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.
The US Immigration Reform Initiative, a series of essays and papers, seeks to look beyond recent and current US immigration debates to outline a flexible, secure, and evidence-based immigration system that would serve the nation’s interests, reflect its liberal democratic ideals, and benefit from the contributions of talented, hardworking immigrants from throughout the world.
Together, the publications in the collection make the case that:
- Immigration policymaking should be embedded in a larger set of partnerships, processes, and commitments that respond to the conditions that force persons to migrate.
- The US immigration system should reflect liberal democratic values and an inclusive vision of national identity.
- It is incumbent on policy and opinion makers to publicize the broad national interests served by US immigration policies.
- Policymakers should, in turn, evaluate and adjust US immigration policies based on their success in furthering the nation’s interests.
- The United States should prioritize the gathering and dissemination of the best available evidence on migration and on the nation’s migration-related needs and programs, and should use this information to respond flexibly to changing migration patterns and new economic developments.
- Immigrant integration strengthens communities and represents an important, overarching metric for US immigration policies.
- The successful integration of the United States’ 43 million foreign-born residents and their progeny should be a national priority.
- An immigration federalism agenda should prioritize cooperation on shared federal, state, and local priorities.
- An immigration federalism agenda should recognize the federal government’s enforcement obligations; the interests of local communities in the safety, well-being and participation of their residents; the importance of federal leadership in resolving the challenges posed by the US undocumented population; and the need for civil society institutions to serve as mediators of immigrant integration.
- Immigration reform should be coupled with strong, well-enforced labor standards in order to promote fair wages and safe and healthy working conditions for all US workers.
- Fairness and due process should characterize US admission, custody, and removal decisions.
- Family unity should remain a central goal of US immigration policy and a pillar of the US immigration system.
- The United States should seek to craft “win-win” immigration policies that serve its own interests and that benefit migrant-sending states.
- US immigration law and policy should be coherent and consistent, and the United States should create legal migration opportunities for persons uprooted by US foreign interventions, trade policies, and immigration laws.
- The United States should reduce the size of its undocumented population through a substantial legalization program and seek to ensure that this population never again approximates its current size.
The collection will soon be available in a special, hard copy edition of JMHS. To order a print edition, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.