This article contains the 13 necessary steps to take when writing a University admission essay in the year 2020.
Many International universities require an essay from students when they apply to university.
An admissions essay, sometimes called a statement of purpose, is an essay or statement written by an applicant, a prospective student applying to a university or graduate school. The admission essay is a common part of the university and college admissions process.
Some applications may require one or more essays to be completed, while others make essays optional or supplementary. It all depends on the university. Essay topics may range from very specific to open-ended.
It is a known fact that getting admission into universities requires the applicants to take a series of tests. This has left a lot of people to wonder why amidst this, essays are required. Many do not understand the importance of writing admission essays even after the tests.
In this regard, it is important to know that writing an admission essay is very important. In the case where an applicant didn’t perform well in tests, an admission essay is another way in which such an applicant has a chance to redeem himself.
MAIN REASONS WHY WRITING ADMISSION ESSAY IS REQUIRED
Most Universities make admission essays important for applicants in order to look out for the following:
1. WRITING SKILLS
Every aspiring student no matter the educational qualification, is expected to have attained a certain level in communication. Writing is meant for everyone, not just professional writers. By mandating applicants to write an application essay, the admissions office(s) wants to ensure that the prospective students can communicate and express themselves effectively. This is because as an applicant, writing is needed in everything in the University and one who can not write and communicate effectively with others cannot succeed academically.
Even if you can’t write the essay by yourself and probably wish to get help from someone, it is wise for you to have a good writing skill, have a good command of English, know your vocabulary and be well coordinated regardless. You wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself when you’re eventually admitted only for the school to discover you’re not your who you claimed to be.
2. CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
Nomatter how simple the essay topic or prompt is, the admissions office expects you to go deeper. They would want you to think critically and present to topic from a point that is beyond the ordinary. It doesn’t matter how you write it, all they expect to see is your ability to think critically.
3. MATURE MINDSET
Admission essay gives you the opportunity to express yourself as an applicant and while writing this, note that in expressing yourself, those in charge of the admission are able to identify the real personality behind the ink. Sensitive readers have the ability to tell the real character of the writer and because of the nature of University life, the ups and downs, challenges, etc, only independent and matured minds can survive in such environments.
In other words, the essay gives the officials the opportunity to identify such applicants. Ordinarily, this can not be discovered through tests and recommendations. Ultimately, that is why they ask you to write essays, to get to know you better.
Therefore, use your essays to your advantage by writing well, applying critical thinking, showing that you are a good match for the school, and reflecting maturity.
Having known why Universities include essays as part of the admission processes, not too many people can write a good admission essay. It is very important you know how to go about writing an admission essay.
WAYS TO WRITE A GOOD UNIVERSITY ESSAY
Below are ways to write a University admission essay.
A. BEFORE YOU START WRITING
1. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY
A lot of people take instructions for granted and it usually doesn’t end well for such individuals. Following instruction is very pertinent in all we do and it is even more important to follow every one of the instructions outlined in an admission essay.
You may see some essays having instructions which may include number of words to be written, line spacing, number of pages, type of font, etc.
If you don’t follow the application essay guidelines, the admissions officer may assume that you won’t be able to follow the directions of the university’s program.
Failure to stick to the guidelines is not without consequences. You may even end not up not getting the admission. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
2. GET TO KNOW YOUR PROMPT
After you’ve read through the instructions a few times and gathered your notes, take time to understand the question or prompt being asked.
Going through the instructions is important but understanding the question is more important. It is the most important part of your essay preparation. So make sure you truly understand the question or essay prompt.
Take some time to think about what is being asked and let it really sink in before you let the ideas flow.
Get your creative juices flowing by brainstorming all the possible ideas you can think of to address your essay question.
Take it or leave it, the brainstorming stage may be more tedious than writing the actual application essay. Set aside time to mentally collect relevant experiences or events that can serve as strong, specific examples. This is also time for self-reflection.
