What is the purpose of your application essay?
The purpose of an application essay can vary somewhat according to the topic. However, all application essays do have some common purposes in mind. Here are some of the things students should be keeping mind when writing their application essays, in order to fulfill the purpose and have a good chance at being admitted to the school or program to which they are applying:
- Demonstrating writing skills
- Demonstrating critical thinking
- Demonstrating that they can express themselves appropriately
There are many different ways for students to share the information that they are asked to provide in an academic application essay. However, they are asked to provide it specifically in the form of an essay for a reason. This is because one of the primary purposes for writing an application essay is to demonstrate that the student is a competent writer at their grade or education level. While writing may not be their focus, being able to write clearly, concisely, and without mistakes in spelling and grammar shows that they have been paying attention to their schooling thus far and will be able to handle further research and writing as a developing scholar. Thus, no matter what the topic or other purposes, students must ensure that their application essays are organized well, are written well, and are free of mistakes. No matter how well the essay fulfills its other purposes, being poorly written is a fast track to having one’s application discarded.
One of the most important skills a student must have to write a well formulated essay is the ability to think critically. This is, also, one of the most important skills a student needs in order to get the full value of their education, as well. It’s another one of the reasons that the essay format is so popular for applications.
In order to get the most from education, students must also show that they have a good professional or scholarly demeanor. This is best expressed via essay form or in an interview; often application essays are the precursor to having an interview with an admissions counselor. This should be kept in mind when a student is writing their essays for applications. Tone should be formal, without being pretentious; their writing should be sophisticated without being unnecessarily verbose, and their essays should be sincere without becoming too emotional or overly personal in nature.