Top Tips for Writing a Strong Admission Essay

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What is an admission essay? And why is it so important for US colleges and universities?

While most European universities offer their future students to take several exams, US teachers and professors ask their entrants to prepare and present an admission essay. An admission essay is a piece of writing, which shows your ability to write well, your attitude towards education, and your fit to the chosen university or college. This essay will help the committee understand your personality, intellectual curiosity, and educational achievements. In this essay, you can explain what your main positive features and unique skills are.

So, how can an average entrant create an admission essay, which will be powerful enough to be accepted at the desired University? You can use the main tips described in the paragraph below or you can go to topadmit.com for professional advice and support. The choice is yours. Adjust your expectations and make the first step.

5 Tips for a Strong Admission Essay

  1. Focus on one thing. Don’t try to describe everything in one essay. Choose one preferable theme, issue, or person to start with. When a student tries to write about many things in one small piece of writing, he/she tends to make it too boring, flat, and watered down. Always use the method of brainstorming before writing your essay. Choose only a few good ideas.
  2. Avoid perfection. This means you shouldn’t describe yourself as an ideal person without flaws and weak sides. Be objective. Feel free to describe what aspects are more difficult for you than others. No one expects you to be a perfect student.
  3. A clear thesis. Your admission essay should contain a clear thesis, describing what you are going to tell about.
  4. Proofreading. Never neglect additional proofreading and editing. Give your admission essay to someone else who knows you a little bit more than others. Ask them to read your essay aloud and to tell what impressions they have after reading it.
  5. The simpler the better. Many students write about too difficult things to make their essays stand out. And those essays become complex, even for themselves. In reality, the essays that stand out the most are about simple things and everyday topics. The simpler your essay the better. What is important is that your essay should express your personality, experiences, and perspectives. The main aim of the admission essay is to help the committee to know the applicant.

So, the main components of the strong admission essay are focus, realness, clear thesis, good grammar and spelling, and simplicity. And keep your essay short. Don’t try to make it as long as a novel. Just avoid common mistakes, carefully consider what you are going to write about, and present your personality to the committee in the best way possible.

Credit: The global dispatch

TopAdmit Community Response Survey – Enter to win!

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Dear students,

As a valued member of the TopAdmit community, we’d like to invite you to participate in our online Community Response session! We want to hear about your expectations so we can keep improving our services. It should not take more than 5 minutes of your time.

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Form entry time: 14 Dec 2016 – 14 Jan 2017 GMT+8 The winner will be announced on 18 Jan 2017 on TopAdmit’s Facebook page. Thank you for your time and feedback. The TopAdmit Research Team

Using the Active Voice

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by Ellen Smith (Senior TopAdmit editor)

Admissions committees are always on the lookout for confident, capable applicants. One of the best ways to demonstrate these qualities in an essay or personal statement is through the use of the active voice. By using the active voice when sharing personal stories, goals, and future plans, your essay will take on an assertive, confident tone.

active-passive

Active versus Passive Voice

Simply put, whether a sentence is written in active or passive voice depends on the subject. When the subject of the sentence performs the action, the sentence is written in the active voice. For example, “I led a campaign to end world hunger.” In this sentence, the writer led the campaign. However, when the subject of the sentence receives the action, the sentence is written in the passive voice. For example, “A campaign to end world hunger was my first leadership experience.” The emphasis is on the campaign rather than on the writer’s leadership.

Why should I use the active voice?

Using the active, rather than passive, voice is most common in English writing and speaking. The active voice is generally more straightforward and gives the writer a more confident and assertive tone. It’s especially effective to use the active voice when you are sharing stories from your personal life, explaining your goals, and naming your plans for the future. Below, we’ve included examples that show how using the active voice can make a big difference in conveying confidence.

Sharing personal stories
When giving details about your personal experiences, using the active voice can help you emphasize that you used the experience to learn and grow. Look at the difference between the examples below.

1. ACTIVE: As a young child, I was impressed by my father’s work ethic.
PASSIVE: My father’s work ethic impressed me as a young child.

2. ACTIVE: When I was an undergraduate, I saw a shocking example of social injustice.
PASSIVE: An example of social injustice shocked me when I was an undergraduate.

As you can see, the examples written in the active voice focus on the writer’s experience. These statements set the expectation that we are going to learn more about how these experiences shaped the writer’s goals and motivation. The examples written in the passive voice make less of an impact.

Explaining your goals and future plans
The active voice is also appropriate when explaining your plans for the future. Using the active voice is a subtle way to emphasize that you are taking control of your future and setting goals for yourself. Look at the difference between the examples below.

3. ACTIVE: I plan to start my own business and positively impact the community.
PASSIVE: Starting my own business and positively impacting the community is my plan.

4. ACTIVE: I hope to make connections at my internship site and continue working in the field after graduation.
PASSIVE: Making connections at my internship site and continuing to work in the field after graduation is my hope.

In the examples that use the active voice, the writer appears proactive and confident. When the same sentences are rewritten in the passive voice, the writer appears more tentative and wistful.

Confident-Pose

While the difference between active and passive voice is a matter of grammar, the impact of using the active voice is a matter of confidence. Particularly when sharing examples of personal experiences, goals, and plans for the future, using the active voice conveys a positive, proactive attitude. For admissions committees looking for the best applicants, a self-assured tone can go a long way.