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Five Tips for College Essay Writing

Posted on 3/30/2020 10:05:00 AM by Anousha Qureshi

I remember how exhausting it was to write my college essay. For most schools (including Cabrini), the admissions team employs a holistic approach in determining the best applicants for their school. College essays are very important first impressions. I have compiled a short list of ideas and things to consider when constructing your essay.

  1. Identify a topic unique to you! College essays are supposed to be intimate and should be distinctive to your personality and beliefs. Think about a hobby or passion that is very important to you. Something that you think reflects your personality or something that has influenced your life. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a hobby, it could be an event (a trip you took) or an incident that significantly shaped your life and thinking.

  2. Be honest and true! Some people may decide to write about something they think the admissions committee will enjoy reading or be impressed by. For this reason, they may not be truthful or honest. The truth is the admissions committee wants to learn about you, even if it is something simple or not as exciting. An honest effort and story are far more valuable than a fake and interesting one.

  3. Write multiple drafts! I changed my mind several times before finding the right topic. I would recommend brainstorming ahead of time. Start writing the summer before your senior year so you have more time to relax and focus on just the essay and no other schoolwork.

  4. Writing matters! The admissions committee is looking for applicants that have mature and proficient writing. Writing is essential to all majors and all fields. You need to be able to learn how to write with minimal grammar errors and organize your thoughts in a sophisticated and logical fashion. Avoid using slang or inappropriate terms. Use only the words you know the meanings of and don’t use a thesaurus to replace every word in your essay. The admissions committee are experienced professionals and can read the disconnect between the applicant and the writing style. Always proofread and edit drafts before submitting an essay. 

  5. Use help! Use every resource at your disposal to edit and revise your essay. Teachers can assist you with organizing your writing and editing your paper. I had help from my English teacher and I also asked another teacher to read over my essay before submitting it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You can also find resources online and through your school that can provide ideas on what to write and best practices for writing your college essay.