Writing Your Essay
What’s the purpose of this essay?
We place a premium on strong writing skills. We look for a mastery of the writing’s mechanics (grammar, syntax, and organization) as well as for fluency and originality. Your essay shows us the caliber of your thinking, and your readiness for a competitive liberal arts program.
Top Ten Tips for Writing the College Essay
- 1. Be Yourself. Provide admission with a window into your values and experiences. You know yourself best, so be honest.
- 2. Proofread your work! Misspelled words and grammatical errors do not make a good first impression of your writing ability.
- 3. Stay Focused. Do not write a research paper. Write an essay with meaning, and tell us something about yourself that helps admission officers envision you as a member of your campus community.
- 4. Grab Our Attention. Start with a great opener that catches the reader’s attention immediately. Make the admission officer want to continue reading more about you.
- 5. Include Details. Use action words that make your essay come alive. Paint a picture that will hold the reader’s attention.
- 6. Start Now. Use time you have over the summer to begin brainstorming. Create an outline of how you want to frame your essay. By the time the next school year begins, you should be almost finished.
- 7. Be Original. We’ve seen plagiarized essays before, as well as the work of a parent, teacher or essay-writing professional. Don’t make that mistake.
- 8. Keep it simple. Don’t use vocabulary that sounds overly sophisticated. Admission officers are not impressed by the overuse of long vocabulary words found in thesauruses. Find and use your own voice to tell your story.
- 9. Get Feedback. Have a fresh pair of eyes give you some feedback. Do not allow another to rewrite your essay, but edits and opinions from someone else are usually helpful.
- 10. Don’t Stress Out! Enjoy the process of reflecting on and writing about one aspect of your life that is meaningful to you. Believe that most admission officers will enjoy reading your story.