WHAT IS ESSAY?
Know what a college application essay is and why is it required?
4 importants steps to write a college application essay.
Understand the question or the prompt clearly. Read the question, instructions again and again and try to reflect back on your life and how question or the prompt would align with an incident, experience or lesson of your life. Remember that you have a world and page limit to follow and you can’t fit in all the experiences or incidents there. It has to answer the question asked accurately, elaborate or relate the idea to your life experience. While achieving all this it is also imperative that the flow of ideas in the essay is smooth and easy to understand. Thus in the given word limit and following the instructions you may give the reader a glimpse of your life, what makes you, how experiences have shaped you, how you learnt basically something that is unique and tells your story while sticking strictly to the essay guidelines.
Brainstorming is not as simple as it may seem. Understanding what you are expected to write in an essay and then identifying which of your qualities, incidents, experiences and learnings will cater to that essay question or purpose is essential. Hence take time, think clearly, make notes or mind maps. You could stop and revisit the instructions again. If you start early you have enough time to go through your drafts and brainstorming maps hence ‘start early’. Let the ideas flow naturally and make notes or maps around those ideas. But remember you can’t write about too many things and most importantly keep it relevant to the topic being asked while catering to the instructions clearly. Hence you have to choose the ideas that can elaborate the essay prompt accurately and precisely. It should make the necessary impact while keeping the reader engaged and most importantly reveal an important part of your personality to the admission officer.
After you have brainstormed and are ready with the ideas that you would elaborate in the essay, you need to plan a structure so that the essay flows in an easy manner and is coherent. The most natural flow to captivate the reader is Introduction-Body-Conclusion. An introduction decides how you open your essay and introduce the idea. You could use a phrase, question, thought or just introduce the idea through your own words. Avoid using common clichés and try to introduce with words that emphasize your beliefs thus introducing the idea in an interesting way. A good introduction engages the reader right from the start. You can then build up the body with 1-3 paragraphs around unique ideas and supplement evidences for those ideas by relating with your experiences and lessons of your life. If you are going to elaborate one idea only then try to cover different aspects of those ideas. It is very important to highlight how or what you have learnt from those ideas and all this should be done in a subtle manner. Reading it again and again will help you identify the idea or point that you can do away with and the ones that you need to elaborate so the essay on whole makes the expected impact or expresses you purpose in the desired manner. A conclusion should not be very preachy but should also give a definite culmination and closure to your essay wherein you leave the lasting impact on the reader clearly while answering the essay question or topic evidently and accurately.
This is the most important task before you finally submit the essay. You would want to check the spelling and grammar accuracy of your essay. Do not rely completely on the spell and grammar check of your computer as it does not catch several typos and would not be able to capture wrong usage of words or words that don’t really capture the context. After you have written the essay take a break and then read it again and try to analyse whether it captures the idea or motive with which it was written, also if the words flow in a natural way explaining the idea. Make the necessary changes if required and let others review and proofread it for some more inferences. Apart from identifying spelling, grammar or out of context words usage it’s crucial that you check if they have understood your ideas the way you wanted to express. The essay should talk about you and that too in an engaging way. You have to make a point but in a subtle way. Don’t over explain, but also don’t leave gaps, the flow should be easy and the writing style eloquent but again it should sound like you. The admission officers have enough experience to identify slightest plagiarism or copied ideas and clichéd essays. Thus make an honest attempt to keep it unique like you.
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