An admissions essay is a form of personal writing used to positively persuade an institution regarding an applicant's qualifications for entry into that institution. It differs from typical essays in that it has only one audience—the admissions committee of that institution—and only one purpose—to persuade that committee to admit the applicant. Many writers struggle with admissions essays because they are a form of writing not taught or practiced in school, and for that reason, many writers compose admissions articles that fail to convince institutions of their merits. Following are a few guidelines to keep in mind when composing an admissions essay for any type of institution or program.
Be familiar with the institution. Mention the names of professors, programs, or other distinguishing aspects of the institution, and suggest reasons why these unique aspects are appealing. This demonstrates that the applicant has a genuine enthusiasm for the institution and is familiar with its programs and accomplishments.
Point out achievements and experiences that the institution would find particularly valuable. For instance, if the admissions essay is addressed to a university with a strong renewable energy initiative, the applicant might draw attention to his involvement with environmental clubs or organizations.
Attempt to be genuine and well-rounded by pointing out accomplishments but suggesting room for growth. Admissions reports should not be merely a list of accolades. Most people strive to do great things or achieve in some way because of past failure. Therefore, an applicant should be sincere and honest about her desire for improvement in a certain area and how that institution might assist in that development.
Do not risk appearing unprofessional by complaining about another institution or program, a grade received, or any other personal grievance. The general tone of the article should be positive and reflective, even about negative experiences.
If there is part of an application that needs explanation—for instance a "C" on a transcript amid a host of "A's," use a portion of that essay to address it. The admissions essay is the applicant's chance to both introduce herself, explain her qualifications for admission, and, if need be, explain or defend some of the less impressive parts of her transcript.
Finally—admissions reports should never be written the day they are due. Allow time for multiple drafts, and have a friend, teacher, or writing center look over the final copy. A fresh set of eyes is an invaluable writing resource.
Premium Papers Involving "Admissions Essay"
Helpful Videos on Academic Writing