Essay Writing Tips

Student outside studying

General Essay Tips

We know that writing an essay that clearly and concisely describes who you are is no easy task, even for the most seasoned writer. If the essay writing portion of your application is a source of stress, rest assured that we’re not looking for personal essays that are remarkable, or even beautifully-written. Most college applicants haven’t travelled to every continent, invented a state-of-the-art product, or had any extreme or life-changing experiences; and that’s okay. The best way to approach your essay is to keep in the mind the following factors. Your essay should be:

Real, and human. Start with the truth, and spend your time refining the flow and sentence structure, rather than trying to embellish your story or make it more impressive. The most powerful stories are genuine and relatable.

Clear. Figure out what it is you’re trying to say, and have a trusted friend or family member read your essay to see if that main message comes across. If not, adjust accordingly.

Concise. Again, having someone else read your essay can be helpful here. Are there any details you’re including that don’t add anything to the story? If so, cut them out and refine them. Remember, we receive thousands of essays every admission period, so it’s always appreciated if you stick to the word count.

Polished. Always be sure to proofread your work, and have others do the same. 99% of mistakes can be avoided this way, and essays without spelling or grammatical errors are much easier to read.

Enjoyable to write. As much as you can, have fun with it! The easiest way to tell a compelling story is to start with a subject you’re passionate about, or a story you enjoy telling. If the words come easily once you start, you’re probably on the right track.

Remember, your essay is your opportunity to share things with the admission committee which aren’t part of the rest of your application – and the best way to stand out is to be yourself. We look forward to reading your submission, and getting to know you better!