Tips For Editing Your College Essay

Here are some tips on college essay editing.

Flickr user Nic McPhee

One of the most daunting tasks you may have to work on as a prospective college student is the college application essay. Essays are often required not just for college admissions itself, but also for scholarships, fellowships, and certain types of grant programs.

After spending hours working on your essay, all you want to do is just send it to its destination. But submitting your essay immediately upon completion can be a huge mistake. Editing your essay is a crucial step that you just cannot afford to overlook. Editing can help take your essay from good to outstanding!

Listed below are some college essay editing tips to help you edit, revise, and polish your essay so you can get into your dream school.

Take a Little Break After You’re Done Writing Your Essay

You just finished your essay. Once you have saved it, close down the file and walk away from your computer. Take a walk. Take a nap. Work on your favorite hobby. Just take a little break and let the essay rest for a little while—anywhere from an hour to a day. Your brain needs a little break. Once you have rested a little while, you will be better equipped to handle the real editing process.

Read Your Essay Out Loud

Remember when your speech teacher had you practice your speech in front of a mirror or a friend to see how it sounded? The same is true for your essay. First sentence a little boring? Did the end of that last paragraph “wander” into the distance, without really making a point? Did you use language that is too simple? How about language that is too complex? Are you bored as a reader after your first paragraph? Now is the time to correct most of what you can catch now and make it better.

Enlist the Help of a Friend, Teacher, or Family Member

An extra set of eyes never hurts anyone, and this is especially true when it comes to your essay. Friends, relatives, and teachers may be quicker to point out accomplishments you may have forgotten, correct spelling or grammar mistakes you may have missed, and make suggestions for word replacement or sentence restructuring.

Grab Your Reader’s Attention

Admissions officers are reading your essay to know more about you, the person, not just your test scores and grades. Make a great first impression by capturing the reader’s attention with a compelling introduction.

Spell Check and Read Through One More Time

Once you’ve made what you consider to be the necessary corrections, read through your essay again—out loud if you have to. How does it sound? How does it flow? Did a word or a sentence make you stumble as you read it out loud?

Once you’ve achieved what you believe to be application essay perfection, then you can upload your file and hit submit.

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