To pay for essay in college isn't anything new, but getting an award-winning college essay on your own? That's something only a few people can do! If you want to get the best possible grade and stand out from the rest of the applicants, read these seven tips on how to make your college essays stand out from the rest.
1. Read Sample Essays
Go online and read several of your school's application essays. Jot down notes about what you think makes a good essay—and then write your own. Pay attention to what's working and what needs improvement. Ask friends, family members, or even teachers for feedback, too. There's no time like now to improve your writing skills! And who knows? Maybe you'll win an award in college as well as in high school!
2. Use Your Voice
It's important that your writing sounds like you, not someone else. If it doesn't, admissions officers won't trust your application and will wonder what other things you may have faked. Plus, admissions offices are mostly staffed by volunteers who want to get back into their regular jobs—they don't want more work than they signed up for (read: they don't want to read an essay that doesn't sound like it was written by a high school student). So be yourself! Admissions officers love students with unique perspectives, so give them one of yours.
3. Use Transition Words Effectively
Are you a college student in search of guidance on how to write award-winning essays? We have seven tips for your consideration: one for each day of the week. Use these transition words between sentences or paragraphs, such as in conclusion and to, and give your essay a more professional feel. By using transitional phrases effectively, you'll be able to keep your audience engaged throughout your writing. Consider them carefully before deciding which ones will work best for your particular essay!
4. Avoid Repetition
A common pitfall for writers is repetition, or repetition compulsion. If you feel yourself saying or writing something multiple times in a paper, ask yourself why it needs to be said. If you don't know why take it out and see if anything changes. Chances are it doesn't need to be there, and removing these repeated words will help your essay flow better. You might also consider deleting unnecessary sections of your essay. If they aren't crucial to developing your argument, they probably aren't necessary. For example, if you have an introductory paragraph that introduces your topic and thesis statement, consider deleting it once you have those elements established in later paragraphs—it can save time by not repeating information.
5. Follow Formatting Instructions Carefully
A poorly formatted essay will earn you a bad grade—even if your writing is eloquent and insightful. You must follow instructions when writing an essay, especially in college courses. Papers are often assigned using specific formatting requirements (such as APA, MLA, or Harvard), so make sure you know how to format your paper beforehand. Formatting tools can be found online for free, making it easy to complete assignments properly.
You may be able to get away with spelling errors on your high school or middle school essays, but if you're writing for a college professor, now is not that time. From abstract to conclusion, you'll want to read over every single word multiple times. If a paper or essay is worth getting an A- on, it's worth spending extra time checking it for errors! Don't stop reading until you feel confident in its quality. For those papers that require research, make sure you cite everything correctly and use quotation marks appropriately. Nothing can kill a good grade faster than missing one tiny citation mark! Finally, proofread your work again once you have finished writing it—sometimes when we are so close to something we forget to double-check our work. To avoid embarrassing mistakes later on, be sure to give yourself enough time before any due date so that you can spend as much time as possible making sure your final draft is perfect.
7. Stay Positive
It may seem counterintuitive to try and stay positive when you're writing about a topic that's full of doubts and negativity, but there are two reasons for it. First, admissions officers can spot sarcasm or over-the-top negative attitudes a mile away, so show some respect. Second, if you write with a negative attitude, you run the risk of casting doubt on all your strong work—no matter how good it is. If you want to be taken seriously, stay professional throughout.