Admission Essay: Instructions on Writing and Designing
An admission essay is an independent educational and research study performed by an applicant in order to present himself/herself to the admissions committee at a college, university, or any other educational institution.
Executing this work involves developing independent work skills with sources and scientific literature, mastering research methods, helps the person to systematize previously acquired knowledge, and checking the quality of this knowledge. This first creative attempt allows us to identify the ability to independently comprehend the problem, creatively and critically explore it, collect, systematize and analyze sources and literature; apply the acquired knowledge in solving practical problems; formulate conclusions, proposals, and recommendations on the subject.
The topic of an admission essay can be varied. In some cases, it will be appropriate to simply tell about yourself, your life and studies, and in others – to demonstrate your understanding of a particular problem. In any case, the main thing is to approach the task responsibly, and then you will definitely be able to create a great paper. Read below on how to write an admission essay step by step.
Sequence of Execution of the Admission Essay
An algorithm for writing an essay will help to rationally organize the work, properly distribute your time, plan it, deeply and correctly develop the chosen topic. It disciplines the performer and limits the time allotted to selecting and analyzing literature on the topic, writing, and paper design.
The process of work can be conventionally divided into four main stages:
- Preparatory stage;
- Stage of work on the content;
- Work design.
In general, the sequence of paper execution can be as follows:
- Preparatory stage:
- substantiation of the theme;
- the object of study;
- the subject of study;
- the basic aim;
- the main objectives;
- selection of literature on the topic;
- drawing up a preliminary plan.
2. Work on the text:
- analysis and annotation of literature;
- presentation of the text;
- writing an introduction;
- writing conclusions.
3. Stage of work design:
- compiling a list of used literature and sources;
- design of appendices and illustrative material;
- literary design and text editing.
The Structure of an Admission Essay
The structure of the work includes the following main elements:
- Title page;
- Implementation plan;
- List of symbols (if necessary);
- The main part;
- Applications (if necessary).
The preparatory stage begins with understanding and substantiation of the topic. The applicant chooses the one that best suits his interests and inclinations from the list of proposed topics. Preference is given to a topic in which a person can show maximum personal creativity and initiative. It is appropriate to determine the boundaries of the theme, the main issues that will be covered in the study.
The introduction reveals the relevance and degree of investigation of the problem and argues the study’s feasibility. Relevance of the topic – substantiation of the actuality of the researched problem, its social significance.
Object and Subject
When clarifying the object, subject, and purpose, it is important to take into account that there are systematic, logical connections between them and the topic. The object is the whole set of relations between different aspects of the theory and practice of science, which serves as a source of information necessary for the researcher.
The object is a process or phenomenon that creates a problem situation and is chosen for study. When defining an object, one must find the answer to the question: what is being considered, what is being studied?
The subject is only those essential connections and relations subjected to direct studying in the given work, which is the main defining characteristic for concrete research. When determining the subject, it is necessary to find an answer to the question: how is the object considered, what new relations, properties, aspects, functions does this research reveal?
Thus, the subject is a narrower concept than the object. It should be noted that the object is a part of objective reality, which at this stage becomes the subject of practical and theoretical activities of man as a social being (subject). The subject is its element, which includes a set of properties and relationships of the object, mediated by man (subject) in the process of research for a specific purpose and in specific conditions.
The purpose is related to the whole study, as well as its end result. The end result involves solving a problem situation that reflects the contradiction between the typical state of the object in real practice and the requirements of society for its more effective functioning. This result reflects the expected positive effect, which is formulated in two stages: the first part – in the form of public utility; the second – in the form of a specific benefit related to the main subject. The presence of the specified aim of the study allows determining its objectives.
The objectives may include:
- Solving certain theoretical issues that are part of the general problem of the study (for example, identifying the essence of concepts, phenomena, processes, further improving their study, developing features, levels of performance, performance criteria, principles and conditions, etc.);
- A comprehensive study of the practice of solving this problem, identifying its typical condition, shortcomings, and difficulties, their causes; substantiation of the necessary system of measures to solve this problem;
- Experimental (if necessary) verification of the proposed system of measures for compliance with its criteria of optimality, i.e., the achievement of the most important in the appropriate conditions the results of solving this problem at a certain cost of time and effort.
The tasks specify the way to achieve the purpose and determine what the researcher should solve in this way.
