5 Essential College Essay Style Tips

5 Essential College Essay Style Tips

Feb 20

When writing your college essay, it is important that you write about a topic that will help the admissions team learn something about you that they cannot learn from your SAT scores or your school grades. This is your opportunity to shine and allow your true self to come through. When writing, be sure to keep theses 5 essential college essay style tips in mind.

  1. Keep it simple and genuine. Often when writing college essays, students feel the need to impress and write in a sophisticated style to prove their abilities to the admissions team. While it is important that your essay is well written stylistically and grammatically, you don’t need to show off! Too often students try as hard as they can to incorporate challenging, advanced vocabulary words into their essays. Unfortunately, these students may use the word incorrectly, and even if the word is correctly, it may sound out of place in the essay if that isn’t how the individual normally writes. Keep things simple, use strong vocabulary when appropriate not just for the sake of throwing it in there, and write in your normal way. This is much more authentic and the admissions team will be able to get a better sense of who are you are through your essay.
  2. While you shouldn’t try to be overly sophisticated, you also should avoid using slang. You should never write the way you talk. Save these phrases for friends on your Facebook page. When writing your college essay, you need to remain professional at all times. Avoid contractions, write the whole word out, and stay away from slang terms. Also, stay away from cliches and phrases that are overused since their take away from your meaning.
  3. Choose one specific event, and stick too it! Avoid rambling about different topics or experiences. Rambling and being vague will damper your essay and it may make it more difficult for you to get your point across to the reader. Stick to one experience such as a sports game where you showed leadership and teamwork, or a science project that taught you about public speaking and seeing a project through. No matter what, the story should be true and it should reveal something about your character, how you’ve grown, or something that changed you for the better.
  4. Use details to show your reader instead of just telling them. Listing events will be boring and ineffective. Use your essay and a ways to describe in detail what happened and how it impacted you. Reveal your emotions, the specific ways your life changed and other essential details that will make your story unique and noticeable.
  5. Always revise and edit. Never submit the first draft of your essay to the college. Always edit and make changes. Reading through will allow you to catch mistakes, rephrase awkward lines and choose better, more effective words. You can have a friend, family member, or ideally a teacher look over your writing before you submit so that you can get additional opinions, suggestions, edits and another set of eyes to catch things you may have overlooked on your own.

All of these tips will help you to develop your own unique and appropriate writing style when you are completing your college essay. Be sure to write naturally, avoid complex vocab as well as slang words, choose a specific experience to write about, use detail, and revise! Taking the time to consider these pointers will make a huge difference whether you are applying to Case Western University or Harvard.