Tips for writing a College Admissions essay
One thing that comes up again and again in the advice on the Internet regarding your American university or college entrance essay is the importance of revealing something about your individual personality, story or experience; something that grades and test scores don’t.
Remember that there are a large number of students who are applying to the same program who have scores equal to or better than yours. Your academic achievements by themselves aren’t going to give you the edge you need.
You have to show the admissions officer something a little different. So DON’T write a formulaic essay — put your individuality and unique story into it, but at the same time, make sure it reveals something about you that would be an asset to the program you’re applying to. One student I worked with who was trying to enter a Fashion Design program here in SF told the story of how when she was a kid she used to create little clothing designs for the pets in the neighborhood. It was popular among her friends, and she ended up getting requests for her designs. This sounds silly, but it conveyed to the admissions officer that she had been interested in clothing design since she was a girl. And it was amusing. (Never underestimate the power of entertaining the person reading the essay. He or she has to read hundreds of them!)
But again, it’s not just a matter of being funny, off-the-wall, unusual or quirky. Your uniqueness also has to relate in some obvious way to the degree program you’re interested in. And the grammar, sentence structure, and so on should be perfect. You’re also showing what a good writer you are and how well you make persuasive arguments.
So good luck and be sure to contact a qualified tutor or advisor if you’re unsure if your essay is good enough to get you past the admissions officer!