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Most college Admissions Officers will concentrate on just five areas when reading your essay. The 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:






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.