October 27, 2007

Brainstorming Admissions Essay Tips


  • What are your major accomplishments?
  • What attributes, skills or qualities distinguish you from everyone else?
  • What are your favorite books, movies, or works of art?
  • What was the most difficult time of your life?
  • Have you ever struggled for something and succeeded?
  • Have you overcome any significant obstacles?
  • What are your career aspirations?
  • Have you had a major personal discovery or life-changing experience?
  • What have you done outside the classroom that demonstrates your strengths, interests, or leadership skills?
  • What are your most important extra-curricular activities, sports, jobs, volunteer work, etc?
  • What are your dreams for the future?

Some other strategies:

  • Ask family members or friends to list your strengths and outstanding personality traits
  • Consider events in your childhood that define your current interest
  • Consider people who have been your role models or who have influenced you greatly (a grandparent, a teacher, a coach, etc.)
  • Talk to your teachers and counselors
  • Consider your college and career goals

Writing the Essay:

  • Select a topic that is important to you
  • Avoid overdone topics or negative positions on a topic
  • If you choose a controversial topic, be sure to cover it fairly
  • Use vivid supporting details
  • Provide information that adds to your resume (Don’t just repeat what is already in the application)
  • Be sure that you answer the question that is asked
  • Be sure to keep your reader in mind! Strive to keep the reader interested. College admissions officers read hundreds (if not thousands) of essays
  • Be careful with your tone
  • Contact the College Essay Whiz for help and editing!

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