Admission Essay Tips: You Should Understand What Your Reader Wants From You

The college experience can be amazing. In your last years of high school it may be the first thing you think of when you wake and the last thought in your head before you sleep. The quality of this experience may be influenced very directly by the quality of your admission essay. Not only that, you are almost always competing with hundreds of thousands of other qualified applicants from across the globe. Here are some things your reader will want from you:

  • Make Yourself Sound Good
  • There is no place in an admission essay for false modesty. The current practice of ‘humble-bragging’ can be particularly off-putting to college admissions departments. If you’ve done something noteworthy, include it in as much detail as it warrants.

  • Be honest
  • If you haven’t done anything noteworthy, let’s hope you have enough time to change that. If not, don’t even think about lying. You might not be discovered immediately but there are so many ways to verify the truth nowadays that you risk being found out at some highly inconvenient point, a few months before graduation for instance. This can lead to expulsion and having wasted four years of your life.

  • Be original
  • With so many people trying the same tricks in their essays, they all start to look the same after a while. Look for ways to write your essay that are different. The more different you make it, the more of a risk you run of rubbing people the wrong way. While some people in academia are committed to promoting innovation, others like things just as they are and don’t welcome frightening new things. It’s hard to know for sure as an outsider but a little bit of research can show you how original you can safely afford to be.

  • Don’t Rush
  • Leaving your essay til last minute is way too risky. You may feel like the thrill of having a deadline on your heels produces your best work but you’d be doing yourself a disservice in this case. This isn’t a fluff piece that you can pull from thin air. It requires actual research and meticulous proofreading and editing. Ensure you have enough time to devote to the entire process.

In the end, as you write your application essay, remember that your style is almost as important as your content in this instance.

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