Posted on August 6, 2016
First thing first, college essay writing is something all students can not escape from and will face at one point or another. But producing effective college essay writing is the hard part.
Writing college essay effectively is difficult for every individual, and for different reasons. For example, it may be due to lack of information such as not knowing the exact audience so it becomes a guessing game, or it might even be that you are able to form sentences and have a lot of ideas forming in your head but the words invariably tumble out of you or you simply can’t start your paper.
Regardless of what your reason may be, effective college essay writing is fundamental for all purposes whatever your goal may be. There will never be a moment where obfuscation will be an advantage for you. In college essay writing, you will most often encounter research-based papers or even essays where you have to make an argument for or against a stance. If your end goal is to produce effective college essay writing, being able to write with crisp, concisely and compellingly is important.
I’ll share a great guide to effective college essay writing. That is in George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language where he lays the perfect foundation in my opinion of how to produce effective college essay writing. You might want to keep this handy too so be prepared to take notes:
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Although you might want to keep in mind that at the time Orwell wrote the bullet points above, he was specifically referring to the political propaganda at the time. However, I believe every point he made in the list is also very much applicable for effective college essay writing. Another text I always refer to when writing college essays to remind myself of how to write it effectively, is from Kurt Vonnegut. He lays out the seven rules for writing effectively, and this also is very applicable for effective college essay writing:
- Find a subject you care about.
- Do not ramble, though.
- Keep it simple.
- Have the guts to cut.
- Sound like yourself.
- Say what you mean to say.
Do you notice a general pattern between Orwell and Vonnegut’s points? If you sum it up, they are both pointing towards the same key points when it comes to proper effective college essay writing, or any writing as a matter of fact; and that is: clarify, specificity, and brevity.
Out of all these points for how to produce effective college essay writing, the most important point is to keep your writing concise. Always remember that when you are submitting any type of paper, whether it be a resume for a job application or an essay for admissions into a college or university, the person you are submitting to most likely or almost definitely have a stack of other essays and writings to read every day. Now in this situation, most of the recruiters or the person reviewing your application will mostly likely spend only a few minutes on your essays. This is why if, let’s say a college requires a 250 word essay writing, then ideally you should stick around 250 words and not 600 words because at that point, you would already be straining their patience - and you definitely do not want to do that. Moreover, they will be assessing your ability to write effectively. Not how much you can write; but how much you can say in as little words as possible. That is not only more effective in conveying your point across, but is also a representation of your writing ability in general; or in this case, your college essay writing ability.
If you’re still having trouble with producing effective college essay writing, you might want to also consider following the 3 steps listed below:
Spend a few minutes thinking about the prompt before you start writing anything. If the prompt can be divided into phrases or sections, go ahead and take a look at them separately from different perspectives. Meanwhile, ask yourself why you are asked this prompt? What do you think they want to know?
Although this might seem like a time-wasting step, I ensure you that the 5 minutes you spent in analyzing your prompt will save your hours or even days of work if you end up having to rewrite your college essay.
This step is very similar to the first step - it’s something that does not take a long time but a step most often skipped by many students and is very vital; again, possibly saving you hours of rewriting, stress, and frustration, if planned properly from the beginning. Having a good writing can even eliminate any significant rewriters and this is one of the definitions of what effective college essay writing is.
All it consists of, is creating a rough outline as you brainstorm your anecdotes and brain map what points you want to talk about, how long you want each point to take, then finally, figure out when you want to write it. Creating deadlines for yourself will also help motivate you in completing an effective college essay writing, in time for your deadline.
Hands down, this is one step that is of absolute value and necessity. Absolutely ask others to review your essay before you submit it. However, make sure that you do not have feedbacks from too many people as this increases the risk of confusion, resulting in decreased quality of your college essays. Therefore, stick to one to two people to review your college and make sure that they are qualified individuals who have background in your subject area or editing.
If effective college essay writing is what you are aiming for, make sure to stick to these key points and unlock all the potential inside you in becoming the best writer you can be and better yet, get professional help to further insure your college essay is error-free with Essay Plus’ experienced writers and editors.