10 Application Essay Writing Rules

One of the most important components of an entrance application is the essay. While the remainder of the application contains a great deal of important, informative data, the essay submitted contains something that’s arguably even more important: the voice of the applicant. A lackluster application may be seen in an entirely different light if accompanied by a fantastic entrance essay. On the other hand, a wonderful application otherwise may be dismissed out of hand if an essay which doesn’t make the grade is submitted alongside it.

The Worst Mistakes are the Easiest to Avoid

Thankfully, the worst mistakes made by most applicants are actually very easy to avoid. Being careless, not conscientious enough, and rushing through the process are the most commonly made mistakes. Here, we’ve compiled ten easy-to-follow rules that will help guide you in writing an excellent entrance essay.

  1. Brainstorm.
  2. Lack of creativity leaves many application essays wanting. Don’t jump right into writing the essay as if it’s a timed test. Take some time to brainstorm, write notes, and converse with friends and family about interesting perspectives, facts, and information you can include.

  3. Craft a coherent theme.
  4. Once you’ve got some winning ideas to work with, think about the theme of your essay. Consider a motif, narrative, or thesis to pull it all together. If you have a strong central idea, organizing your essay will be a piece of cake.

  5. Create an outline to follow.
  6. With a strong theme, creating an outline should be simple. Introduce your ideas, support them or expand upon them in the body of the essay, and write a strong conclusion.

  7. Avoid “no-no” topics.
  8. Don’t venture into territory that’s too inflammatory, like religion or politics.

  9. Sell yourself.
  10. What makes you special? What sets you apart? You’re not just the sum of your school records, and now is the time to show it!

  11. Use perfect spelling and grammar.
  12. Don’t make the mistake of writing a great essay that’s riddled with misspellings and poor grammar.

  13. Follow the instructions.
  14. So easy, but so often ignored! Every application will have its own instructions for the essay. Follow them to the letter!

  15. Allow others to read the essay.
  16. Feedback is vital! Have friends, family, and instructors read the essay.

  17. Don’t rush.
  18. Set a schedule for working on your essay so you won’t be rushed when the deadline approaches.

  19. Submit the essay on time.
  20. Make sure to submit your essay on time—late essays may be ignored.

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