Outstanding SAT & ACT scores are simply one step towards admission to your dream school. Craft an application essay that takes you all the way by applying our 7 Steps to an Amazing College Essay. Step 5 is to WRITE FOR YOUR READER:
Your essay may be one of the most powerful and personal pieces of writing you’ve ever produced. It may, after hours upon hours of agonizing soul searching, encapsulate everything you have to offer to the school of your dreams. However, to your audience–an overworked member of the admissions committee–yours is just one essay out of stacks of thousands!
One of the most important rules, perhaps the most important one of all, is to BE INTERESTING!! No matter how well-written or sincere, your essay cannot help your admissions cause if it’s forgotten or never even finished. Ralph A. Ellis, Ph.D., Educational Consultant at College Career Consulting, paints a poignant picture of the challenge you face:
Imagine being Jackie, a college admissions counselor, with so many essays to read. She leaves work and, of course, takes a bunch of essays home.
Jackie reads essays all evening, and finally at 12:30am, her husband says, “Hey, Honey, don’t you think it’s time to get some sleep?”
“Yeah, I’m really tired, but I have so many of these to read that I’ll just bring one up with me and stop after that one.” So she goes upstairs, crawls into bed, and picks-up the last essay of the night. And guess what – it’s yours!
So here’s my question for you: What are you going to write so that when Jackie finishes reading your essay at 12:30 in the morning after an exhausting day, you’ve brought on a smile, drawn a tear, or elicited some other emotion so that when Jackie puts your essay down and turns off the light, her last thoughts before going to sleep are, “I like that kid’s essay. I’m glad it was the last one I read before dreamland”?
So, use details to bring your essay to life. Readers respond to vivid and specific much better than they do bland and general. Basically, be interesting and expressive… bring the sizzle!
[If you think you’ve read this before, maybe you have. We share our 7 Steps to an Amazing College Essay every summer to support all of the hard working high schoolers striving towards their most successful college applications!]