Writing Your Admissions Essay
Many college applications will require you to write an essay. Usually you will be given a topic or a choice of topics to write about. There is not one right answer for these topics. It is up to you to evaluate the topic and back up your ideas with logic and reason. Examples help as well. Your score will depend on how well you do this, use the English language, and construct your thoughts and ideas.
During your first few hours of work on your essay, write down everything you can think of about that topic. Even if you think you won’t use a particular idea, write it down anyway. The point is to get as much out of your brain as possible. You can decide what to use later.
When writing out your ideas, consider all the viewpoints. Topics rarely have only two sides; they usually have many. Displaying your knowledge of this will impress college admission officials.
Do not forget your own perspective. Your score will be higher if you can incorporate your own thoughts and experiences into your paper. Consider how your experiences are related to those of other people.
After you have gotten all your thoughts down, examine each perspective. Decide which viewpoint you can explain and support the most. While you will still consider many sides in your paper, you need to select one main side that will be your foundation. After you have chosen your idea, it is time to go through the information about that idea and pick out the best points. Decide what information should go into the essay and what should be tossed out.
Next, take the information that you will use and begin to organize it. Since your ideas are probably all over the place, you need to find a way to construct them in a way that will make sense to the reader. This will give you a basic outline for your essay. In your first paragraph, give a brief description of your topic. Use your own words and avoid sounding like you took the description out of a book. Next, give your opinion on the matter and why it is that you feel that way. Follow that up with the other main ideas that you came up with.
Use the following body paragraphs to further describe the points you made in your opening. Back up your statements with reason and examples. Make sure you have a nice flow of information.
Use your concluding paragraph to restate your main points and sum up all the information. Give your opinion one more time, and add anything you want to remain in the reader’s memory.
After you are done writing your essay, put it away for a day or two before you review it. You want to have fresh eyes when you look at it again. You should also have other people review your essay. Not only may they find errors in language, they might think of an idea that you haven’t. It’s always good to get different perspectives.