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Characteristics Of Good And Bad Essays

Writing a great college essay takes patience, commitment, and attention to detail, and these ten qualities epitomize the ideal piece of work.

The idea of writing a college essay might make you anxious, but try not to overcomplicate them. If you go in with a clear head and a commitment to writing something sincere and great, you’ll end up doing fine.

If you’re worried about what colleges look for in college essays, we’ve compiled a list of some of the greatest qualities your essay can have:

1.       Honest. You won’t get anywhere by making up a story you think will seem impressive. If you’re suspected of falsifying something, your essay could be thrown out entirely.

2.       Sincere. Similarly, you have to express a genuine interest in applying. Write from the heart and you’ll be fine.

3.       Emotional. Show how you feel about the college you’re applying to, and why you’re passionate about attending college. Emotion is important to display.

4.       Detailed. Fluffy is not a good quality for college essays. Be as detailed as you possibly can, especially when describing your previous experience.

5.       Logical. Your essay should have a logical flow from one sentence into the next. Ask someone to read your essay to see if it makes sense from an organization standpoint.

6.       Concise. Longer doesn’t always mean better. Every sentence of your essay should be worth including, and worth reading.

7.       Unique. Don’t follow a model or use the same formula for every essay.

8.       Researched. Customize your essays for each school. Show that you know what each school is about!

9.       Professional. This should go without saying, but use a professional voice and avoid slang terms and messy conversational grammar.

10.   Proofread. Simple mistakes are easy to catch. Make sure your essay is proofread before submitting.

Harness these qualities in your own college essays and take control over your college application experience. And if you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for our free college application management software.

An essay puts forth a viewpoint, so think of it as structuring an argument.

1.  Begin by writing an introduction that is general and introduces the topic. In your introduction, include a thesis statement that makes your position clear.

2.  Write as many paragraphs as you need to make all the points of your argument.  Begin each paragraph with a topic sentencethat does two things: supports your thesis and controls the content of the...

An essay puts forth a viewpoint, so think of it as structuring an argument.

1.  Begin by writing an introduction that is general and introduces the topic. In your introduction, include a thesis statement that makes your position clear.

2.  Write as many paragraphs as you need to make all the points of your argument.  Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that does two things: supports your thesis and controls the content of the paragraph it heads.

3.  Be sure to establish your credibility.  This is called ethos. Make your audience aware of what qualifies you to speak on the subject.

4.  Make sure your position is reasonable, logical, and supported by factual information.  This is called logos.

5.  Engage your audience by appealing to the appropriate emotions for your subject.  This is called pathos. The words you choose (diction) create your tone, and it, too, should be appropriate to your subject.

6.  In your concluding paragraph, don't simply restate your main points.  This is a bit insulting to your reader.  A more effective way to end is to once again turn to more general terms, but rephrase your thesis.  Rephrase, but don't repeat, to cement your argument.

7.  Be sure your grammar, usage and mechanics are clean.  Proofread carefully and seek an edit from someone you know to be a good writer. Be open to their edits and willing to revise.

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