When it comes to writing an essay for college applications, the first thing that passes our minds is what do I write about in my college essay? For someone good in extracurricular activities, or in academics, or with any exciting hobbies would think of writing about their achievements. Fair enough, that is how our thought process works. Generally, one thinks of mentioning their achievements to impress the decision-makers. But, is this the right approach? Well, we’ll conclude that in the later sections of this article.
Now, assuming you are someone with no such exciting things to write in your essay. Say, you have lived a normal life so far, then how should you impress the admissions committee with your essay? Well, don’t panic. We got you. Let’s learn more about the different ways you can write your college application essay. Along with some important Do’s and Don’ts and a few tips to help your essay stand out differently.
How To Decide What To Write Essay Upon?
Most of the time, students break their heads in finding a suitable topic for their college application essay. That can showcase their achievements and have the potential to leave an impressive remark. However, it is important to understand that the reader is human at the end of the day. And humans enjoy stories. Stories that can keep them connected. Yet, you will have to brainstorm the stories of your life. Which one do you think will stand out different, yet will not deviate from the objective of writing the essay.
Whether or not to write about your achievements for your college admission essay? To be honest, you will get opportunities in the future to showcase or talk about your accomplishments. But this chance demands to understand the person that you are. And how well are you able to keep the readers connected to your story. This is your chance to show the admissions committee, who you are as an individual, but through your story.
So, be wise when it comes to choosing a topic for your essay. You can write about your daily life experiences. But just make sure you present it well and above all, it defines you and your character or your learning from the experience.
In the later sessions of this article, you will find some categories of topics that you can consider writing your essay about.
Are There Any Do’s And Don’ts For Writing College Essays?
Writing essays for college applications can get stressful. You may wonder what to write and what not to write? If there are any Do’s and Don’ts? Well, let me tell you, it is no rocket science. However, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts that you should consider following while writing a college application essay.
Do's For Writing College Essays
Be Original: You own your essay. Be accountable for it and present your thought process and the view you hold for the topic. You can take inspiration from the essays that scored highest in the previous years. Read and understand their approach towards the topic and the ways they held to the main objective of writing the essay. Now, after all the analysis brainstorm your original ideas, topics, and subjects that you feel can work in your favor and start writing your essay.
Build Connection: Try to build a connection with your reader. Choose the content that will keep the interest of your reader alive. The content of your college essay should be such that the reader should thrive more to read it further.
Focus on the objective: You do not want to deviate from the prompt. You may have a great story. But, it is of no use if it is not what readers are looking for. Find the match. The balance between the story and the prompt is vital.
Think beyond your achievements: No doubt it took you a great deal to accomplish all that you have achieved till now. But, this is not the right forum to write about it.
Review with the counselor: You may also want to get your essay reviewed by the counselor and other friends. This will give you a reader’s perspective. Also, it will help you make it better with rework if needed.
Don'ts For Writing College Essays
Do not exceed the word limit: You do not want to create an impression of someone, who does not follow instructions. The idea is how well can you write your essay within the required word limit.
Do not try to act over smart: Don’t tell them that you are the best fit. Instead, give them solid reasons that make you the best fit.
Do not overuse fancy words: Overuse of idioms, phrases will not help you gain their attention. A college application essay is not to judge your English skills.
Do not use passive voice: Use active voice while writing. This will keep your content crisp, to the point and, exciting. Do not use passive voice, as it makes the content sound boring.
Do not rush in the eleventh hour: Do not postpone this to the last minute. Start writing your essay a little prior. So, you have enough time to write your essay and also for rework if required.
Above listed Do's and Don'ts are the common ones to keep in mind while crafting an essay for college applications. However, there will certainly be other factors that you will have to consider apart from the ones listed above. Please consult your respective education counselor for the same.
Topics To Consider Writing Essay Upon
Now that you have an idea about how to decide what to write your essay and the various guidelines that suggest a few do’s and don’t while writing a college application essay. Let’s further understand, what are the categories that you may consider for writing your college essay?
Personal experiences are original content that you know only you own it. It is a good idea to write about one of your experiences. Check out some of them below,
First home alone experience
Tragic or funny moment experience
Above mentioned are a few examples of common experiences that we have in our daily life. There are many others that you may add to this list. These examples of experiences are to get you thinking in the right direction.
However, it is crucial to figure out the way you are going to write an essay. Do not just mention the incident or the itinerary. Yes, do tell your story. But, also write about the ways it has impacted your life or about your learning from the particular experience. This will help your essay stand out.
Academic/Extracurricular Achievements Or Hobbies
Generally, it is not advisable to write about your accomplishments or other academic achievements in your college essay. However, if you still think you have any specific achievements or hobbies hold a special significance in your life. Then, in that case, you can write about it. But, always remember the approach you should take while writing such essays for college applications.
For instance, if you are good at playing football and are willing to write about it. Then, you may approach it in such a way that it shows your learning. You may also use football sport as a metaphor to explain your views on something else like life. You can also use this approach with other hobbies as long as you know to connect both the subjects metaphorically.
The most valuable lessons are learned from your hardships. Use them, and the learning from them in your favor. Carry a positive attitude while writing your essay about your hardships.
Goals And Your vision
You can consider writing about your goals and vision. What are your objectives and, how are you willing to make a difference in society?
Do not take a political approach, but at the same time, put forward your views and vision and how you would like to contribute for the same. This will show the essence of leadership in your college application essay.
You might also be interested in reading, How to showcase strength in college application essays?
Topics To Avoid Writing Essay Upon
The most common mistake that the students commit is choosing the wrong topic for writing college application essays. Below listed are some topics that you should consider avoiding writing essays upon.
Avoid writing your essays on political issues. This will avoid unnecessary controversy from your end. It is good to have an opinion about political issues but play smart and avoid such controversial topics for writing a college application essay.
Debatable topics are serious NO when it comes to writing college essays. You do not want to debate with the reader here, as you do not know what is the opinion of your reader about the topic that you have written your college essay upon.
Mentions Of Special People In Your Life
The mention of important people in your life is not a good idea to write a college application essay. Your relationship with them is indeed special to you. But not necessarily, the reader would want to invest their time reading about someone they do not know.
As previously stated, it is not a good idea to write and highlight your achievements. Many others are going to write about this. Besides, you want your essay to stand out different from the rest. However, if you are still willing to write then you may consider writing with the approach that is mentioned in the above section.
These are the most common mistakes that should be avoided. There are more such topics that you should avoid like writing something so personal or about illegal activities in your college application essay.
In conclusion, while crafting an essay for college applications, perform analysis, and do brainstorm several topics. Understand where your strengths lie and how that can help you craft an essay, which will get you through the admission process.
Subsequently, keep in mind all the points and tips that you learned above, as those guidelines will make your task of writing an essay a bit easier. Last but not the least, manage your time well so that you have enough time to craft, analyze, edit, and finalize your essay.