1. Tell a story – some of the best essays are simply storieswell told.
2. Show who you are; do not write an objective essay – itshould be “your voice” ; give a sample of yourself, a slice of the real you, asnapshot in words.
3. Don’t try to sell yourself; rather than persuading the college that you are great, just show them who you are, what you care about,what moves you to anger, what the pivotal points in your life have been so far.
4. Essays should reflect you, not some idealized version ofyourself – essays that appear contrived,either in style or substance, often stand out and can end up working against anotherwise attractive applicant.
5. Be honest, genuine, and forthright; the best essays shinewith the personality of the writer and give depth and credibility to the persondescribed in the application; tell what is of real importance to you.
6. Be entertaining and enlightening.
7. Consider using quotes.
8. Write something only you could write. The problem with mostessays is that they could have been written by anyone. In one sense, yourwriting “voice” is simply a polished version of your speech.
9. Use a natural tone and style.
10. Write about something you really care about.
11. It’s better to delve deeply into a single experience,showing that you are an observant individual capable of honest self-reflection,than to provide a superficial exposition of interesting aspects of your life.Talk about your hobbies, play up your unusual talents or areas of expertise, ordescribe something formative from your past.
12. Sometimes, seemingly mundane experiences, such as thatsummer job you once had, can be the launching point into a colorful and tellinginsight.
13. Know your thesis. Take the time to think through your essaytopic and make sure that you know what points you’re trying to make. What isthe purpose of your essay? Why will an admissions officer want to read andremember your essay? What message do you want people to take away from your essay?
14. Be yourself. The essay is a personal statement. Each personhas his or her own writing style and tone, and essays should reflect thatfluidity.