Capstone College and Career Advising

Writing a College Essay – Tip #1 – Be Yourself

September 15th, 2017 by
The key to writing a good college essay is to be yourself.  A college’s top priority in reading an essay is to attempt to get to know the student at a more personal level.  Since they do not have the resources to meet with every applicant, they strive to find out more information about each student.

Who are they?

What is their unique personality?

What is their background?

As a result, they are more interested in discovering who you are than they are at seeing how many flowery words you can cram into the word limit.  Certainly, colleges want to know that you can construct a strong written thought.  They want good grammar, strong vocabulary and formal writing techniques.  However, they are not looking for someone who over-analyzes sentence structure and inserts wording which the average person must use a dictionary for – especially at the expense of becoming impersonal and dull.  I would give students these steps when beginning an essay.

Find a direction - Look at the prompt and write down ideas that come to you which will address the question.

Evaluate the story – After determining a direction you want to proceed with, ask yourself these questions.
- Is this a story that interests you?
- If you told it to your friends would they be bored or engaged?

Video your story - After finding a story that fits the prompt, video yourself telling the story either to yourself or someone else. This will help you gather your thoughts in a relaxed and familiar way. 

Using these steps will provide a great foundation and start to your essay helping you move to the writing portion of the essay.   For more info on essays go subscribe to our Youtube Channel