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Teacher Tips and Answers

Revising College-Entrance Essays

Of course, online college applications provide a space for you to write your response to the prompt, so it's tempting to draft an essay and hit "submit." But this essay is really important, impacting your future. You definitely want to take your time revising, making the work as strong as possible. Your essay is your first impression with the school. Make it a good one. These revision strategies can help.

Revising to Target the Prompt

First, you need to make sure you have answered the prompt. A brilliant essay that talks about rock climbing will not score well when the prompt asked for a definition of leadership. You can use your PAST analysis of the prompt to check your response. Turn each answer into a question, and use them to analyze your response.

Write an essay that introduces us to who you are. Tell us about a particular life experience, talent, commitment, or interest you have. Explain how your presence will enrich life on campus.

  • Purpose: Why am I writing? (Do I introduce myself and tell how I will enrich life on campus?)
  • Audience: Who will read my writing? (Do I address admissions officers, providing the information they need to know about me?)
  • Subject: What am I writing about? (Do I focus on a particular life experience, talent, commitment, or interest I have?)
  • Type: What form should my writing take? (Do I compose my answer as an essay?)

Target your response.

Review your PAST analysis of the prompt, turning your answers into questions. Then use these new questions to check your response, making sure it is on target. Revise as needed.

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