Writing a good application essay: be sincere whenever you can

Application essays are the newest requirement for college admissions. It is no longer good enough to simply earn a high score on a standardized, college readiness test or to earn high grades in school. You now have to be able to write a college application essay that will make the admissions committee notice your ability to write, think, and talk about yourself. While there are many suggestions out there to help students get high marks on their college application essays, one suggestion is frequently overlooked: honesty.

Lack of Voice in Professional Writing

Since there is so much pressure put on students to write top notch essays, a large number of students have turned to writing sites where they can hire professional writers to get the job done for them. While this does promise a well-written essay with little to no mistakes, most professional writers craft essays that could be categorized as being “general.” The professionally written essays usually lack an honest voice, if they even have a voice at all. Most professional writers are capable of crafting essays that are so well written that they could be written by anyone.

Be You and Be Real

College admissions experts are looking for good writing and honest voices. They are aware that students can hire anyone they want to write their essays, so they are looking for essays that look like they have been written by students. How can they tell? It is relatively easy. Honest, student-written essays will have some mistakes because they are written by young people, not seasoned professional writers. The student-written essays will be a bit self-centered, because high school students are self-centered by nature. Despite the self-centeredness, high school students also try to show that they are aware of a larger world, so many of them will write about their attempt to make a small difference in that world.

Don’t Worry about the Honest Flaws

When the professionals tackle the essay, they are more concerned with clean grammar and completing the task so the admissions experts cannot tell a professional wrote the piece. Unfortunately, that lack of voice and concern for clean grammar is the first sign that the piece is not honestly written. Students should step away from the need for perfection and be content with their flaws. Colleges do not want perfection, because perfection is not willing to learn. They want to see that they have students who are willing to put themselves out there and be who they are, flaws, and all. (Just don’t forget to proofread your essay before you submit it).