Starting points for a personal essay for college

Spring is the time of the year when high school students are desperately looking for ways to get into their dream colleges. The season of admission to College is in full swing. They are preparing piles of documents and passing their final exams hoping to get excellent scores and good records. They are looking for every opportunity that will increase their chances to get on the top rating among other applicants.

And one of the most effective admission tactics is your motivation essay. Trying to write an impressive essay, every student faces certain difficulties as well as has to find the solution to a number of writing tasks. He can’t stop asking “How can I make my essay stand-out?”, “What should I include in my essay?”, “What parts of my biography will be interesting for the admission committee?”, What does the admissions committee want to read about in my essay?” and many more similar questions.

Almost everyone who sits down to write a motivation paper desperately thinks over where to start and what to write. In fact, this is absolutely normal, because it is their first time when they write a personal statement. However, there are some tricks that can help to run the writing process.

You just have to stay calm and consider some proven advice that will help with your personal essay for college.

We recommend you to consider the following recommendations so that you can start and organize your essay writing in the most effective way:
  • Think how you are going to persuade the committee to choose your candidacy. The first obstacle on your way is the choice of a topic for the essay. An interesting topic is a part of success. When deciding what to write, do not waste time trying to guess which topic might please the committee. You need to focus on your own interests. On the one hand, it is almost impossible to predict the mood and preferences of the selection committee officer. On the other hand, you probably spend days trying to hone your composition. To reduce stress, choose a theme that kindles your curiosity.
  • From the very beginning you should follow the instructions. So after picking up a topic you have to read the instructions of the specific institution. While reading them, make sure to pay attention to the required number of words and a range of topics.
  • Brainstorm. The idea is always fundamental. When you already know your topic, try to generate ideas related to it. Create the conditions for effective brainstorming: sit in a room, set a timer and generate as many ideas as possible during this time period.
  • Answer the question: "Why you?" In short, your motivation essay should make it obvious to the admissions officer that the college should select you from a number of other applicants.
  • Answer the question: "Why this school?" for every high school you want to apply to, there's a simple but effective trick. If you're going to send the same document to multiple education bodies, do not use the same essay for each college. You have to tailor it to the needs of the college. A customized essay can convince the readers that their school is your best choice.
Here are some questions to answer before starting to write the essay:
  • Why do I want to study for a bachelor or master's degree in this college?
  • Why have I chosen this particular specialty?
  • Why did I choose a specific university, college or business school?
  • What do I want to do after getting a degree?

A small tip: Speak as if you were telling a friend about your plans and aspirations. This is how the most sincere and personal answers are obtained.

Tips on how to manage the writing process

Again, since almost everyone writes this kind of letter for the first time, it is difficult to understand in advance how the whole process is better organized. Here are some tips that will greatly simplify the work with a motivation letter:

First write, then edit

Very often it is difficult to write because your mind does not generate beautiful words, logical phrases, or just refuses to produce any meaningful idea. That is what makes writing an essay so challenging. To overcome this difficulty, you should divide the whole process into two stages.

First, you write everything that comes to your mind no matter if the phrase sounds clumsy, unfinished or illogical. Your task at this stage is to prepare the basic — ideas and thoughts in writing. If you try to correct and refine the phrase immediately on the go, you are going to write a one-page essay for weeks instead of a couple of days.

And only when you have more or less completed text, proceed with assembling the phrases and sentences in a logic structure. You will see that it is easy to edit the text when it is already on the paper not in your head.

Write short sentences

Another feature of almost all motivation letters is long sentences with several participle phrases. Sometimes a paragraph is one long wordy sentence. Such running sentences lose their meaning and are often incorrectly designed. Logically, they seem to be correct, but as for the language and style, they leave much to be desired.

What is the main aim of a motivation essay? It is quite easy to identify what you want. Your task is to make sure that the reader – the admission committee will need to read the essay "from and to", and thus, gets interested in your profile. in this case, long sentences are not good if you want to keep reader’s attention. So write short sentences, one sentence - one thought. The reader's attention will be yours!

Write more specifically

Successful motivation letters always have specific examples to support the argument. In most papers, you can often see something like "I have taken part in many different projects and events at my school” or “ It is important for me to be an active person", and then you start writing another idea.

These general statements add absolutely no weight to your essay simply because it is unclear what you mean. What exactly have you been involved in? And why is it so important to you? And even if you think that your CV already lists all these activities, you cannot expect that the selection committee officer will apply to other application papers of yours while reading the essay. Write so that any reader of your essay has no questions about what you claim. If you specify something, give a specific example.

Check your text several times

Very often, applicants fail to notice their own mistakes and even typos. They are completely invisible therefore even Microsoft Word can miss them. The situation is critical if you do not pay much attention to the editing stage. Even if you have a perfectly honed text with strong ideas and profitable information, the text with errors will instantly spoil the impression.

For the inspector of the admission committee, this does not explain that you are a busy person. But is a sign of negligence and contempt for the elementary requirements for the admission papers. To prevent this, we highly recommend using some convenient online service like Grammarly or others, with the help of which you can have a complete text check and identify spelling, grammar and a number of other errors. Now when you know how to start writing a personal essay faster and more efficiently, let’s get to writing!

Effective strategies for a motivation essay

Specialists who have written hundreds of essays would recommend you to use these writing strategies:

Remain true to yourself

Your essay can help you show who you are. Use this method to ensure that your faceless documents have a clear voice. Share your vision and your unique look. If while reading the essay at some point you hear your mother’s voice or your teacher’s speech, you need to rewrite this part.

Write what they want to read

Imagine if you could talk to the committee in person. What would you tell them? Imagine that you are the only ideal candidate to be accepted. Determine if you have any of the required qualities and emphasize them:

Be honest

Avoid distorting the reality just to go through the selection process. Your sincere voice and personal vision are far more important than any exaggerated or nonexistent achievements you can add to your autobiography.

Avoid complex structures and unclear ideas

Most of the officers of admission commissions say that the applicants should not overload their essays with complex sentences and intricate phrases. just let your thoughts flow and express them in the language that characterizes your level.

Study effective essays

It is good to read other essays to get a better understanding of the motivation essay essence and structure. Select and read those personal statements that have helped students to be accepted to a certain college.

Essay writing objectives

You will have no problems with your motivation essay if you set clear objectives at the beginning of the writing process. There are different goals that students pursue when writing their entrance papers however there are ones that will help you better organize your writing. We offer our clients to focus on these objectives:
  • Write a good introduction
  • A strong introduction that attracts the reader's attention is of great importance. "Attention hooks" might be like these:
  • A mini story
  • Jan anecdote
  • Striking fact
  • Confession

Write three sections

Despite being creative in your admission essay, you should stick to the classical structure: introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.

Make a draft and revise it as many times as possible

Depending on your personal writing style, you can start writing a couple of phrases for each section and expand them later. Or you can write down everything that comes to mind and then edit and eliminate the excess parts.

Grammar and style of your essay

The following tips can help take your introductory essay to a higher next level, in terms of grammar and readability:
  • Avoid clichés; never use a metaphor, comparison, or any other figure of speech that are best for newspaper articles.
  • Never use long words if a short ones work the same.
  • Exclude the excess phrases
  • Keep in mind that active voice structures are better than passive ones.
  • Never use a foreign word or scientific jargon if you can use common words instead.

Your main goal is to make the admission staff read your essay without difficulty, so make it as simple as you can.

The aim of this article was to give you practical and proven recommendations for successful admission to the high college, business school or university.

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