College admissions essay advice
If their admissions essays are to be believed, over 200 students applying for admission to undergraduate medical, dentistry, or veterinary programs at U.K. universities this year all had the same childhood experience in which they burned a hole in their pajamas while playing with a toy chemistry set.Happily, these statements aren't to be believed. A study commissioned by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the organization that handles undergraduate applications to UK universities and colleges, suggests that these applicants copied parts of their statements from a sample medical school personal statement posted to an admissions advice website.It's not clear what impact this revelation will have on the applicants involved. UCAS didn't undertake its study to track down cheaters. It was trying to find out whether the proliferation of admissions-related websites was having any impact on the way students prepare their university applications.There's no question, though, that if this had happened in the context of U.S. college admissions, the applicants involved would have done themselves no favors by copying their statements. That would hold true even if the plagiarism had not been detected. An admissions essay is your best chance to introduce yourself to the admissions committee as an individual, thereby making yourself stand out from the vast pool of other applicants. Anyone who copies a canned example of a personal statement is throwing that opportunity away. And, as the example of the 'burned pajamas' essay indicates, you have no way of knowing how many other people might be using the exact same material. This story highlights one of the drawbacks of reading too many examples of college admissions essays 'that worked.' Even if you don't set out to deliberately copy the material you read, you're likely to absorb the format and language you find there. This can result in your writing an essay that sounds like it came from someone else. In addition, over-reliance on sample essays can undermine your creativity by giving you an overly rigid idea of the ‘right' kind of topic or language for an admissions essay, too early in the writing process.Go ahead and take a look at some sample college admission essays, if you think that will help you get started on your statement. But avoid using a sample essay as a model for your own. The essay that worked for the person who wrote it may not work for you. Your best approach to using your essays to increase your college admissions chances is to be yourself.
Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay
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College Essays, College Application Essays - The College Board
For US institutions, content is more important than grammar proficiency in a personal statement. College admission offices seek a unique, authentic perspective of a student. If you would like specific advice for writing your essay, I recommend that you visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab which has a host of resources for brainstorming, writing and revising a personal statement.
These tips will help you take on the essay with confidence
For better writing, focus on verbs. Think about what you are trying to accomplish with your college admissions essay: you want to grab your readers' attention and keep them engaged. Lots of adjectives and adverbs often make prose seem wordy, fluffy and over-written. Strong verbs animate prose.
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