Handy hints, tips and links
Writing the College Essay
Tell a story...
Writing college essays is not like preparing a personal statement. It is less formal and more narrative driven – less about academics and more about who you are as a human being. Ideally it will convey elements of your character through the nature of the story you tell.
Don't be too formal...
One of the key things that US universities are looking for is your ability to communicate with clarity and in an engaging manner. In terms of the tone of voice, the advice I most frequently give students is to imagine yourself telling a story over the phone to someone you know quite well.
As I mention elsewhere on this site, the best writing does not use long words and complex sentence structure to show intelligence. Instead it aims to be understandable, engaging and above all, personal. So ditch the thesaurus, don't use synonyms on Word and never use a long word when you know a short one that means the same thing: when you write, be YOU, but be the best you you can be.
Know your Audience...
The average age of US admissions officers is 23 and they are unlikely to be experts in the field you are applying for. They are, however, likely to be recent graduates of the institution they represent.
You Won't get it right first time...
Writing these essays can take a while - Developing your theme, refining your language and making your prose engaging can and should be a labour of love. I am here to help, but try not to get frustrated with me when I ask you to tweak version 26!
Start with the left hand (or purple, mobile users) column below which contains advice for your primary college essay. Revisit the right hand (or Red) column when writing your individual college supplements.
In addition to the advice on this page, don't forget to check out the resources page from the main menu, and definitely visit this amazing website: http://www.collegeessayguy.com.