Updated: Jan 9
Writing a college essay is a stressful process for many. Especially when completing college applications for more selective schools. These institutions often require multiple essays and feature challenging prompts necessitating deep thought and self-inquiry. Some also ask you to list the literature or other reading material with which you've recently engaged. For students who don't enjoy leisurely reading, that often amounts to a tall order. What's more, students completing a college essay must stay within prescribed word limits. Sometimes this can be difficult when a student has a lot to say about a thought-provoking college essay topic. Fortunately, Wisdem USA, an online essay tutor, has compiled a few handy tips for last-minute college essay help.
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Build a Narrative or Theme for Your College Essay
Many students take the approach of simply reciting their résumé or life story, particularly when writing their personal statement essay for the Common Application. That is not a winning approach for a college essay. Remember that schools will typically already have a list of your activities, grades, test scores, and major accomplishments through other parts of your application. Especially if you apply through the Common App. Instead, build a narrative or theme that addresses the college essay prompt. Aim for something personal, thoughtful, and original, not just reciting your résumé. In order to do so, think back on your life and recent experiences. Is there a common thread that connects stuff you have done or gone though? Have you shown a particular quality across multiple situations throughout your life? If so, consider weaving that into an overarching narrative and then expand on that through different examples as you craft the rest of your college essay.
Avoid the Use of the Second Person in Your College Essay
Students often make wise observations when writing their college essay. Because writing a college essay is such a self-reflective exercise, this is a natural reaction. That said, making wise, general observations invites one potential pitfall that can detract from the quality of a college essay. What are we referring to? Use of the second person. Many are familiar with writing or speaking in the first person or third person, but using the second person is another rhetorical device. Think of the famous quote "You have to know when to fold 'em." Or the axiom that "you gotta do what you gotta do." These statements use the second person. In the college essay context, students make statements such as "you are at your most energetic in 9th grade" or "you must read a book twice to comprehend it." Those seeking essay help from an online essay tutor may wonder what is wrong with this approach. The answer? These second person statements make implicit assumptions that may be wrong. Not all readers are at their most energetic in 9th grade or need to read a book twice to comprehend it. But using the second person denies this reality, and it may reflect negatively on the writer.
More on Using the Second Person In Your College Essay
So, how does a student writing their college essay avoid this? Err on the side of using the first person. Using the first person, "you learn..." becomes "I learned." And as such, it speaks to your personal experience/outlook, not a broad generalization. This is ideal, as the college essay should be rooted in the author's personal experience or outlook in the first place. Students can also avoid the pitfall of conveying unconscious bias by seeking a diverse team as they look for prompt essay coaching, an essay tutor near me, or and English essay tutor. Offering the best essay writing service means being sensitive to this strategic concern, as we are at Wisdem USA. Contact us for more guidance today.