You did it! You finished your admissions essay! Now it it time to perfect it. Proof reading is almost as important as strategizing and outlining. The lack of it can just the same ruin any perfectly good admissions essay. You are in the home stretch, almost there!
- Print it out
After running your work processor’s standard spell and grammar checks, print your paper. Errors will be much more obvious on paper than on your computer screen. Read through every word. Don’t rush. You know what it says and what it means, so it will be difficult to find grammar and syntax errors if you read at your normal pace.
- Word Count
Carefully consider the length requirements of your essay. Use this requirement as a judgement tool to decide how much detail the question requires of you. If your essay is significantly short of the required word count, chances are you did not included enough detail. If it is too long, you probably need to go back and edit out unnecessary items. If you have a minor amount of word count leftover, consider not filling it. You may have just enough detail in your essay, and anything additional would be overkill. Do not feel the need to fill space just to fill it. Overwriting can be just as bad as underwriting.
- Good Intentions
Give your essay to an outsider for their review. Do not tell them the thesis or the message that you are trying to send. Let them tell you what the message is. A true test of the quality of your admissions essay in not in your intention, but in what is actually perceived by a reader. If your essay passes this test, it is ready for the admissions department!
- Follow Through
Read and reread the introduction of your essay. What are you introducing? Is this carried throughout the essay from the body to the conclusion? Is it threaded into every transition? If not, go back through and try to reevaluate how you convey your message. Your essay should not be scatter-brained or contain more than one main idea. 3-point theses are usually not an effective method to get your essay remembered. So make sure that what you are saying is very consistent throughout your essay.
- Don’t Rely Only On Yourself
Make sure to have plenty of outsiders read your essay. They will catch things that you will overlook. You know your essay very well by this point, so you will need to rely on others with fresh perspectives.