The essay should not be the most dreaded part of the application process for any university. Maybe these tips will help you find that you can do this writing task with ease.
1. Tell Your Story In Your Own Voice.
Now is the time to market yourself to the best of your ability. Your college essay gives our admissions officers an insight into what makes you unique beyond your high school grades, test scores and extracurriculars. Your essay tells us how you will add something to UF’s freshman class, what you can bring to our community of leaders, learners and thinkers, and what sets you apart. This is the story of YOU!
2. Does the Essay Matter?
UF will receive more than 30,000 applications for the approximate 6,500 seats in the freshman class. There will be many outstanding students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit. Your essay helps us learn what makes you unique from other equally talented students.
3. Who Reads ‘Em?
Various officers throughout the UF Division of Enrollment Management are trained to read essays, and each essay will be read at least twice by randomly assigned readers. Keep in mind that these individuals may read more than a thousand essays, so it is important to try to catch the readers’ attention quickly with the most interesting example or point at the beginning of the essay. Here’s an example:
When I was in high school, I played the violin in the high school band. It was my favorite activity, and I never missed a practice or a performance. But one day, to my horror, I left my thousand-dollar violin on the school bus…
(from the book, Heavenly Essays)
4. Make the Story Unique to You
If you believe 10 or 20 or 100 students could write your exact essay, then it’s time to rethink your topic. Work on being distinctive. Here are some overused topics that essay readers have seen many (many) times:
- Winning or losing the big game
- Loss of friendships or relationships
- Critiques of others (classmates, parents)
- Pet deaths
- Summer vacations
Think about what you would say in three to five minutes to a total stranger to impress or inform them about your terrific qualities or unusual experiences.
5. Show and Tell—Be Vivid with Your Words
If you recall show and tell at school, your essay should follow the same principle. Remember when the student went to the front of the class with something of interest inside the plastic sack? You hear the story. You see the object. With essays, you need to draw the reader out beyond the straight text and use words that trigger imagery and the senses.
6. Big Words Are Just Big Words.
Impress us with your content and who you are; not your ability to use a thesaurus. Most of our readers would prefer if you wrote, “I hung out with a group of friends” instead of, “we congregated as a conglomerate of like-minded individuals”.
7. Don’t Repeat.
Don’t repeat what you’ve already supplied in your application—grades, test scores, etc. Your essay serves to fill in the blanks beyond what you have supplied.
8. This is your essay, not your English class.
We will be reading your essay more for your words and information and less for your grammar. We know you’ve learned to limit use of contractions, eliminate sentence fragments and not to split your infinitives. However, no text-lingo, such as “lol” “ttyl” “kk” etc. We won’t judge you heavily on grammar, but we ask that you keep it appropriately professional. Pick up a best-selling book, and you’ll find that many authors no longer write by the rules. It’s your story that counts!
9. Have Someone Else Read It.
It’s always wise to have someone else read your draft before you submit your essay. You’ll be much more relieved knowing you submitted your very best work.
10. Now, go fine tune your drafts, tell us your story and be confident in your submission.
If you follow these tips, they will take you far on the UF application.
University of Florida’s Current Essay Topics
- Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
- Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
- Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
- What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
- Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
stress or single out as important
use of the same consonant at the beginning of each word
drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity
a protein that produces an immune response
have an ambitious plan or a lofty goal
conceal one's true motives from
conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
full of rough and exuberant animal spirits
refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization
an outward semblance misrepresenting the nature of something
the determination of the temporal sequence of past events
call to remembrance
crouch or curl up
propriety in manners and conduct
the act of removing a part from the whole
do something that one considers to be below one's dignity
without or almost without hope
a conversation between two persons
make known to the public information previously kept secret
selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas
a closed plane curve with an oval shape
a government order imposing a trade barrier
having or showing great excitement and interest
notation of how many times to multiply a quantity by itself
feel extreme happiness or elation
a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
extremely impressive in strength or excellence
an ornament consisting of a grotesquely carved figure
a member of an irregular army that fights a stronger force
a Hindu or Buddhist religious leader and spiritual teacher
that which is inherited
a writing system using picture symbols
a photograph for reproducing a three-dimensional image
pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not have
of the condition in which an organism can resist disease
improperly forward or bold
drawing a conclusion on the basis of circumstantial evidence
contemplation of your own thoughts and desires and conduct
having a cheerful, lively, and self-confident air
full of or showing high-spirited merriment
a metric unit of length equal to 1000 meters
complex system of paths in which it is easy to get lost
brief and to the point
a plant occurring in crusty patches on tree trunks or rocks
the distance that light travels in a vacuum in 1 year
a military training exercise
a mammal the female of which has a pouch carrying the young
a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity
design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass
a change or alteration in form or qualities
an immense cloud of gas and dust in interstellar space
belonging to or active during the night
anything that disturbs, endangers life, or is offensive
an animal that feeds on both animal and vegetable substances
greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation
a colorless gas that is a screen for ultraviolet radiation
an animal or plant that lives in or on a host
a form of the verb used as an adjective
(botany) tissue that conducts synthesized food substances (e.g., from leaves) to parts where needed; consists primarily of sieve tubes
a closed plane figure bounded by straight sides
the principal character in a work of fiction
make into a powder by breaking up or cause to become dust
state of uncertainty in a choice between unfavorable options
isolation to prevent the spread of infectious disease
a prescribed number
a densely wooded tropical area with heavy precipitation
lacking any definite plan or order or purpose
pull back or move away or backward
period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages
someone who rebels and becomes an outlaw
freedom from activity
the act of killing in order to appease a deity
a filled-in drawing of the outline of an object
when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator
a broad range of related objects or values or qualities
a conventional or formulaic conception or image
an elaborate and systematic plan of action
a legal right to vote
the relation between two interdependent species of organisms
a government tax on imports or exports
a practical method or art applied to some particular task
the speed at which a composition is to be played
a poisonous substance produced organically
an untroubled state that is free from disturbances
a state of commotion and noise and confusion
a vast treeless plain where subsoil is permanently frozen
having wavelengths shorter than light but longer than X-rays
in complete agreement
move in a wavy pattern or with a rising and falling motion
injection of weakened or dead microbes to create antibodies
be undecided about something
animals having a bony or cartilaginous skeleton
someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field
devouring or craving food in great quantities
deserving or inciting pity
the woody part of plants: the supporting and water-conducting tissue, consisting primarily of tracheids and vessels
an expensive vessel propelled by sail or power
the branch of biology that studies animals