Essays are a big part of getting into college. Most school and scholarship applications will require one or more essays. Being able to put together a strong, compelling essay that persuades the person reading it is really important. However, many students are not sure what to write about or aren’t confident in their own writing skills.
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Throughout college, there are many instances where you may be required to write an essay – your application, exam questions, small writing prompts, etc. All essays consist of the same three parts: an introduction with a thesis, a body paragraph or body paragraphs that support the thesis, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes the overall essay.
It is important to understand that college or scholarship committee is looking for specific students to meet their criteria. Understand the goals and true purpose of the organization to better respond to the essay at hand. Catch the scholarship committee’s attention with a unique application. Devise a way to make your story stand out and you will get a better reception.
If an essay prompts you for a personal story, think about an event that has changed your life for the better. While adding your personal story, do not assume that a sad story will make the committee sympathize with you. Write your essay in a way that demonstrates your strength through struggle. These committees generally admire perseverance and determination more so than grief and sorrow.
While it may be tempting to fabricate your accomplishments and experiences, it is not a good idea. Many committees run background checks to verify that the information you provided is accurate. If they catch you in a lie, they will immediately dismiss your application. Be honest about your achievements, even if they’re not as outstanding as you had hoped.
A professor or college entry application may asks for a word limit in their required essay. As a general rule, try to stay as close to limited words as possible without going too far over or under. Write the first draft from start to finish without any pauses. This will make the writing sound fluid, and you can make adjustments after that. Avoid over-editing your work. Ideally, you should take a long pause between editing sessions so you can clear your head and come back with a fresh perspective. Try not to think about the word count too much and don’t throw fluff sentences in your essay. Professors and scholarship committees see right through those. Instead, think of an additional sentence to enhance the support in your body paragraphs. If you feel like you have concisely and sufficiently answered the question below the word count, trust your gut. Most instructors will value quality over quantity.
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