Your college admissions essay can't be great. It has to be unbelievable.
It can't be mediocre. It has to be out of this world.
It can't be boring. It has to be gripping prose.
It can't bore your admissions officer to death. It has to win them over.
The number one way to pack a punch in your admissions essay is the content. Following with a close second is all about how you say it.
We went straight to the source and asked college admissions officers what 10 things make a strong college admissions essay. This is their story...
1. Stick to what you know. It is better for you to write about what you are familiar with than to just write something because you think that is what an admissions officer wants to read.
2. Don't make assumptions. Your writing should be directed toward a wide audience. Don't assume that the admissions officer is old and decrepit. Admissions officers vary in age just like any other profession.
3. Show your funny side. Even admissions officers have a sense of humor so don't be afraid to show yours.
4. Be honest. You don't need to create or invent stories to make your admissions essay unique. Honesty is always the best policy, even when writing your admissions essays. Your essay is your chance to show an admissions officer who you really are, not the "you" that you have invented yourself to be.
5. Use your own words. Do not try to make your essay elaborate by using a bunch of big words, jargon, or slang. This only makes it harder for you to write your essay and in the end it may not even make sense to read.
6. Be sure to use your grammar skills. And if you do not have good grammar skills, then find someone who does that can edit your essay before you send it off with your application.
7. It doesn't matter how great your essay is if nobody can read what it says. Type or neatly write your essay. Neatness does count.
8. Follow the directions. We all learned how to do this in kindergarten and now it really counts. Make sure that your essay is not over the maximum or under the minimum amount of words required. Also be very careful to answer the question that you are being asked to write about in your essay.
9. Your English teachers taught you to write a rough draft and then edit and refine your rough drafts into a final version. The same holds true for college admission essays. Do not send in your final version until you have perfected it.
10. Have someone else review your essay. Your friends, family and fellow students may be able to provide you with a fresh perspective or suggest a tweak here or there that can make all the difference in the world. Constructive criticism should always be welcome in order to learn and grow.
While following these 10 hot tips does not guarantee that your college essay will get you admitted to the college of your dreams, it may be just enough to make your essay shine and get noticed.