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Writing an Application Essay

Most colleges and universities ask you to write an essay for admittance. When writing your college application essay, you should keep in mind the following:

Review the Question
• Make sure that you read the question thoroughly.
• Fully understand what the question is asking.
• Make sure that you answer the question.

Brainstorm for Ideas
• What makes you different from every other student that is applying to that college?
• What kinds of employment, hobbies and activities have you participated in?
• How have you grown as a student?
• What are your strengths?
• What are some words that may describe you? Are you serious, responsible, intellectual, organized, creative, persistent, open-minded, mature, a risk-taker, caring, insightful, enthusiastic, resourceful, flexible, optimistic, etc.?

Make Lists and Charts
• It is extremely important to organize your brainstorming items.
• You might want to draw a timeline to organize your employment history and activity
participation.
• You can use charts to organize your thoughts into specific categories.

Write the Essay
• Make sure that you are relaxed when you begin writing your essay.
• Imagine that you are speaking with an admissions counselor and your essay represents what you say to that counselor.
• Use vivid words to describe your experiences.
• Use a Thesaurus to find new and exciting synonyms for words. Make sure you use them properly.
• Vary your sentences. Make sure each sentence sounds unique.

Organize Your Essay
• Once your essay is written, make sure that it flows properly.
• It should have an introduction, body and conclusion.
• Use transition between your thoughts.
• Does your introduction capture the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay?
• Does the body of the essay convey your thoughts and answer the question?
• Is your conclusion concise and to the point?

Revise Your First Draft
• Now that you have your first draft, read it thoroughly a number of times.
• Bring it to The Counseling Center or to one of your professors for review.
• Check spelling and grammar.
• Make sure that the essay conveys the message you are trying to portray.
• Read it aloud to a friend. This will help you in determining if the essay flows properly.

Write Your Final Essay
• Make all of your corrections.
• Print out a copy of your essay on nice paper.
• Attach your essay to the application with a paperclip, or submit electronically.