Monday, July 8, 2013

Essay Writing Tip #1: Show, Don't Tell!

While show-and-tell may have been the highlight of your kindergarten and elementary school days, our admissions staff isn’t looking for you to tell them about yourself. They want you to show them. We read a ton of essays each year (if you do the math, 2 essays times almost 30,000 applicants... that’s a lot of essays), so you want yours to stand out among the rest. Gone are the days of boring and predictable - show us a side of you that your application doesn’t!

We get that this may be easier said than done, but to help get you started, here are a couple of tips on how to show us that you’re Carolina potential.

1. Think about what makes you different. Make a list of what you’re passionate about, your quirks and your personality traits rather than a list of your academic accomplishments. Your application shows us how great of a student you are, so this is the time to let your personality shine. Maybe it’s your creative side, your passion for music, your love of travel, or your family traditions -- whatever is important and applies to you!

2. Tell us a story. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to your top pick, think about a story that highlights this aspect about you. The ultimate goal of your essay should be to engage your reader and make yourself stand out, so telling a story is a great way to do just that. Some of the most seemingly boring events can make the best essays, simply because it was important to the applicant. Make sure to include vivid details and descriptive language, write your thoughts clearly, and above all, connect the theme and tone of the essay to your dreams and who you are as an individual.

Do you have good advice for essay writing? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #UNCessays - we’d love to hear from you! Stay tuned all week for more tips from us on how to write your best college essays.