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Tips for Writing Your College Admissions Essay
(Continued from 2)

Avoid sexist language.
Substitute asexual words for sexist words. For example, use “chairperson” instead of “chairman” and “pioneers” instead of “founding fathers.”

Write tight.
Choose nouns and verbs that are specific as possible. “I raced to the door” is much better than “I ran to the door quickly.” Similarly, “The Chihuahua” is much better than “the little, brown dog.”

Also, don’t use 20 words where a few will do. For example, instead of writing…

"Throughout my years of growth from childhood to adulthood, family members, teachers, and others have always commented on the fact that I am a very diligent worker. And I think I would have to agree with them."

Use…
"I’m a workhorse."

Don’t insult your reader.
Let the reader read between the lines to draw conclusions. Just tell the story. Let the reader figure out the moral.

Revise until it’s perfect.
You’ll need to rewrite and edit your essay several times before you consider it final. Keep in mind that the essay must be more than interesting—it must be captivating. Let your enthusiasm show through.

Adhere to the word limit.
If the school instructs you to write 500 words or less, don’t write 600. And, if your essay runs a little short, don’t feel obligated to fill the extra space.

Proofread your work.
Make sure you don’t have any typographical errors. Don’t rely on your computer’s spell check. Although some software programs make grammatical changes for you, chances are you’ll need to read your essay word for word to make sure you haven’t goofed, for example, by using “there” instead of “their” or “form” instead of “from.” Also make sure your intended meaning is coming across.

Show the essay to someone who can be objective.
To produce the best possible essay, you have to find good editors. Don’t give your essay to your husband, parents, or best friend for comments. Get someone who not only knows English well but can also give you constructive feedback on how your message is coming across. Remember: The college doesn’t know you.

Writing a successful college admissions essay is not a simple task. You should plan to spend a lot of time writing, reviewing, and polishing so that it’s just right. But, if you persevere, you’ll end up with an outstanding essay that will capture the reader’s attention, reach an emotional conclusion about you, and get you that letter of acceptance.


Gregory Lloyd is a financial writer who has completed three college degrees while working full-time.

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