they want to read about in your paper. Many students do some quick volunteer work some time during their high school career and mention this in their essay. This sort of thing doesn’t impress admission boards as they see it all the time. Unless your charity and community service are a major part of your life, rather avoid trying to score points with once-in-a-while volunteering.