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Editing College Essays

Editing College Essays

College essays are by far more frightening than those essays that you will be doing when you get into the college of your choice. This is because the quality of your college essays decides the fate of your admission.

Carrying the responsibility of a college admission can potentially limit and retard thinking process and hence could dent the quality of your essay. Considering this, the process of editing college essays sufficiently well takes on a bigger significance than editing other college papers. Editing college essays will help you correct things that went wrong in the writing process.

Standardized test scores, grades, and other elements such as achievement certificates play a crucial role in helping your application get noticed by the admissions officer. However, many times, the clincher could well be the college essay that you submit along with your application.

Here are some common topics that colleges use as prompts for college essays

  • Write an essay that describes a time when you failed to achieve your goal. What were your experiences, feelings, and what lessons did you learn?

  • Write an essay about a time in your life when you had to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk. What happened and what did you choose? Talk about the outcomes and how they affected you. In retrospect, would you have taken a different approach?

  • Write about a poem or book or movie or musical composition or novel or a personal experience that influenced your way of life. How and why did it influence you thus?

  • Why do you choose to join a 4-year college course when there are 2-year options available?

  • Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

  • If you were given an option to change one event in your life, which would that be and why? You could also choose not to use the option but explain your reasons for it.

  • Assume that there is only open admission seat in this college. Convince us why you should be the chosen one.

  • What makes you unique? What is it that separates you from the others in your high school batch? How has this proved to be an advantage to you?

  • Write an essay describing two of your achievements that are not connected in any way to academics.

  • If you had an opportunity to have a 30-minute one-on-one discussion with a public figure (alive or dead), who would be your choice and why? What would you like to discuss with him or her?

  • In your opinion, which is the most important social or political movement that happened in the last two decades? Why?

  • Your younger sibling or a friend or a relative is just starting his or her high school? What advice and suggestions would you like to offer to this person?

  • Create a question that is not there in this admission form. Then provide a thoughtful and insightful answer.

  • Describe the neighborhood you spent your childhood in. What aspects of it molded your character?

  • Choose a character from a story or from human history that you believe is most like you. Explain your answer.

If you notice, most of the prompts have a very open structure. These topics give you ample freedom to choose to write something that reflects your personality and your individuality. That is the basic purpose of a college essay. Here are some tips on how to write a college application essay.

The writing process constitutes only 50% of the entire college essay writing process. The balance 50% is taken by the editing task. So, unless you have thoroughly and completely edited your college essay, the work is not over.

Editing college essays

Read your essay out loud – When we write each sentence with care and caution, it is quite likely that we forget to see how the entire essay sounds. We forget to see how the paper will appear to a reader who is reading the entire content at one stretch. Reading your essay out loud to yourself will help you 'hear' problems in the content that your eye may have missed.

Read like that princess in The Princess and the Pea fairy tale. Just like how she was so sensitive to all kinds of discomfort that she could feel a tiny pea lying beneath twenty mattresses, you must be extremely sensitive to the mistakes in your essay. Even the tiniest one should make you uncomfortable. Investigate and make necessary changes. If something is bothering you while you are reading the essay then your readers will also be bothered by it.

Ensure every word you use is performing its function – Are all the phrases and words that you have used in the essay doing their work? If not, either change them or delete them altogether. Economy of words is critical to ensuring your final product is excellent. Let me illustrate with an example.

Let us look at the phrase, "My own personal opinion." The use of 'own personal' in this phrase is quite redundant because, the phrase "My opinion," carries the same meaning. So, the phrase 'own personal' is quite useless here. Read your essay to ensure that such unnecessary use of words and/or phrases is completely avoided.

Also, ensure you use the perfect word in context. For examples, the word "says" can be replaced with "argues," "contends," "acknowledges," "reveals," etc. This will make your essay more interesting and lively. On the other hand, avoid using words whose meaning you are uncertain about.

Be very specific about everything you say – Keep out ambiguity and generalities. A sentence like, "The evils in society is causing much harm," could mean so much that to the reader, it may not convey anything at all. This sentence is highly general and ambiguous. Ensure your sentence includes more specific data such as which evils, which society, and what kind of harm.

Avoid jargons, pompous, and stilted words and phrases – Quite often, in an effort to sound intelligent and authoritative, we end up using jargons and pompous and stilted language. If used incorrectly these words will make our essay quite difficult to read and understand. Moreover, the reader is bound to lose interest in your attempt to sound intelligent and smart.

Elevated words are also to be avoided. These are usually formed when you try to convert a noun into an inappropriate verb form. For example, "He exited the house," is not as correct as "He left the house." The word "exit" is better used as a noun than a verb.

Yet, there are words for which an exception made in this area will enhance the quality of your writing. For example, "He muscled his way through the crowd," is a great way to creating a visual with the word "muscled" even though the word "muscle" is better used as a noun than a verb. These mistakes and nuances can be corrected during the editing process only.

Be ruthless about cutting down even the most favorite sentence from your essay – During the writing process, you would have been dazzled by a few sentences that you created. At that time, the feeling of writing such a beautifully crafted sentence would have made you promise yourself that nothing will make you delete these sentences from your essay.

But while you are in the editing process, you realize that although these sentences are wonderfully written, they do not fit in at all. At these times, remember not to get overcome by emotion and be ruthless about removing them from your essay. Readers will be more upset by the inappropriateness of the sentences than thrilled about the brilliance of their crafting.

Final Notes

Editing college essays is an extremely critical aspect of making sure that you do not submit a flawed one which is bound to reduce the chances of getting admission. Do not even contemplate of submitting an essay without editing and revising it till such time you are absolutely certain of its correctness in all respects.

Do not use excuses of not finding the time or energy for the absolutely necessary task. If you wish to take professional help on something so important, then at Prescott Papers, our experienced and qualified editors offer you a range of editing services.

Our team of professional and trained writers can help you with all your academic writing needs. Do not hesitate to call us for writing and editing custom essays, assignments, projects, research papers, and more.

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