Admissions Officers Have Hundreds of Essays to Read...Don't Make Yours the One to Put Them to Sleep
Juniors, it may seem early to you, but now is the best time to start your college essays. Begin with one essay that you probably can use for either a Common Application Prompt, a Coalition Application Prompt or both if needs be. By starting now, you will give yourself time to write any additional essays a college may require. "What's that you say...?" Yep... that is correct! Some colleges ask for additional essays. Just how many additional essays you will need to write will all depend on your college list. But I am not here to talk about that.
I am here to give you tips on making your essay memorable so the admissions officer isn't using it in place of a sleeping pill.
When writing your essay don't just tell it, draw a mental picture with your words. This is a story, not a research paper or a DBQ! ADJECTIVES ADJECTIVES ADJECTIVES! So here are some tips:
1. Express feelings that go along with the experience you are relaying.
2. Connect an experience or event with a response from the senses...what did you see? What did you feel or touch? What did you smell? What was your emotional response?
3. Use both a description, telling what a physical sensation or event was, as well as a feeling that went with it. Choose a variety of adjectives. This adds strength to the story as well as depth.
Ask yourself, what draws a reader in more?
"I was scared!"
"I was petrified"
"A sudden chill went down my spine...I was PETRIFIED!"
A bit dramatic?
Maybe! More fun to read? Yes.
I understand high school can be full of unwanted drama but this is not the place to eliminate it. Two places drama does belong...on the stage and in a story.
I am not saying make your admissions essay fantastical, in truth, it should demonstrate your authentic self. But by all means, put yourself in the reader's seat. You want your essay to be memorable and stand out... not just something the reader has to drudge through. After all, admissions officers have hundreds of essays to read.
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