When you complete your college applications and more to the point your college essay, your goal is to fill the college admissions officer with an overwhelming positive feeling that makes him or her want to grant you admission to the college or university. One way to increase the likelihood of this occurrence is to figure out what makes the reader tick and identify and present the similarities you share.
This is accomplished through a process known as audience analysis. Audience analysis should influence all aspects of your college essay from topic selection to developing ideas to the choice of words you use and finally the style of your college essay.
So for example when deciding on a topic for your college essay your thinking should be deeper than what ideas are relevant to my topic? You should think more along the lines of what do I know about the reader and how can I relate my experiences in a manner that captures his or her attention and helps him or her relate to me as a person. College admissions officers are more likely to admit applicants they feel they can relate to through shared experiences.
Don't over think this. It's actually pretty simple. You don't need to “know the reader" in the since that you knew his or her personal feelings on every topic. All that means is to put yourself in the shoes of a typical college administrator and try to understand how they think and feel. What would impress them and grab their attention? It's as simple as that.
Colleges and universities would not exist without students so the job of the college admissions office is critical to the diversity and economic health of any university. College administrators take their job responsibilities seriously. They're often recent graduates of the school and want to help it to continue to flourish with a top notch incoming freshman class. And they're willing to put in long hours going through applications thoroughly to ensure they do the best job possible.
Even though college administrators take their jobs seriously, they're human and they can get bored with the monotony of going through up to 50 applications each day for months. That's a lot of short answers and essays to read. Are you starting to see why you need to grab their attention and get your points across quickly before they lose interest. But they'll keep on plugging through applications examining qualifications and doing the best they can to pick the best students who are capable of being contributing members of the campus community.
The hundreds of college essays they read tend to get blurred together but by following the tactics laid out in this article you'll be able to write a college essay that stands out from the crowd and increases your chances of college admission.
Jerry Larson is a former college admissions officer who knows the ropes and is now helping college applicants get an “insiders perspective" on the college admission process. Are you making these common mistakes that kill your chances of admission into the college or university of your choice?
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