If you’re going to write a school application essay, then chances are that you probably know how to write an academic essay too. The usual introduction, body and conclusion. Well, forget all that. For a school application essay, your approach has to be different. The person who is going to read your application essay needs to feel a connection. Everyone can write an essay but not everyone can write a good essay.
The essay needs to breathe life into your application. Your grades, although important, should not be your greatest selling point for this type of essay. You are selling yourself beyond test-scores, who are you after school. This may seem as complicated or even difficult but the advantage is that you get to choose what to share. It is your application after all.
Your school application essay has a word limit, probably 500 words or even less. Resist the urge to squeeze every little detail of your life in such few words. The admission officers may not find anything worthwhile from your essay if it is filled up with your life history. It will even be difficult to single out one unique event from the essay. Take a minute and think about what makes you stand out. What is that significant story of your life that will show you are a good fit for the school as well as yourself? Get to writing them.
2. Understand the topic
Probably one of the most important factors to consider when writing your school application essay is to make sure you understand the requirements. What does the essay require of you? Normally, the essays suggest one or two areas that should be the topic(s) of focus. Whatever they require, their main goal is to challenge you and ignite your creativity. It is therefore advisable to take time and really understand what is asked of you because this could be your only chance.
3. Target Audience
The person who reads your essay will measure your its effectiveness. We all want to think that our essays are good but chances are that a third party thinks otherwise. You are writing to the reader. Therefore, you do not come first. All efforts should be geared towards impressing your audience. It is important to duly follow the guidelines set by the examiner, in this case, the admission officer. If the guidelines require you to use simple language then the simple language you will use.
The way you convey your essay should be uniform throughout. In addition, it should be in the first person. After all, the essay is about you. The reader does not want to feel that he/she is reading someone else’s story. Be consistent throughout so as to give your essay life.
It is imperative that you write about your accomplishments or achievements. Try to, however, convey them in the right amount. If the reader spots too much of it, it may come off as boasting or bragging and you may be written off as being arrogant. Create a balance of your achievements and explain how they have shaped you to become the person you are today and why they will be instrumental if you get into the school.