How to write a powerful admission essay on your own

Admissions essays are very important to a student's academic career, and by extension, to their professional careers as well. One of the issues many students face is writing an admissions essay that is formal and appropriate yet still stands out. Many programs are very, very competitive and an admissions committee may have hundreds of applications, and therefore essays, to review. It's important that a student's essay stand out, but it should stand out for the right reasons. Here are some things that can help make sure that a student's essay is powerful and noteworthy while still being professional and academically appropriate:


Admissions essays often call for students to write about themselves. There can be a temptation to be falsely modest, or, on the flip side, for students to talk themselves up unrealistically. Both of these traits are recognized immediately by admissions counselors and they are not approved of. One way to stand out is to be straightforward, sincere, and authentic about yourself in your essay.

Don't dwell on controversial topics or opinions

By including personal information, it may come to light that certain things like politics, religion, race, or ethnicity are important in your life. This is understandable and absolutely okay to write about in terms of remaining authentic. However, it's important that the student not latch onto these topics and use the academic admissions essay as a platform for a tangent about their opinions. Place these topics into a context that makes sense for an academic essay. For example, religion may be important to the student, but express that by describing the positive experiences had when volunteering at a food bank supported by the church, synagogue, or other religious institution. Being active in grassroots politics may be important to the student, but they shouldn't talk as much about their political affiliations as their experiences, and what they learned in terms of playing an active role in governance and community.

Organize the paper well and proofread it perfectly

Believe it or not, many students write their admissions essays with little or no thought to the general academic requirements they've had to fulfill in the past. One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your application essay is powerful and stands out from the crowd is to treat is with as much care as an assigned essay for class.