Join Leigh Ann Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before starting your essay, part of College Prep: Writing a Strong Essay.
- Just like every college or university has an individual set of academic requirements and expectations, each school also has its own particular approach to the college admissions essay. If you know which schools you'll be applying to, you should check the school's website or contact their admissions office to find out what they require. There are two standardized applications. The Common Application, and the Universal College Application that allows students to submit a single form that each of its member schools will accept.
We'll be talking about the Common App and the Universal Application in a movie in the next chapter. Most schools also require an additional essay know as a supplement that asks you to respond to an individual prompt from their admissions department, along with the standard Common App, or Universal Application essay. We'll look at a number of these suplements and talk about how to approach them in the next chapter. Schools that aren't Common App or Universal App members do still require some sort of narrative essay or personal statement to compliment your application.
We'll be looking at themes common to most personal narrative essays and talking about how you can best adapt the suggestions from this course to meet the requirements of your individual application. A few schools have done away with the essay requirement altogether, stating on the application that a personal statement is optional. We'll consider this possibility and get some advice from the experts if you find yourself in this situation. Once you understand the role of the essay in the college admissions process, we'll look closely at a sample essay, practice imitating what works, and avoiding what doesn't.
Then, you'll follow along step-by-step through the writing process as we brainstorm a topic and sketch out a response. Next we'll draft, revise and edit an essay. Finally, we'll proof-read and polish it for submission. So, by the end of this course you should be able to write an effective essay that best fits the need of your own application and most importantly, helps you to get into the college or university of your choice.
- Understanding the essay purpose and audience
- Reviewing common and unusual essay prompts
- Starting with a strong opening statement
- Showing, not telling
- Adhering to word limits
- Organizing the essay
- Varying sentence structure
- Revising the essay
- Communicating sincerity and enthusiasm