An admission essay is a short essay that a student writes when applying for a university or college program. It is normally not more than two pages long (around 300-500 words), so you have to be concise in your thoughts and choose your words carefully. There are various types of admission essays: statement of purpose, personal statement, letter of intent, etc. There is no single guide to success when it comes to admission essays. Every admission essay has to be unique and demonstrate your specialties, your attitude and your personal traits that will help you successfully enroll in the institution of your choice.
Steps For Writing an Admission Essay
1. Carefully read through the website of the university or college to which you are applying. Be sure that you fully understand the mission and the direction of development and values that your university or college proclaims. Furthermore, each educational institution may also have some specific requirements to narrow down and simplify your task.
2. Make a short list of points that you wish to emphasize in your admission essay. Make sure you include answers to questions such as: “Why do I want to study in this particular institution?”; “What makes me suitable for the program I chose?”; “What past experiences of mine will help me better adjust to the new environment when I enroll in the university/college to which I am applying?”
3. Plan your admission essay structure before you begin writing it. Start with general information about yourself, mentioning only the most relevant, and preferably, recent experiences that relate to your major. Then write two or three paragraphs about your motivation and rationale for studying at this particular institution. End by mentioning the extracurricular activities and hobbies that you are interested in, and how these activities correlate to the institution you are applying for.
4. Conclude your admission essay with a sentence addressing the committee or board of your college directly. In a formal manner, let the person reading your admission essay know how much enrolling in this institution means to you and that you will be looking forward to the decision of the board.
5. Lay your writing aside for some time and then do a thorough proofreading. Consider revising those parts that are too general or do not have a clear meaning to them. Make sure that every sentence in your admission essay is not just a general statement about how much you want to become a student of this particular institution, but also presents your personality, motivation and abilities that relate to the selected discipline of your future major.
Key Points to Consider
- When writing an admission essay, it is crucial to settle on the appropriate tone for your paper. It has to be formal but not too business-like. It has to demonstrate your positive attitude and respect for the committee, but at the same time it has to be tailored to suit the specific institution to which you are applying. Be sure to browse through all the webpages of your selected college, and get a clear understanding of what sort of tone would be most appropriate when applying to become a student of this particular institution.
- Write every admission essay from scratch, even if you are applying for the same program at several institutions. Try to approach every admission essay from a new perspective based on the values and mission of the particular institution, as well as the specifics of a certain program or course.
- Be unique in your admission essay. Remember: your essay has to be different from all the others. Make it is zestful by personalizing the general admission essay structure and adding particular emotions to enrich your writing. Make sure that the committee will have a clear and true picture of your personality, experience and skills after reading your essay.
- Choose a maximum of three major points. Develop each point in a separate paragraph. Instead of including too many details about yourself, focus on these three major positive traits that best emphasize your beneficial qualities for the program, course, or institution.
- Be logical in your writing. Instead of jumping from one idea to another, create a clear outline of how you wish to present yourself; in what order will you formulate your thoughts; at which point will you switch from personal traits to relevant practical experience, then to background information, or hobbies and interests, and so on. Make sure that your essay flows smoothly in a particular direction – the one you opted for when listing major points in your draft earlier.
Dos and Don’ts
- Repetitions throughout your admission essay are usually a sign that you do not have much to tell the committee about yourself. If you believe that some personal trait or past experience of yours is extremely important, instead of repeating it several times, mention it only once, but give a vivid example or briefly outline a real-life situation to help the reader form a better picture and, in doing so, remember this particular bit of your admission essay.
- A dryly written admission essay has a strong chance of failing. Do not confuse “formal” language and “dry” language. Using emotional adjectives and adverbs is not necessarily taboo. As long as the situation or experience you are describing calls for a bright and colorful description, go for it.
- Overloading your admission essay with first-person pronouns. While your essay does have to be personalized, too many me, my, I, and mine will only make it sound self-indulgent and immature.
- Using passive voice too often is another mistake that many applicants get trapped into, trying to sound more sophisticated and formal. Make your admission essay vivid and lively by using active voice, as this will help create a more positive image of your personality.
- Writing in long confusing sentences, as well as run-on sentences. This is why you have to proofread your admission essay a few times. If you cannot follow your own idea halfway through the sentence, rephrase it into several short and simple sentences. Remember, reading and understanding your admission essay should be a pleasure rather than a tough mind-boggling task.
Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic admission essay writing tips and rules, you can check out our admission essay samples to link theory with practice.