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11 Tips for Writing the College Essay



Review What You've Written
This time use a more critical eye. Is the essay interesting and well organized? Does it give a good picture of who you are? If it isn't as interesting as you'd like, add more examples and details. Read your essay out loud to see if the essay flows. Make sure you're writing about yourself--not the person you imagine the admissions counselor will find interesting.

Rewrite Your Essay
Writing the essay the first time is hard enough, but taking time to write another draft is well worth the effort. Show your essay to the school counselor, a high school English teacher, outside professional, or anyone who can give you an honest critique of it. Read your essay to your parents. Other people can often tell if there isn't enough being revealed, whether the essay rambles, or if the humor is falling flat.

Edit Your Final Draft
While we covered a lot about content, this time really look at the mechanics of the essay. Grammar, spelling, sentence structure, style, and tone all count. Double check everything so that nothing detracts from the finished product.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
When it comes to proofreading, don't do it alone. Ask someone else to read your essay. Spell check programs on computers can only go so far in ensuring that everything is correct.

Take a Last Look for Details
Is the essay clean? Is the typing, printing, and handwriting clear? Make sure your name and social security number is on the essay so that if it's separated from the application, it can quickly be matched up again. Pretend that you are reading the essay for the first time. Does it make the impression you want it to?


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