So, just what are colleges looking for when they read your college application essay?
When reading your essay, admissions committees want to see:
Evidence of your writing abilities – they want to see that you can write in a clear and organized way. The essay showcases your writing skills, and your ability to organize your thoughts into a coherent, structured narrative. You will be doing a lot of this kind of writing in college, and admissions committees want to see that you’ve got what it takes.
Evidence of reasonable goals and expectations – they want to see that you can clearly convey what you want to study and why.
What you can bring to a college campus — the essay will reveal your unique personality and character. The portrait you paint of yourself says a great deal about both your qualifications and your individuality and uniqueness.
Your essay is meant to reveal what you think and feel is important about your world. Colleges want to know about your preferences, your values, and your thought process.
Colleges want to gain insights into you that aren’t revealed in your test scores, transcripts or letters of recommendation. They want to know what makes you unique. Your GPA and test scores may paint you as a stellar student, but the essay will tell the admissions committee something special and interesting about you they don’t already know from reviewing the rest of your application packet.
So, your essay needs to:
~ Persuade the admissions committee that you are worthy of admission
~ And show the admissions committee that you are more than a GPA and a standardized test score — you are a real-life, unique and interesting person.
And this is where brainstorming and pre-writing come in. Through brainstorming exercises, you’ll begin to see connections that define the person you are, and from there, narrow down your topic choice to something you can write about persuasively and effectively, that reveals the real, and unique, you.
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