This blog is the first in a series called, “Ten Words That Will Improve Your College Admissions Essay.” In each of the blogs, I’ll examine a key word as it relates to writing the college admissions essay, and describe how it can help you.

The word for today is “audacity.”

In my experience, the best college admissions essays have a sense of audacity about them, that sets them apart from safer, more predictable work. That audacity can be exhibited in several ways.

The first is, topic. Admissions Directors read a lot of essays and many of them cover the same subjects – an incident at summer camp, winning or losing the big game, and so on. If your essay explores a topic that an AD hasn’t already read that day, however, he or she will automatically have a positive view toward what you’ve written and, by extension, you. The essay has to be more than merely audacious, of course, but it’s a good place to start.

Another area where audacity can help is with the writing itself. Interesting turns of phrase, unique analogies, or grin-inducing metaphors all point toward a student with a unique perspective, a quality most schools would prefer in their incoming freshman.

Audacity can also be exhibited in defying expectations. Again, Admissions Directors read so many essays that they get a sense of where they’re going, sometimes from the first sentence. If your essay can twist those expectations around, and still get across a positive message, it can stand out from the pack.

Naturally, all these approaches need to be tempered with taste. You want your essay to be bold and stand out, yet at the same time still position you as a responsible, mature student who will make a contribution to the school. It can be a delicate balance, but finding it will definitely improve your essay, and chances for acceptance.

Keep checking in; more key words to follow!

For personal help with the college admissions essay, please contact Craig Heller at 818-340-1276 or [email protected]

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