25 Feb, 2020
10 : 00
Since the beginning of the school year, Jonathan Mellen, Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s University Guidance Officer has been offering workshops to parents in an effort to equip them with adequate resources for their children when applying for universities.
Last week, he hosted his first webinar since the outbreak on how parents can help their children prepare a strong college essay and personal statement, where he explained in details the difference between the two and how parents can support their children in the process.
Below he explains the importance of an essay and offers tips on how to write an excellent one.
What is a college essay and why is it important in the application process?
A college essay is important because it’s one of the components universities look at in admissions. It is an informal first interview and often gives valuable information to universities on who you are outside of your academic and extra-curricular life. It is a chance for you to explain to universities who you are, what your passionate about, what you have learned in certain situations, demonstrate your writing ability and discuss how you plan to contribute to the campus. The college essay allows the student to be heard and also is a gauge to how well the student might fit into the university.
How do you write a stellar college essay?
Mr. Mellen explains that there are different ways to go about writing a stellar college essay. Each individual student will have a different approach based on who they are. Below please find some of his suggestions:
What should you not write in a college essay?
You should not write about other people in your essay. Many students like to talk about inspirational figures in their lives, but they should focus the essay on what they learned from their experiences or how they would like to carry on the legacy.
Another thing you shouldn’t do is fabricate any story or take any story from someone else as your own. Universities are looking for authenticity, which will help you avoid any essay writing pitfalls.
Finally, don’t write your college essay at the last minute. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to review and revise.
Are essays the same for every college? If not, how do they differ?
Not all essays are the same. The common application for most universities in the United States has a list of 10 common application questions and every student who applies through it can choose one of those essays. Some universities have supplementary essays that they want you to apply for. If you are applying to universities in the United Kingdom, they will require you to write a personal statement which is different from a college essay. If you would like to watch a parent presentation on the difference between the college essay and the 10 common application questions can be found here
What resources are available for our students for writing college essays?
Year 12 students have the opportunity of going through a workshop on how to write an essay. There are a lot of free resources to help both students and parents. One such example is the college essay guy, which has helped thousands of students all over the world and provides many resources as well as online courses for students who want to write an excellent college essay. You can visit https://www.collegeessayguy.com/.