Write any and all ideas down. There’s no technique that works best, but you’ll be thankful when you’re able to come back to ideas you otherwise may have forgotten. Narrow down the options. Choose your story to tell. From the thoughts you’ve narrowed down, pick one. You should have enough supporting details to rely on.
The purpose is to think out all the possible ideas so when you begin writing, you know and understand where you’re going with the topic.
4. CREATE AN OUTLINE.
This is simply where you create a plan . Have a plan. The rules for writing a good essay are no different. After you brainstorm, you’ll know what you want to say, but you must decide how you’re going to say it. Create an outline that breaks down the essay into sections.
Good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end, so shape your story so that it has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Following this natural progression will make your essay coherent, consistent and easy to read.
It’s particularly important when writing a piece about yourself that you write naturally. Put the words in your own voice. In all, by planning the layout of your essay ahead of time, you’ll avoid changing your writing style mid-story.
B. WHILE WRITING
5. START WITH A COMPELLING INTRODUCTION
Not everyone who handles a pen makes a great writer. There are many things that distinguish a great writer from others and that is the introduction. The kind of introduction you give while writing is what determines whether the reader will be held spellbound to read to the end.
The admissions officers will only spend a brief amount of time reviewing your essay, so you need to start with a clear paragraph that will keep them engaged. The introduction has to reveal to the reader what your essay is about and catch their attention. You could open with an interesting story that will show some of the best parts of your personality and character, offering an insight that will help the admission officers get to know who you are.
Interestingly, readers love stories, so that will not be such a bad idea. So, ensure your introduction is compelling enough inorder to get the desired effect on the readers. Make it mind-blowing. Remember, your introduction is the only thing that will determine if the remaining part of your essay will be read to the concluding paragraph.
6. BE YOURSELF
Remember one of the reasons you’re asked to write an admission essay is for the school to get to know you better. This is why you need to be yourself when writing.
Admission officers read lots of application essays and know the difference between a student’s original story and a recycled and plagiarized academic essay. Bring something new to the table, not just what you think they want to hear. Use humor if possible but know when not to cross boundaries.
7. BE CONCISE
Most essays include the number of words they’re expecting. Follow such guidelines. This is why adhering to Instruction is important.
Don’t use 200 words if 100 will do. Try to include only the information that is absolutely necessary. While being concise with the writing, try as much as possible to avoid ambiguous words.
8. WRITE WITH SPECIFIC DETAILS
The more specific your essay, the stronger the impression it will make on the admissions board. If you are trying to show that you are a dedicated scholar, don’t write: “I never missed an assignment deadline, no matter how poorly I was feeling the night before.” Instead you write: “In my junior year, I came down with a terrible case of pneumonia. Despite having a 106 degree fever and being required to stay in bed, I still completed my draft speech on the possible impacts of the current global pandemic on the world’s economy.” The latter will make a stronger impression.
While you should try to avoid sounding too arrogant, the University application essay is not the time for modesty. The admissions officers are expecting you to celebrate yourself, to underline your strengths and personality, so they can make a quick, accurate judgment about you. Remember you’re not the only applicant.
9. DEMONSTRATE UNIVERSITY LEVEL DICTION
Your word choice reveals a great deal about your personality, education and intellect. As an international student, you want to reassure the admissions board that you have an excellent command of the English. Remember they are looking for Independent scholars who will succeed in the system. They don’t just want to admit someone who is still at the”spoon feeding level”. With this in mind,you need to write to prove you’re the qualified enough.
You should replace lower-level words like bad, sad, chance, surprised with higher-level words like appalling, despondent, opportunity, astonished.
You should also remove any slang or casual diction, the university is not interested in casual language in their admissions essays.
C. AFTER WRITING
The last step is editing and proofreading your finished essay.
At this stage you may be too excited to have come this far. Who wouldn’t feel that way considering the time and dedication but then remember, your essay is only as good as your editing. Grammatical errors or typos could indicate carelessness. This is not a trait you want to convey to a University admission officer.
Give yourself some time. Let your essay sit for a while before you proofread it. Personally, I tend to see the errors in my writings after I had tossed it aside to cool off. Approaching the essay with a fresh perspective gives your mind a chance to focus on the actual words rather than seeing what you think you wrote.
