The college application essay can be one of the hardest parts of the application process—especially if you’re applying to several schools or if you’re applying early decision or early action without the help of an essay writer. You might feel like the essay is out of your control, but that’s simply not true! Take it from our team of expert essay writers at grademiners — the secret to writing an amazing essay begins with brainstorming ideas and nailing down your topic as early as possible in the writing process. Here are our top five tips on how to nail your college essay.
1) Use your personal story
The college essay is your chance to showcase who you are beyond grades and test scores. We asked Anthony Walker—an essay writer who has been doing it for more than seven years—to share his top five tips for writing an impressive piece of writing. Most importantly: don’t be afraid to use your personal story. There’s no such thing as too personal in an essay about you, says Walker. So what are you waiting for? Read on!
2) Tell an interesting anecdote
Many college students struggle with crafting their personal statements; they often try to make themselves sound interesting by regurgitating facts that don’t have anything to do with who they are or how they’ve grown up. This can come across as inauthentic. While it might be tempting to write about what you think admissions officers want to hear, take it from someone who has been writing college essays for 10 years: You won’t impress anyone if you don’t share your real story. A surefire way of making yourself seem like an inauthentic stranger is by using cliche anecdotes—stories that everybody knows and expects.
3) Choose a memorable theme
Before you can write your essay, you need to decide on a theme. It’s crucial that you choose something memorable and meaningful because it serves as your thesis statement: if it isn’t impactful enough, it’ll be hard for an admissions officer or teacher to remember what your essay is about. To help keep things clear and cohesive, make sure that every sentence in your essay supports your argument and contributes to that central theme. If you’re having trouble choosing a topic, think about what makes you unique. What experiences have shaped who you are? What do people say when they describe you? If all else fails, just pick your favorite book/movie/song and use that as inspiration! (As long as it doesn’t feel like cheating.)
4) Give it time
Give yourself plenty of time to get your essay done. It’s tempting to try and write it in a hurry, but remember that you want your essays to show off who you are at your best. Take all of the time that you need and make sure that your essay is up-to-date and well researched before sending it off. The extra effort will be worth it when you see how much it impresses admissions officers! If it isn’t perfect: If your first draft isn’t as good as you wanted it to be, don’t worry about it! You can always go back and rewrite parts or even start over if necessary. Getting something down on paper (or screen) is always better than trying to keep everything in your head. A first draft can also help give you an idea of what still needs work—and might even spark some new ideas for topics or approaches. You can use those new ideas later on in your revision process too!
5) Edit. And edit again.
You’ve read your first draft. Is it perfect? Definitely not! But you’re at least far enough along that you can see where changes need to be made and begin working on them. Don’t give up too soon: Re-reading your essay is critical in ensuring you haven’t missed anything or gotten lost in one of those rabbit holes everyone seems fond of these days. Keep editing until you know each section flows seamlessly into the next—not just throughout your paper but within paragraphs and sentences as well. Once that happens, it will be easier for readers to understand what you’re trying to say.
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Jared Houdi is one of the Grademiner’s team finest! If there’s anyone who won’t sleep and eat until a customer’s essay is done, that will be Jared hands down. Some say that there’s no such assignment Jared can’t pull off. A simple 5-paragraph essay or a complex 50-page course work, our man Jared Houdi will meet the deadline no matter what.