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The Admission Essay Structure: 5 Things You Should Know
July 13, 2016 - Posted toWriting Tips
Go On - Admit It …
Your admission statement is probably the most important piece of writing that you will ever do. It is on this that your whole future depends. There is no way of overstating its importance.
What we aim to do here is just to run through a few of the points that you might like to consider to set you on your way to completing an admissions essay that will get you through the door and onto your chosen path as you will be a freshman.
You do not, of course, have to follow any of this advice or take any of the ideas on board - it is more of a discussion as to how you can improve your chances of success.
- Initially, do a brainstorming session. By this, we mean getting a pad of paper, (it doesn’t work so well on a computer or tablet) and writing down anything, and everything, that comes to mind about your admissions story.
It might be something as simple as a trip to the beach, and the rockpools; inspiring you to want to study marine biology. It might be a lifelong love of music or literature. A foreign holiday. A favourite teacher, or relative, who sparked an interest in something.
Voluntary work that you have done, social assistance to the elderly or mentally challenged, or community aid, are just some of the things you may have helped out with - but may have forgotten about.
Quiz your friends and family too. They will, not only be more objective, but they will also remember things that you may have long forgotten. Do not worry, at this stage, about grammar or spelling - just write notes and get your thoughts together.
- Compile and list chronologically. Once you have written your rough notes, put pieces of paper on the floor - each one representing a year of your life. Mark these with the year. Under the dates, roughly place all of the notes you have made, cut up with scissors, into the relevant years which apply to them.
You can then gather these up in small piles and can then go to the computer and start to do, either a spreadsheet or document, which can then be organised in date order. It is easy to put your notes on a desk, for each year, and sort them, than it is to try and re-order them on a computer screen.
The other huge advantage is that some of the notes will trigger memories of other events, or things you may have forgotten and you can simply write a quick note and slip it into the pile, to then be transferred to the computer.
- You are now ready to write the whole thing out in full. This is a huge task because you need to have a common system for all of the entries; what you are doing, is a dated, annotated, autobiography.
The exercise here is threefold. Firstly, the repetition will help to cement events, dates and times, in your head - together with the sense of the importance of the item. Secondly, this makes you think in terms of which things have been vital and life changing? Are there any patterns here? What are these accrued items telling me about myself? Lastly, the exercise will give you a blueprint for your eventual essay as well as valuable filler points and background for the interview that you are bound to get after all this hard work!
- Now you have to edit. Editing is difficult - and proofreading even harder. But, like the process of compiling the notes, the edit gives you a chance to review everything again - and by now you should be familiar with what you think the “standout” events are.
Split your essay into three parts - an introduction, a middle and an ending, or summary. The introduction, (naturally) introduces you. The middle explains what you have done and why you did it. The conclusion carries this forward to indicate how, and why, you want to pull all this together and, ultimately, what you want to do with it all.
Be ruthless in your editing - less is more, as they say - do not use eight words when three will do. Get a friend or family member to listen to what you have done - read it aloud to them - this will give you an idea of whether your punctuation is in the right places. The pauses should be natural, and the essay should flow nicely from one part to the next. There should be a logical sequence to it, and it should convey a sense of your personal qualities and character. Do not try to be someone else. This is vital because any questions which are asked at the interview will have been formulated by reading this essay.
The final part of this process is to proofread your essay. This is actually best done by someone else. We can be blind to our own mistakes - especially if our spelling and grammar are a little lacking! And don't forget to use quotes if these are needed.
If you can, show the finished essay to somebody in the community that you know to be influential - a business person, an official, a Doctor or someone of that stature. They will have experience of such work, and will be able to tell you how you come across, even suggesting alterations and amendments to your work.
- Don’t be afraid to re-examine your essay - the common questions, such as, why you want to attend a certain college, what makes you tick, what are your best qualities and an experience which shaped your life? Often come up. Practice answering these questions and get others to”examine” you. This will help to confirm that what you have written is good, but also gives you good practice for any subsequent interview.
Be honest with yourself. It is pointless to try and put across qualities and skills that you do not possess - but wish that you did. If your prowess on track and field do not lend themselves to a sports scholarship, look for something else. You will be found out - and the results will not be pretty.
Above all - do not lie - this really will cause you problems. Colleges deal with hundreds of such applications and essays each year, and they will know when something is not quite right. Being found out after you start college will result in expulsion and the stain on your character and reputation may never recover from such an action.
We hope that this has helped in your preparations. Going to college is a huge step - especially so if you are the first of your family to do so. Getting into college is hard and is a major stepping stone in your life. Get it right and it is the key to all of your hopes and aspirations.
We firmly believe that you cannot spend enough time crafting and honing your admissions essay.
If you feel that getting such a piece of work is beyond your skills - check out the reviews written by our paper writers - there you will find essay writing companies that specialise in such application essays and whose customer service teams would be delighted to help you.