Apply4Admissions.com ESSAY EVALUATION GUIDELINES
Most college Admissions Officers will concentrate on just five areas
when reading your essay. The Apply4Admissions.com Essay Evaluation
provides you with direct feedback from certificated
teachers who have devised standard guidelines for rating your essays:
1 to 3 points scored for each of the
five areas (maximum score 15 points), plus
Written comments relevant to your score and how to improve in each area.
Our goal is to provide you with constructive advice and criticism which
will motivate YOU to keep working on improving YOUR voice, presenting YOUR major
theme and ideas.
- Five areas to be evaluated:
MAJOR THEMES AND IDEAS
TONE AND STYLE
COHERENCE--DOES IT MAKE SENSE?
THE MECHANICS OF PROOFING AND EDITING
VOICE: Being able to convey your personality through your writing
is essential to an effective essay. The reader has
to be able
to identify with you and get a sense of who you are. Use an "active
voice" that shows your excitement, your feelings and your
ambition. Don't slip into the duller "passive voice"
where you dryly and objectively tell about yourself. The "active
voice" paints a picture of who you are and brings the reader
closer to you. In addition, make sure to explain your
thoughts and ideas in your own words. Look for ways to express yourself
based on your feelings and values. Show you can think using your heart and your head.
If you are able to dig down
to your core feelings and thoughts you are almost sure to express
yourself in an original way that is true to who you are. This
is not an easy process---be ready to work on more than one draft
to make sure your voice can be heard.
MAJOR THEMES AND IDEAS: Content is very important.
Be sure your essay answers the question being posed.
ALL your paragraphs should contribute to the major theme or ideas
of your essay. A good essay should contain ALL the information
needed by your reader to understand your point of view. If your
words don't stick to the topic and contribute directly to your
reader's understanding, remove them from the essay. This can be
painful if you have a sentence that sounds really good. However, if
the sentence does not help clarify your ideas it should be tossed. On the
other hand, always be willing to add a bit more detail or background
information when needed.
TONE AND STYLE: Your essay should present the appropriate
relationship between yourself and your audience. If the essay
is meant to be a serious discussion of your personal growth do
not lapse into humorous anecdotes about your childhood.
Look for and correct any choppy sentences, run-on sentences,
or any other stylistic problems that can cause your audience to
be confused and interfere with their understanding of your essay.
COHERENCE: Does it make sense? Your essay should have
a strong structure that helps lead your audience effortlessly
through your writing. Make sure the reader can easily identify
your thesis statement and can follow the development of your
thoughts through well developed transitions. Rewrite
any unclear statements. Admissions officers may not be willing
to try and decipher what you are attempting to say. They simply
want you to
SAY WHAT YOU MEAN!
THE MECHANICS OF PROOFING AND EDITING:
The last step of writing your essay is very important. Proofread for any and all
errors in punctuation, spelling and sentence structure. Even the most minor
mistakes can be distracting to your audience. Admissions officers may be willing
to overlook an occasional error here or there but if there is a consistent
pattern of mistakes they will doubt your seriousness in applying to their school
because you did not take the time to correct them.