Created by: Adrienne Cochran Presented by: Cheryl Rosenbaum The College Admissions Essay: Information, Strategies, and Tips
What do Florida Colleges and Universities Require? Essays Required Essays Not Required • Florida A & M • University of Florida • New College of Florida • Florida State University • FAU Honors College • University of Central Florida (essays are strongly recommended) • Florida Gulf Coast University • University of South Florida • University of West Florida • Florida International University • Florida Atlantic University • University of North Florida All universities who utilize The Common Application require admission essays.
Purposes of the Admissions Essay • This is your opportunity to: • Introduce yourself to the people who are trying to decide whether or not to invite you to their campus. • Imagine it is a face-to-face interview. • The most important thing is to BE YOURSELF! • Show that you are an effective communicator (e.g. literate and engaging). • Provide information to support /explain the rest of your application. • Differentiate yourself from other students with similar applications. Remember that you only get ONE chance to make a good impression!
What Admission Committees Look For • A student with potential for growth • An individual who will contribute to the quality of life for other students • A personality that will fit in on their campus • Individuals who are sincere and are themselves
Choosing the Best Subject for You • Do not use your essay to restate information that is already in your application or to list every accomplishment, activity, award, or personal quality. • Examine the prompt carefully so you know exactly what is required. • Keep an open mind. • Focus on aspects of your life that you are passionate about, that describe who you are as a person, that are relevant to your future goals, and that show you will be a successful college student.
Things to Keep in Mind as You Begin • Write with a focus and a clear voice. • Pay attention to clarity of thought, organization, and sentence structure. • This also includes things such as tense consistency, use of active voice, etc. • Engage the reader. • Your narrative should have a conversational, yet appropriate, tone. • Illuminate your ideas with details, examples, and anecdotes. • You need to include concrete examples. • Avoid sounding like a thesaurus. • Nothing is more awkward or turns readers off more than the use of pompous or inappropriate words. Imagine you are having a conversation with the reader. • Keep it within the assigned word count. • Check to see if you have addressed ALL the requirements of the prompt.
Reading Between the Lines • Your words form the reader’s initial impression of you. • The reader will read between the lines to form an opinion of whether or not you will be a good fit for their college • Qualities they are looking for: • Enthusiasm • Intelligence • Uniqueness • Scholarship (not $) • Ability to communicate • The fit for this college (do some research)
Writing the Essay • Your essay should grad the reader’s attention. The purpose of the opening is to identify you as a unique individual and to introduce the topic and the tone of the essay. • Elaborate on the situation established in the opening/introduction. • Consider details: What subtext about you is revealed by your choice of specifics? • Consider diction: What does your choice of words say about you? • The conclusion does not need to be a summary or restatement. Some ideas: • Make a final dramatic point. • Reveal an insight gained from the ideas presented in the body of your essay. • Connect yourself to the college or system of colleges • Leave the reader with a provocative, final point about you. • Create an open-ended invitation to get to know you better.
In Closing • Do not be afraid to pat yourself on the back, but do not gloat and avoid pomposity. • If you address a negative topic or issue, do your best to link it to a positive outcome or insight. • Choose one facet of an experience, and polish it for a single effect on the reader.