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09/04/2019

College Admission’s Essay???

QUESTION
College Admission’s Essay???
How long should it be?
Are you allowed to use 1st and 2nd person?
Is there a certain outline (like 5 paragraph essay)?
What are they looking for?
Is it ok to be somewhat casual and make jokes?

Thanks soo much for your help!

ANSWER
Your essay should probably be between 500 and 1000 words.

You could use either point of view, depending on the topic the application asks you to write about. However, since the college uses the essay not only to judge your writing skills, but to learn about you, it would be most appropriate to use the first person.

There really isn’t an outline, but if a five paragraph essay is what you’re used to and what you’re best at, then stick to it.

The college is looking to learn about you. However, don’t write about something they could learn just by reading the rest of your application. For example, don’t write about how you participated in a variety of clubs and sports during high school, write about one particular activity and what it meant to you, how it shaped you, and what you learned from it.

It’s ok to be a little casual and make a couple of jokes, but take the essay seriously. My advice is if you are a naturally funny person, then make some jokes. But colleges want to learn who you really are, so don’t force funniness if it doesn’t come naturally. Also, even if you want to be a little casual, still write formally. Don’t use contractions (write “cannot” instead of “can’t,” “I am” instead of “I’m”). Use proper grammar, don’t write like you speak.

Many schools now use the Common Application. I’ll give you a link to last year’s application so you can see what the essays might be like next year. Also, it’s ok to pick your own topic if given the option. I didn’t feel like I could express myself on any of the topics given, so I picked my own. And I still got into a great school. Just remember, the point of the essay to to talk about yourself, so don’t just tell a random story.

Best of luck! I hope I helped.