According to the Ivy League admissions staff, the essay is the most memorable part of all admissions documents. It shows the applicant as a person. Many have the same grades and test scores, but it’s the essay that will help you stand out from this crowd. It shows how you are able to present yourself, analyze information, express thoughts and communicate with other people in writing.
Don’t confuse an essay with a motivation letter or a personal statement. The latter are almost always required, usually one document to choose from. However, top universities like Harvard or Yale are asked to write another creative essay upon admission. This is how the admissions committee checks whether you have creative abilities and what level of compatibility you have with the university.
“Leadership is important to Harvard because they train leaders. And if you want to go to Columbia University, you need to be interested in world problems and have an informed opinion on any issue.”
An important difference between essays is the word limit. Each university sets the size of the essay itself. Sometimes you need to fit your thoughts into just 150 words – that’s one paragraph. This means that all answers should be clear and sensible, but at the same time not dry and not monosyllabic. That’s why I decided to do this essay writing help paper for you.
What to write about in an essay
Universities post essay topics on their websites in the admissions section. Questions depend on how you submit documents: directly to the university or through the Common Application and Coalition Application platforms.
Top universities, in addition to essays, require a short answer to several additional questions – supplement questions. A list of them is also indicated on the university website. This is no longer an essay, but a question-answer format.
Be prepared to write one large 200–300 word essay and answer 3–10 questions in writing.
Frequently asked questions for essays
- Tell us about your most important achievement.
- How do you spend your time after school? Describe the two activities and their importance.
- Describe the person who influenced you and how.
- If you could improve one skill or talent, what would it be and why?
- Which course, person, project, or book has influenced you? How?
- Describe your plans for the future.
- What course would you like to take and how would it help you in the future?
- Based on your life experiences and the experiences of your family, what would you like to tell us about yourself?
- Describe the difficult situation you went through.
- Where did leadership skills come in handy?
- What additional information would you like to provide about yourself?
Tips for writing essays in English
First of all, evaluate the list of essay topics offered by the university. Read them and listen to the sensations. Which question caught your attention? On which topic do you already have thoughts? If nothing comes to mind right away, give your thoughts time: do not rush, but reflect on the questions for a couple of days. You don’t write an essay at the last moment, do you?
“Don’t put off writing your essay until the last day. The list of topics appears in advance, so start working on your essay at least a couple of months before the deadline for submission of applications.”
It happens that everyone writes about the same thing. Your task is to stand out. Your essay should be original and not about standard topics like travel, parents and sports. Below we have collected tips and tricks to help you write a memorable essay.
- Do not repeat the question in the answer.
- Don’t use long, complicated words. At best, you will look pretentious, and at worst, ignorant.
- Be honest. An answer that shows you for who you are will be much more pleasant to the commission than appropriate or politically correct. However, if your hobbies are going to parties and playing beer pong, it’s best not to be completely frank.
- Be yourself. Don’t think about what the admissions staff would like to see. Choose those topics that you can cover and that matter to you. Express your ideas and experience.
- Describe your personal growth. When you write about a life event or hobby, tell us what you learned after that. So you show the admissions committee that you are capable of changes and have adequate self-esteem.
- Supplement your existing resume. Write about things that weren’t mentioned in your cover letter or portfolio to show different sides of your personality.
- Describe details to color the answer.
- Neatly with humor: rarely does anyone manage to joke out of place.
- Don’t use the same answers for different universities. It is easier this way, but the individual approach to each university is assessed by the selection committee more favorably. Try to make sure that in all the colleges where you apply, they think that their university is your number 1 choice. And do not expect that the commission will not notice your stamped answers: they have a well-trained eye for this.
- Don’t worry about word limits. Write the answer how you want it, and then just cross out the excess. You will not believe how quickly and easily you will find unnecessary things.
- Make sure that there are no mistakes or typos in the essay. To do this, read it from the end. So you don’t concentrate on the meaning of the text, and your focus is only on the words. Check them in a dictionary if in doubt about spelling. You can use the fluent.express service, where native speakers will look at your essay and correct any mistakes.
- When the essay is ready, read it several times, preferably every other day, to evaluate it with a fresh look. Make sure that it reveals you as a person, that the topic is really meaningful to you, that you were able to show your interest in it and find an original approach. You can show your essays to friends and family to see how they react.
What you can’t write about in an essay
- Don’t try to be someone else. You won’t be able to fool admissions officers who have seen thousands of essays. They will immediately notice that the description of your life does not match the rest of the documents.
- Don’t take difficult essay topics. Many letters come to Harvard, where students try to show that they understand complex ideas when in fact they do not.
- Don’t use conventional clichés: they show that you cannot express ideas on your own.
- Don’t use too many quotes. They give the impression that you do not have your own opinion.
Remember: a great essay should reveal your personality, show the ability to develop and demonstrate the ability to adequately assess yourself. Regardless of the topic, you need to remember about the readers (admission committee to the dream university) and about your goal – to prove to the university that you have an active life position and that you consider any events as an opportunity for growth.