Completion of tasks is impossible without acquaintance with the main literary (and, perhaps, archival) sources on the topic. In order to fully identify them, it is necessary to use various search sources: catalogs and card files of departments and libraries of the faculty, university, as well as leading scientific libraries of the city, bibliographic manuals, footnotes and references in textbooks, monographs, and dictionaries, etc. publications. During the source research, it is necessary to find out the state of the study of the chosen topic by modern science so as to more specifically and accurately determine the directions and main sections.
Thus, at the end of the first stage, the applicant begins to analyze the sources found, moving on to the second stage.
Work on the Text
The second stage begins with a summary of the literature on the topic. The analysis of the literature should begin with works where the problem is reflected in general and then move on to more narrow research. It is necessary to review the content that reveals the structure of the publication, the basic content of its sections; refer to the preface, which reveals the purpose of the publication, the tasks set by the author.
When reading the publication, it is necessary to carefully follow the course of the author’s thought to be able to distinguish the main provisions from the evidence and illustrative material. Articles from scientific collections are often difficult to understand, so it is necessary to read them several times, highlighting the author’s main idea and arguments in their favor. Thus, you should write all the necessary quotes, numbers, facts, and inferences that the author uses, proving the article’s main idea. When summarizing the material, you need to constantly remember the topic of your work to write only what is important.
The analyzed and systematized material is presented according to the content in the form of separate sections and subsections. Each section covers an independent issue and a subsection or paragraph – a separate part of it. The topic should be disclosed without omitting logical links, so when starting to work on the section, you should note its main idea and the thesis of each section.
Thoughts must be logically connected. The whole text should be subordinated to the main idea. One conclusion should not contradict another but, on the contrary, support it. If the conclusions are not connected, the text will lose its unity. In addition, the sequence of evidence should be followed.
The introduction substantiates the relevance of the topic, its practical significance, the object, subject, purpose, and tasks; the methods by which it was carried out; the structure, and its main content. A mandatory part of the introduction is a review of the bibliography on the topic, which includes the most valuable, relevant publications.
The main part consists of sections, subsections, paragraphs, and subparagraphs. Each section begins on a new page. At the end of each section, it is important to formulate brief conclusions.
The logical conclusion of an admission essay is the conclusions. Their main goal is to summarize the work done. Conclusions are presented in the form of separate laconic provisions, methodical recommendations. The main requirement for the final part is not to repeat the content of the introduction, the main part, and the conclusions made in the sections.
Compilation of a list of references and sources is performed at this stage. Appendices and illustrative material are designed, literary design, and text editing is carried out.
List of References
The list of literature reflects the number of sources used and the degree of study of the topic. It contains a bibliographic description of all sources used by a person while working on the topic.
Concluding the writing, it is recommended to systematize the illustrative material. Illustrations can be placed in the text or in the form of appendices. All appendices must have serial numbering and names that correspond to their content. The numbering of sheets with appendices continues the general numbering of pages of the main text.
The literary design of an admission essay is an important element of its implementation and one of the many factors that the commission takes into account when evaluating. First of all, attention is paid to the content of the material: logic and consistency, completeness and representativeness, i.e., the breadth of use of scientific sources, general literacy and compliance with standards and regulations, as well as the text, bibliography, and appendices, the external design of the title page.
Typical Mistakes When Writing and Designing an Admission Essay
When writing a paper, try to avoid the following mistakes:
- The content does not correspond to the plan or does not reveal the topic in full;
- The formulated sections (subsections) do not reveal the real problem situation, the state of the object;
- The purpose is not related to the problem, does not reflect the specificity of the object and subject;
- The author has not shown independence; the work is compilative or plagiarized;
- There is no in-depth and comprehensive analysis of modern official and regulatory documents, new special literature (for the last five years) on the topic;
- Analytical review of domestic and foreign publications on the topic has the form of an annotated list and does not reveal the problem;
- The position of the author in the analysis of factual material or debatable issues is not traced;
- There are no conclusions to the sections;
- The general conclusions do not correlate with the nature of the identified objectives;
- The paper does not contain references to primary sources or indicates those from which the material is borrowed;
- Bibliographic description of sources is given arbitrarily, without complying with the requirements of the standard;
- Illustrative material and appendices do not have a direct semantic load;
- Tables, diagrams, schemes presented in the text or made in the appendices are compiled not on the basis of primary sources but borrowed from other studies without a proper reference;
- Volume requirements are violated, the disproportion in the volume of separate sections is observed;
- The work is designed in violation of the requirements, performed sloppily, with errors.
Start writing! You already know how to write a successful paper, so all you have to do is apply the knowledge in practice.