Tips for Writing an Honors College Essay

A college essay is a chance for you to tell us what all your records cannot: who you really are, how you think, and how well you write. It is not an invitation to tell a story, write a novel, or write about other people's experiences. The main point of your essay is to tell us what you have to offer and how you will take advantage of what we have to offer.

  1. Write an essay that addresses the topic assigned on the application form. A general essay about yourself or an experience you had is not acceptable. We have a great deal of experience with essays written for an English class and can tell one when we see it.
  2. Do not write your essay as if it were a novel. "The baby cried until it had to be comforted by its mother;" "I could not believe as I walked into my first class that this was the beginning of my engineering career." These tell us nothing about yourself. Regardless of what you may have been told in school, write a straightforward descriptive essay that directly addresses the question asked.
  3. Avoid clichéd, generic, and predictable writing, such as "I want to help people." This is particularly applicable to essays for accelerated program candidates.
  4. Do not quote our own description of our program. We know what we have to offer; we are interested in knowing what you have to offer and how you will use what we offer. In short, tell us about yourself.