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A Winning College Application Essay Takes Planning and Thought

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The college application essay is a way to demonstrate what kind of person you are. It is not about what you do; it’s about who you are. Colleges are interested in your achievements as a student; they are also interested in how you will fit into their environment. Both will indicate your success on their campus.

There are many mistakes writers of college essays make, mostly because they do not know how to think about writing the essay and do not plan carefully from the beginning.

Here are some basic tips for planning the college essay in a thoughtful way.

The college application essay is about you! Think about it that way.

• Your high school résumé tells about what you do. Don’t rehash that. Your essay should not be about your activities and achievements as much as it is calculated to let the admission reader know about who you are outside those activities.

• Writing the essay is about responding to the prompt, but it is not about answering the essay prompt like an essay test question. It’s not about correctness but about a genuine reaction to the prompt to reveal yourself.

• Be careful about choosing a prompt. A prompt might initially appeal to you because you can conceive how to answer it better than the others. But, read all the prompts. One may lends itself to you better than the others. For example, you may have been very affected by a parent, a coach, or a teacher so the prompt asking you to write about how a person impacted you may seem the most immediately doable. Still, such an essay could become more about the person impacting you than about you. A question about how you can add diversity to a college might better allow you to write about who you are by telling about how you look at problems or people in different ways.

• If you have to write more than one essay, make sure you don’t write about only one aspect of yourself. You may be an outdoors lover and enjoy the challenge of white water rafting, but write only one essay about this side of yourself. Make sure to use the next essay about some other aspect of yourself. You may also like to sit home and watch old movies which will illustrate not only are you adventurous but how you are a nostalgic person, too.

This is only part of a longer article at College Basics.com. Go there to read more tips.