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Top ten tips for creating best college essays

When you are creating your college essays, there is a lot of pressure on you to address heated social issues, or describe your favorite person, or tell the reader why you are a great student. No matter the topic, the thought of writing a college essay is foreboding. But with these top ten tips, you can handle the process with ease.

  1. Be concise. There is often a minimum word cap but no maximum word cap. That doesn’t mean you want to triple the minimum. Remember that the admissions officers have a large stack of essays to read and won’t be impressed that you took a prompt with a 200 word minimum and wrote 4000 words.
  2. Be individual. You want to make sure your individuality comes out, differentiating you from the thousands of other applicants.
  3. Be honest. You should be honest about everything you’ve done. No need to embellish.
  4. Be accurate. This means you edit and proofread. Don’t let a silly mistake be the difference between acceptance and rejection.
  5. Be vivid. When you are writing, show, don’t tell. This can be applied to any essay type. Provide details that create a setting in the reader’s mind. Use names. Make the story relatable.
  6. Be coherent. You won’t be able to cover everything in one essay, so don’t try to. You can only hope to catch a snapshot in your essay, so focus on that and don’t babble on trying to talk about everything all at once.
  7. Be cautious about jokes and comedy. Humor may seem like a good idea to you, but it might not go over well if the reader doesn’t find something as humorous as you do. Remember that humor is truly in the eye of the beholder. And unless you’ve personally met everyone who will be evaluating your essay, it is best to steer clear.
  8. Be likeable. A college is a community. And you need to be likeable to the community in order to get in. Are you someone that the reader feels will get along well with others in the classroom or dorm room?
  9. Be smart. Colleges are, of course, a place for intellectuals. Now is not the time to be coy or shy about your intellect. Show your intellect and what you have to offer the community.
  10. Be controversial. This relates to tip #9. If you can be controversial then do it. Take a stance if you can on something serious such as politics or religion. Don’t use this as your chance to stand on a soapbox, but clearly argue both sides and take your stance if you can. You want to show the diversity of your intellect.
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