Creating an outstanding admission essay: avoiding wordiness

An admission essay is something that can make a big change in your life. Whether or not you get into the college you want to go to changes the next few years a lot: where you live, what friends you'll have, what new things you'll learn, and possibly, what backup plans you'll need. If you really want to get in, you'll need to write an outstanding essay. A lot of students get hung up on each and every word in their admission essay. While you do need to edit your work, sometimes it can become too much. Here's how you can make your essay great without the wordiness.

Admission Essay Writing Tips

The first thing you need to do is take a step back from your essay. Hopefully, you have enough time left before the due date, because this is very important. Let it sit without looking at it or thinking about it for at least overnight, preferably three or four days. This time period will help you get a little perspective about your essay and look at it with fresh eyes once you do go back to it.

After you've done that, read your essay through once without stopping. Write down the following:

  1. What is my overall opinion/feelings about my essay?
  2. If it was my decision to accept or reject a student, based on this essay, would it pass my standards?
  3. What are some areas I can see need more work? Do I know how to fix them?
  4. Does this essay accurately represent how I am?

Even if you can't fully answer each one of those questions right now, at least think about them and jot down something. When you're worried about wordiness, it's often a factor of over explaining or not being subtle enough. Once you know exactly what you want from this essay and the mood you want to convey, you'll be able to pare down extra words that don't add to that vision.

When you're rereading your essay after answering those questions, the last step is to go through sentence by sentence and ask yourself if those words really make a difference in the overall essay. If they're really important, keep them, but if they're just filling out your word count, or just an indulgence of the writer, they need to be cut from your work.