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Admission essay is a very important factor influencing the decision of
a high school examining board as for whether to accept a student or
not; however, a widespread mistake of applicants is not paying
significant attention to writing this essay. As a rule such an essay
should comprise about 500 - 1000 words, however the rules may differ
in different establishments. Naturally, the basic aim of an admission
essay is to convince the examining board that a person is worth
studying at college or university, and it can produce a really
powerful influence upon the commission.
The basic rule for writing an admission essay is - it should not be
banal. A psychological factor should be accounted for here: the
members of the examining board read lots of such essays annually, and
of course it is preferable that your essay stand out against them,
that is - be as original as possible. It is crucial to make the
beginning of the essay (its introduction) attention-grabbing so that
to attract the readers.
When writing an essay, it is important to stick to several rules: be
totally honest and sincere, without inventing anything about your
biography and academic, sport or other achievements. While being
original, you should not create a work of fiction, but try your best
to sound natural.
Though there is no concrete "success formula" for creating a strong
and persuasive essay of this kind (they differ depending upon the
personality of the author, as well as many other factors), generally,
the rules for writing an admission essay are the same as for writing
any other type of essays: it normally consists of three parts -
introduction, main body and conclusion, all of them logically
connected with each other. Thesis is an inseparable part of this kind
of essay, and should be included into the introduction or follow it.
The thesis should be proved by well-grounded arguments.
When getting to work on the essay, it is vital to, first of all, think
of all the reasons for doing it - of which the main is to show oneself
to the members of the examining board to the best advantage, to
advertise oneself. Writing the essay requires preliminary thinking
about one's own personality - what are your strengths (and perhaps
weaknesses), which peculiar events in your life helped you develop
professionally and personally, what are the aims and objectives of
your life, what differs you from all the rest and makes you stand out
from them, and finally, how is it possible to show the examining board
your best qualities necessary for learning the profession you are
going to learn.
Admission essays often contain stories from real life, which does not
only make the piece of writing vivid, but also allows those who will
read the essay begin regarding you as a personality rather than just
"another applicant". It should create a very positive impression, but
it should be kept in mind that nothing must be invented, as it is no
good and even impossible trying to pretend you are somebody else, not
Here is an approximate list of questions which should be answered in
an admission essay:
• How long ago have you chosen your major? What interests you in
this sphere of knowledge, and why do you want to devote your life (or
some period of life) to it? You can speak here about some particular
phenomena and/or ideas related to the subject which excite or interest
• What are the reasons for applying to this particular
college/university/program? It is very important to get to know more
about the university and find out what makes it special among other
educational establishments of the country. You may point out the
university's strong sides (academic, as well as others), name the
professors carrying out the research you are interested in, emphasize
some scientific discoveries and inventions made by the staff of the
university - in other words, describe it as a unique place.
• What are the qualities distinguishing you from other
applicants? What kind of person are you, and what are your
achievements (supported by examples from real life)?
• What are your future plans and career aspirations? It is vital
to show how the education you are going to obtain correlates with your
personal development plan.
• How will the knowledge obtained in this college/university
help you when actualizing these plans? Here you should state how you
are going to apply your knowledge and what goals you aspire to
As far as the style of the essay is concerned, it is necessary to
organize your ideas logically. The fist paragraph should grab the
attention of the readers, and ideally contain the main idea. The main
body of an essay should contain arguments to support the thesis, and
in case it is possible - concrete examples from your life (dealing
with school, family, friends, sport, your country, etc.) which point
out your good qualities. The conclusion should repeat the thesis and
make it sound even more convincing.
The tone of an admission essay should strike the right balance between
the tone of official documents and the sincere and friendly tone
applicable to personal communication. As the point of the essay is to
show that you have individuality, dry committee language will not do
here. In the essay, it is very important to pay attention to the
details rather than ideas, avoiding pathos, vague generalities and
predictable phrases. Of course, it is necessary to make sure that all
paragraphs are logically connected with each other, that the tone of
the essay reflects your own personality, and that the style is
homogenous. At the final stage of writing an admission essay, make
sure it is not too long and certainly not boring.
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