Tips and Tricks for College Essays

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Tips and Tricks for College Essays

Ian Mintz, Co-Editor-In-Chief

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It’s summertime for CCISD students, and for rising Seniors, that means it’s time to begin the college application process. Applying to colleges can be a long and grueling task, but one of the hardest (and most important) parts of it all is writing your primary college essay, like the one required on the Common Application or Apply Texas. These essays can be extremely broad in possible subject matters and writing styles, and, as such, it can be confusing for students to know how to go about writing them. 

  • Have a killer opening sentence

Your opening statement, those first few words, needs to be attention-grabbing. The admissions officer has to read thousands of applications and essays every year. They are likely to be as exhausted from reading them as you are from writing them. Therefore, one of the best ways to improve your essay is to make sure your opening lines stand out. By grabbing the reader’s attention in the opening sentence, you can make a strong impression on the admissions officer and set your essay apart from all the others. 

  • Be yourself

It is always important to be sincere! Don’t try and fabricate personality traits and experiences to write about – the reader will see right through that. Instead, focus on showing them the best parts of who you really are, and use experiences from your own life as examples. 

  • Find a reviewer

One of the best things to do when writing your essays is to get an acquaintance who you can trade essays with for the purposes of review and editing. It is obviously also useful to get close friends and family members to do the same thing, but people you don’t know as well may have different perspectives on how to improve your essay. Remember that the person reading your college applications won’t have any idea who you are, so it’s good to get a perspective from someone who isn’t intimately familiar with you. 

Further resources:

The Common Application: https://www.commonapp.org/

The Coalition Application: http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/

Apply Texas: https://www.applytexas.org/adappc/gen/c_start.WBX