Tips For College Essays

Posted in English Language by Alex on 22 May 2012

One of an applicant’s hardest tasks is writing an essay or other writing sample which may be required for admission to an institution of higher learning. This becomes especially true for foreign applicants who are applying to U.S. universities. Keep the following ideas from SOLEX College in mind when preparing your essay. SOLEX College is a leading institution with programs geared to English language for international students. Academic topics range from basic, conversational English to the demanding rigors of academic writing.

Grammar and Punctuation Count In most cases, your essay represents your first opportunity to personalize your application. Just as you would be well-groomed and properly dressed for an in person interview, so should your writing sample be free of grammar and punctuation errors.

Spelling Mistakes in spelling provide the most glaring examples of poor essay writing. Most applicants rely on their own knowledge of English and the function of a spell checker to correct any spelling mistakes. However, the English language contains many words that may not be picked up as errors during an automated spell check.

Editing Once you have completed your essay, a good rule of thumb is to put it away for a few days. Once you return to it, you may see that certain sections need to be cut or rewritten. Many applicants choose to let friends or family members read their essays and offer critiques of how the language flows.

Address The Topic Most admission essays ask the applicant to focus on a particular subject. While an essay is an inviting method for distinguishing your application from other applicants’, you will not impress admission boards if you fail to address the essay topic.

Avoid Controversy An admission essay should serve as a valuable corollary to whatever other material a school requires for admission. An admission essay should not be viewed as a potential forum to express your views on issues beyond the essay subject matter, especially where those views may be considered controversial.

Confidence Avoid needless humility. You have applied to an institution because you believe that you are capable of completing its coursework. Your essay should not contain language that implies your fear that you may be “in over your head.”

Ego On the opposite end, an essay is not a forum for continuously stating that you will be the best applicant ever accepted at this particular institution. As with confidence, your application indicates that you believe you have the right skills for success. Use the essay opportunity to highlight areas of strength that may not be readily apparent from your application.

This Is Not Your Resume Your application will generally contain all of the biographical and academic data that a university will require. Your essay is not an invitation to simply resubmit this information in a narrative. The best essays aim to supplement the “hard” data in the application with a personalized insight into the author’s candidacy for admission.

Length Most essay instructions provide applicants with clear instructions on parameters such as subject matter and length. Not adhering to these guidelines is an excellent method to have your essay receive poor marks.