Don’t rely solely on the computer spelling and grammar check. Computers can’t detect the context in which you’re using words, so be sure to review carefully. Don’t abbreviate or use acronyms or slang. They might be fine in a text message, but not in your University essay.
Have another person read your essay, whether it’s a teacher, guidance counselor, parent, or trusted friend or siblings. You know what you meant to say, but is it clear to someone else reading your work. Have these people review your application essay to make sure your message is on target and clear to whoever is reading.
11. READ YOUR ESSAY OUT LOUD.
This forces you to read each word individually and increases your chances of finding a typo. Reading aloud will also help you ensure your punctuation is correct, and it’s often easier to hear awkward sentences than see them.
12. CHECK FOR CONSISTENCY.
Avoid switching back and forth from different tenses. Also, if you refer to a particular university in the essay, make sure it is the correct name and is consistent throughout the piece. You don’t want to reference two different schools in the same paper!
13. FINISHING TOUCHES
When you submit your essay, remember to include your name, contact information, and ID number if the University provided one, especially if you send it to a general admission email account. Nothing is worse than trying to match an application essay with no name. Make sure to keep copies of what you sent to which schools and when and follow them up. Be certain that the university you’re applying to, received your essay. You don’t want all that hard work to go to waste.
To conclude, below is a sample of a university admission essay
PROMPT: Kindly submit a one page, single spaced essay that explains why you have chosen State University and your particular major/department.
State University and I possess a common vision. I, like State University, constantly work to explore the limits of nature by exceeding expectations. Long an amateur scientist, it was this drive that brought me to the University of Texas for its Student Science Training Program in 2019. Up to that point science had been my private pastime, one I had yet to explore on anyone else’s terms. My time at UT, however, changed that.
Participating for the first time in a full-length research experiment at that level, I felt more alive, more engaged, than I ever had before. Learning the complex dynamics between electromagnetic induction and optics in an attempt to solve one of the holy grails of physics, gravitational-waves, I could not have been more pleased. Thus vindicated, my desire to further formalize my love of science brings me to State University. Thanks to this experience, I know now better than ever that State University is my future, because through it I seek another, permanent, opportunity to follow my passion for science and engineering.
In addition to just science, I am drawn to State University for other reasons. I strive to work with the diverse group of people that State University wholeheartedly accommodates and who also share my mindset. They, like me, are there because State University respects the value of diversity. I know from personal experience that in order to achieve the trust, honesty, and success that State University values, new people are needed to create a respectful environment for these values. I feel that my background as an African will provide an innovative perspective in the university’s search for knowledge while helping it to develop a basis for future success. And that, truly, is the greatest success I can imagine.
This emphasis on diversity can also be found in the variety of specialized departments found at State University. On top of its growing cultural and ethnic diversity, State University is becoming a master at creating a niche for every student. However, this does not isolate students by forcing them to work with only those individuals who follow their specific discipline. Instead, it is the seamless interaction between facilities that allows each department, from engineering to programming, to create a real learning environment that profoundly mimics the real world.
Long-mesmerized by hobbies like my work with the FIRST Robotics team, I believe State University would be the best choice to continue to nurture my love for electrical and computer engineering. I have only scratched the surface in this ever evolving field but know that the technological potential is limitless. Likewise, I feel that my time at State University would make my potential similarly limitless.
What you just read is a picture-perfect response to a university specific essay prompt. What makes it particularly effective is not just its cohesive structure and elegant style but also the level of details the author used in the response. By directly identifying the specific aspects of the university that are attractive to the writer, the writer is able to clearly and effectively show not only his commitment to his studies but more importantly the level of thought he put into his decision to apply. Review committees know what generic responses look like so specificity works magic.
After reading this, no sane official would want to deny this applicant the admission.
Remember that was an example of a specific essay. An open ended essay may come in a form like, “What motivates you?” Open-ended essays sometime seems to be more tricky and one needs to be careful in writing it.
I hope this article helped?