The College Essay

Q: Should I ask someone to review my essay after I’ve written it?
A: Absolutely. After you have a chance to proofread your own work, make the necessary corrections. Be certain that your thoughts are well-organized and presented in your unique style of writing. Ask someone you find to be knowledgeable. Be sure that this person will help you to maintain your style of writing. The essay is a chance for the Admission’s Staff at the college or university to get to know you. Take the time to present yourself well. Your essay should represent who you are and what you stand for. It may be the very thing that makes you stand out from another.

Q: Can I ask someone to help me write my essay?
A: Ask others for ideas that may help showcase who you are as a well-rounded person. Your essay should be original and be written by you. It should not be plagiarized.

Q: How long should my essay be?
A: Unless otherwise stated on your application, the college wants you to take the liberty of expressing yourself. This can be accomplished in two to four pages. Make sure it’s double-spaced and neatly typed on clean paper. Content will be reviewed most of all so stay focused. Your essay will be one in “thousands.” Remember: Quality vs. Quantity.

Q: What do I write about if the college leaves it up to me to decide a topic?
A: Make it personal, right from the heart. Some suggestions: your plans for the future, a particular major, goals you’ve set for yourself, an interesting experience, a memorable event, a mentor, your family, your culture, a special tradition you grew up with, etc. The suggestions are endless. Also consider using a famous quote, a favorite novel, a striking poem or a role model. Expand on any of these to create a solid essay. It can definitely show a sense of humor; it should never be obscene or use profanity. Whatever you decide, paint a picture of yourself on paper so that the college can get to know YOU.

Q: Will it look better if I use a creative font & format when typing my essay?
A: No. The reader wants content. Make it appear professional to the admission staff. If the typing is too curly, fancy or small, it becomes a distraction. An average font size is 12. The rest of the format should be based on what you learned in your English classes.

Q: Is the essay the only thing that a college/university looks at to determine admission?
A: It is one of the very many items that will determine your admission. The admission staff also takes into consideration: Standardized testing results (SAT, ACT), G.P.A., high school transcripts, your major, recommendations, athletic and academic awards, your activity list and community involvement, etc.