College Essays: Three Tips to Improve Your Essay

College Essays

College Essays Defined

College essays and personal statements put high school students looking to attend their ideal universities in a tough situation. Suddenly, colleges ask students to write creatively and honestly. However, the students spent the last four years learning formulas, reliable phrases, and template structures rather than how to write.

Besides giving test prep and providing reading and writing tutoring, Education One and its staff have been responsible for getting countless students into the preferred colleges of their choice. We help give students the competitive advantage that GPAs and resumes simply can’t get on the page (and college administrators love to see). Through our directors’ college counseling and our tutors’ essay help, we’ve gotten students into schools as diverse and prestigious as Harvard, Columbia, UCLA, NYU, UPenn, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Texas.

What Makes an Essay Successful?

Successful essays find their success in many different ways: incredible structure, masterful storytelling, unconventional subject matter. Indeed, a student’s great essay is distinctive to the individual. Because of this, it can be hard to know which “rules” or rubric on which to base your best essay. Still, there are some things about great college essays that are ubiquitous. Many of them are about what your essay does not do, rather than what it does.

Firstly, do not allow any of your college essays to become a resume by another name. Many essays ask for students to talk about what matters to them, or about what they’ve achieved. Some students respond by essentially writing a list of every extracurricular activity, subject test, and charitable donation they’ve ever made. Remember: you send each university a resume already. This essay’s has the job to tell admissions offices what the rest of your application can’t.

Secondly, write with detail. Whether writing an intense ode to the caramel-colored fizzy soft drinks endemic to your city or a mannered discussion of the weathered silver on the bowl of figs in the center of the dining table at the most important dinner of your life, details help set the scene and, most importantly, drive home the reality of an essay.

Finally, show growth. Not all essays need to feature the “Aha!” moment that many students are aiming for in their conclusions. However, showing that you have been able to develop some perspective endears you to college admissions officers who want to know whether you’re the kind of person they want populating their dorms.

If you have more questions about college essay writing, college counseling, or anything related to you or your child’s education, visit Educate-One.com today and get started with a free consultation!