The College Essay
Tips for Success
- Use your own voice.Authenticity is a must.Do not plagiarize or have someone else write your essay for you.
- Do NOT wait until the last minute.Make sure that you have plenty of time to let creativity flow.Rushed essays speak for themselves.
- Show – Don’t Tell
- Avoid clichés (you can’t cry over spilt milk, it is what it is, a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush, etc.)
- Use an attention grabbing introduction (hook).
- Make sure you have a strong conclusion as well.It should not simply summarize, but bring your essay full circle.
- Proof read and edit.Have several people review and edit.
- If using a quote – don’t overdo it.Just one.
- Do not spend a lot of time reiterating the writing prompt.
- Stay focused.Don’t include a bunch of stories related to the topic.Stay with one and really develop it.
- Avoid the 4 “D”s – darkness, depression, death, and divorce.
- Athletes – don’t talk about that winning or losing goal or point.Everyone uses this topic.
- Avoid talking about that one vacation to Costa Rica, Mexico, etc. that changed your life. Again, popular topic.
- Make emotional connection just as much as academic.
- Don’t overuse thesaurus, impressive vocabulary.Be you.
5 Most Popular Writing Prompts:
- What are you passionate about?
- Talk about a failure you have experienced and what you learned from it.
- Discuss a time that you challenged an idea or belief.
- Discuss and accomplishment or incident which changed you from a child to an adult.
- Describe a problem that you overcame.