Want to get into Johns Hopkins University, but not sure how to write a college essay? The admission essay is an important part of your application, but many students who aren’t comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings in written language struggle with it. Luckily, by keeping some essential tips in mind, it’s possible to craft a paper that will make your app stand out.
Remember that Johns Hopkins University has specific expectations for applicants. While some colleges allow students to submit essays on any topic, Johns Hopkins University requires that applications respond to a specific prompt, which changes each year. Your first step should be to review the prompt and other general requirements, including word count, formatting, etc. These vary from year to year, so review them carefully.
According to actual faculty members at Johns Hopkins University, the school approaches applicants holistically. They don’t merely take a look at your past grades. They also want to know what type of person you are and how you’ll represent the values of the university. Don’t focus too much on discussing your past academic successes in your essay—use this opportunity to explain specifically why you believe you’re the type of a person that would benefit from and contribute to Johns Hopkins University.
Make sure your topic is relevant to the prompt. If you have difficulties when choosing a subject, contact the admissions office directly for help. Officials at Johns Hopkins University discourage applicants from asking their friends or family to assess a topic if they’re unsure of whether or not it’s relevant to the prompt.
Each year, Johns Hopkins University’s admissions team considers literally thousands of applications. Your essay gives you a chance to make a unique impression. The following tips are important to remember as you plan and write your admission paper:
- Be Personal: Throughout high school, your teachers may have instructed you not to use words like “me,” “my,” or “myself” in your academic papers. However, when applying to colleges, you’re expected to write about yourself. These essays serve as personal statements or introduction letters, giving the person reviewing your application an opportunity to better understand why you want to attend this particular school. As such, this is an occasion in which you should focus on your own personal experience;
- Brainstorm: Before you start to write your essay, you should take some time to jot down several different topics or ideas you feel comfortable writing about. Usually, your first idea isn’t your best one. The people reviewing your application have read many essays on common topics. They’ll be more interested in yours if you pick an original idea. The first one that comes to your head probably isn’t going to be all that unique;
- State Your Goals: If the questions asked by the prompt warrant it, you may want to write about your long-term goals. Maybe you’re writing about your experience in life or a place you worked which made you realize you want to attend business school and earn your MBA. Your statement will be more effective if it proves to the reader that you have a genuine passion for the type of education you could receive from this university. Don’t just talk about what you want to do in school; also let them know how you plan to spend your time after you graduate. Again, only do this if it’s relevant to the prompt;
- Avoid Controversy: On the one hand, you want to make sure you’re expressing your authentic self in your paper. On the other hand, you don’t want to offend anyone by writing about a controversial topic. If you truly feel passionate about this type of issue and confidently believe you can write about it persuasively, it might be worth the risk. However, don’t take unnecessary risks if you’re not that interested in these subjects;
- Write Everything Down: When writing your first draft, don’t worry too much about self-editing. Write down all your ideas first. You want to get them on paper. Once you’ve finished this step, you can go back and revise, picking out the ideas that are most effective and organizing them in a concise, attention-grabbing manner.
You need to make sure your essay is perfect before you submit it. That means proofreading it and editing it multiple times. Don’t merely rely on your own judgment during this process. For the best results, you should also ask for help from your teachers or fellow students who are more comfortable with writing than perhaps you are. Keep this tips in mind when editing:
- Reread: Read over your paper carefully before you start the editing process. The first time, just read it without making any edits. Then, read it carefully a second time, making notes about any edits you have to make, be they fixing minor grammatical errors or restructuring entire sections;
- Be Organized: Writing about the self is risky for some students. Instead of organizing their papers, they go in too many different directions, leaving a reader confused and overwhelmed. Although you are writing a creative piece, it’s still important for your essay to have a clear beginning, middle, and end;
- Get Help: It’s important to show your reader that you’re capable of writing at the college level. Of course, not every student is. Maybe you’re an expert at statistics, but not confident in your writing courses. If so, ask your guidance counselor if your school offers a tutoring service. It’s also a good idea to look for help online. A skilled writer can draft an example paper for you to refer to. Examples help students get a better sense of what makes a paper good, and what makes it great. They also provide a useful template for students who aren’t comfortable with this type of essay format. You can even get a sample from the school itself. They often publish samples of strong entrance papers online;
- Stay Focused: It’s a common mistake young people make when writing these types of essays: not focusing on one story or idea. They’re eager to show off all the accomplishments they made in high school prior to graduation, instead of choosing one relevant subject. Your paper will look much more impressive if you can write in depth on a single topic;
- Make a Point: Don’t get too caught up in telling a story from your life that you forget to express what that story says about you. Again, this essay is supposed to give the reader a sense of who you are and what makes you unique. Before you even begin to write the paper, decide from the top what point you plan on making.
You don’t need to be intimidated by this aspect of the application process. Not all students are naturally skilled writers, but that doesn’t mean they should be denied entry into their dream college. Luckily, you don’t have to write the greatest paper anyone has ever read in order to get accepted. The main thing to remember is that you’re trying to prove that you can take the prompts and turn them into an interesting as well as organized successful paper that adheres to the requirements while also expressing your personality and goals. Wel, by taking the time to generate unique ideas, seeking help from friends or teachers, and remembering to compose your amazing essay in clear, understandable language, you’ll boost your odds of impressing the reader.