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Aug 04, 2016 04:10 AM EDT

College Application Essay Tips: An Expert Advises To Do These 7 Things

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Applying for college may seem daunting to some. What should you talk about? Where would you start? How do you make yourself memorable and easily recollected?

In a TIME feature by Stephanie Klein Wassink, the founder and CEO of Winning Applications College Consulting and AdmissionsCheckup.com, she shared seven things that applicants should do for their college application essay. She currently runs an online service that specializes in checking students' applications and give their honest feedback.

1. Skip the long essay prompts. Yes, they're helpful but, according to Wassink, they may also restrict you from writing your story. She urges students to "write first, and then choose the 'right' prompt."

2. Keep it short and sweet. Your college application essay should focus on that one moment in your life that you were able to achieve your very best and tell it with all the details. Word count and trimming comes later.

3. Don't write about these four over-used college application essay topics: writing about someone else, your mission trip, how you were able to make a comeback from a sport injury and your time at camp. Nonetheless, if you feel that one of these topics is really what you should write about, make sure that your essay is extra captivating.

4. Introspect. Ask yourself these questions: "How are you similar to and different from your siblings, parents, and friends? When have you been most proud of yourself-what is the story? What do your peers and friends admire about you most? What do they say you are good at? What's your 'super power?'"

5. Enjoy what you're writing. If you find that writing your college application essay is easy since you are enjoying it, that's very good. "The feeling you have as you write will be the feeling you give to your reader," Wassink wrote.

6. Don't worry about the word count yet. Wassink added that you should allow yourself at least two drafts to get your full story. After you have finished the drafts, this is when you start to edit.

7. Reach the maximum word count. The usual maximum count for college application essays is 650 words. Follow the tips above and you will have no problems with telling your story.

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