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An admission essay is included in the package of documents that must be provided for admission to a college or university. It depends on the admission essay whether the applicant will be able to convince the commission of the educational institution that he or she is a worthy candidate. We will tell in detail how to correctly draw up an admission essay and what to pay special attention to.
An admission essay includes your accomplishments in one story
An admission essay is a paper in which you must describe your experience and justify your choice of a particular program. It should answer two basic questions: why you chose the university, and why you are a good candidate.
If you are a foreign student, then your knowledge of English should be at a high level
An admission essay is a sample of your language and writing skills. It is necessary to show that you write competently, possess a large vocabulary, and can use different grammatical constructions.
Don’t send an essay written by a friend of yours or a professional writer. However, you can use a paper written by a writer as a sample for your writing. Usually, such writers can be found on services that offer homework help. This is a good option for those who do not know at all what to write in an admission essay.
You should adequately evaluate your language skills. The required level of language is prescribed in the university requirements. If your level is not appropriate, you need to improve your English knowledge. To confirm your level, you may be asked to present an international certificate: TOEFL, IELTS, CAE or others.
The volume of an admission essay
The size of an admission essay is indicated in the requirements presented by the admission committee – on average, it is 500-1,000 words or 1.5-2 pages of text. To count words, you can use autocount in any text program.
The structure of an admission essay
The content and style of the essay may vary. When talking about the structure of the essay, we recommend sticking to a single, typical one, which consists of the following sections: contact information, introduction, main part, and conclusion.
In the header of the admission essay, indicate your name and surname, contact details, and date of application. Then, include the information of the recipient: name and surname, position (if you know), department, name of the educational institution, and address. Contact information may not always be required – it depends on the form in which you send documents and the requirements. You can check this on the website of the admissions committee.
- If you know the recipient, use “Dear Professor/Mr./Ms.” or “Dear Sir/Madam” for the greeting. If there is no specific recipient, you can write “Dear Admissions Board/Admissions Committee” here. For a more personalized message, you can add the name of the educational institution.
- Purpose and thesis. In a few sentences, tell why you are writing the admission essay and list the arguments in favor of your candidacy. Present the most significant achievements and the criteria you will describe in the main part.
Here you reveal the arguments presented in the introduction. The main body of an admission essay consists of 2-3 paragraphs. Each paragraph presents proof that you are the right candidate. Your arguments should be consistent with the admission committee’s requirements.
Study the information about the desired program on the university site. Confirm that your goals and experience are relevant to the program. Don’t describe the entire life path – use only relevant information that may interest the admission committee.
It is customary to summarize all points set out in the main part. Then, in 1-2 sentences, you should express your interest in the profession you choose and hope for a positive decision on your candidacy. You may also thank the admission for the opportunity to participate in the application process. At the end, add your signature and name.
Mistakes in an admission essay will show your lack of motivation
The admissions office expects you to submit a quality document and spend sufficient time writing and reviewing it. The presence of typos and errors will show that you have not prepared the essay thoroughly enough, which means that you are not sufficiently motivated and are not ready to make every effort for further study.
The check function in text editors will help in checking essays for typos, spelling, and grammatical errors.
To check punctuation marks, you will need knowledge of the rules of English punctuation. If it is not possible to study them, we recommend that you at least familiarize yourself with a short version of the rules on the Cambridge Dictionary website. You can use automatic verification in the Grammarly service – install it as an add-on in your browser, as an application on your computer, or copy the text to the online version.
Tips on the content of an admission essay
Strike a balance of professional and personal qualities
The commission must clearly see the motivation to study at a university. Therefore, you should not write that you are attracted to the local cuisine if your future program is not in the culinary field.
Adding other information may indicate that your goal is either not clear to you or you want to get other indirect opportunities when not studying at this particular educational institution. Regardless of your true intentions, it is worth leaving outside the essay everything that is not related to the goals of the program.
Grab attention with a personal story
The selection committee and the employer regularly review hundreds of candidates. To get noticed, you need to grab the reader’s attention from the first lines.
This technique is called a “hook” and fits into 1-2 sentences in the introductory part. If you choose a program in the educational sphere, use as a hook the story of what brought you into this field and what prompted you to choose a specific goal or come to a certain worldview.
Rate your idea. If other candidates can write the same, it will not work – the hook must be original and detailed. Let’s say you want to write that you were fond of computers since childhood and therefore decided to become a programmer. Most likely, such a story will not be original – try to remember a different one or add details to an existing one and present it from a different angle.
It is important that the story is directly related to the topic of the essay and allows you to move smoothly into the argumentation. Drawing a strong, memorable image in the admissions office’s imagination will increase your chances of success.
Write about your achievements
It’s important for admissions to understand your accomplishments in the relevant field. It may not be easy – we are used to the thought that praising ourselves is not good since childhood. However, in an admission essay, you need to overcome modesty and talk about your achievements. Only they can clearly demonstrate your arguments in favor of enrolling in a university.
When talking about achievements, use active verbs and write what you did, not what you were doing. Formulate by analogy with a CV: not “was maintaining computers” but “implemented computer maintenance checklists.” Think about what the result of your work or study was and tell about it.
Get inspired by other people’s essays and get ideas from them. Read only verified essays that are approved by commissions and that are located on the official websites of universities.
Reveal how you can be useful
The final part of the letter should be as convincing as the other parts. It may seem that you have already said everything in the main part, and in the conclusion, there is nothing to add except “thank you for your attention.”
However, this is not true. A strong ending can set you apart from the rest and finally convince the commission that you are the right candidate. Describe how your experiences and skills listed in the main body can be useful to the educational institution. Try to understand the key objectives and priorities of the university and talk about them. Demonstrate to the commission that you are a valued candidate with an interest in the educational institution, that you are willing to show initiative and enthusiasm to achieve the goals of the program.
In the last sentence, indirectly add the target action: express your willingness to meet for an interview or a desire to start training.
Don’t send an admission essay right after you finish writing it
After writing your admission essay, do not rush to send it. Even if it seems perfect, put it aside for a few days. Do not open it or think about what you have written. During the break, step back from the text and forget the exact wording and details – you will be able to read it later with a fresh eye. Try to carefully check for logical inconsistencies, repetitions, and mistakes in style.
After proofreading the essay, it’s ready. You can send it and wait for a positive response from the admissions office.