So, you have written your admission essays to submit to your college, university, or professional program of choice. But now what?
You might be thinking about just printing your essay and sealing it in the envelope or hitting “submit” on your school’s essay submission page. But you would be missing one critical step in the application process: getting professional editing and proofreading for your essays.
Editing and proofreading are important for improving writing in any kind of admissions document. Admissions officers will not likely reward students whose essays are filled with spelling errors and awkward language.
Your GPA, test scores, and other academic achievements are key. But a strong application essay can mean the difference between getting rejected by admissions committees and getting accepted into the school of your dreams.
- What does admissions editing and proofreading include? Revising almost any kind of admissions document entails a similar process. Most admission essay editing services conduct proofreading and editing at the same time. Essay editors improve style, flow, and readability. They also ensure that natural terms and phrases have been used. Meanwhile, they proofread your work for surface errors, correcting any errors in grammar, fixing typos, and ensuring correct use of punctuation marks. However, it is worth comparing editing work in various types of admissions documents to see how this impacts the final text. Let’s take a look at how editing can enhance different kinds of admission essays and application documents.
Editing for College Admissions Documents
College Admissions Essay Editing
There are several kinds of personal essays needed for acceptance, especially at major colleges in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The first is the “standard college admission” essay. These require the applicant to write an essay (usually around 500-800 words) in an MS Word document and mail or submit the file online. Among the most well-known of these essays are:
- The Common Application Essay
- UC Personal Insight Questions
- Admission essays for individual schools (Stanford University, Cambridge University, Harvard College, MIT, and NYU all their own unique admission essay prompts and guidelines)
College admissions officers look for strong characteristics of work ethic, academic skill, and personal development that will make the student a good fit at their school. Therefore, these admissions essays usually have prompts that ask applicants to demonstrate these skills in their writing.
While Common App Essay prompts can be addressed and applied to almost any school, essays for individual schools have specific questions they want applicants to answer. However, all college admission essays are similar in what they ask students to write about. Describing how you overcame a personal difficulty, pursued a hobby with passion, or mastered a skill would be helpful in showing your true self in these essays.
Online College Application Essays
Due to advances in website technology and security, many colleges now use their own internal system where students write and submit their essays, along with their official application. Applicants input their answers to the essay prompts or questions in separate fields. These essay responses tend to be shorter, ranging from 50 words to 200 words, and often are condensed to a single paragraph.
How are college admissions essays edited?
High school students and other applicants to four-year colleges tend to make a lot of writing mistakes in their essays. Minor errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation are the most common writing errors. In addition, some students do not quite follow the directions of the prompt. This is a serious mistake, as admissions officials can easily weed out and reject applicants who do not follow basic instructions.
College essay editing therefore focuses both on proofreading for these objective errors and on rephrasing and substituting terms to clarify your message. If your editor is a native English speaker with experience editing admissions documents, they will likely be adept at enhancing your language so that it impresses your target reader. Finally, the editor will look at the content of your essay and make sure that your response fully addresses the prompt.
Below is a sample of an edited college admission essay. Note that the editor has left proofreading marks, as well as altering the content and leaving comments to explain revisions to the author.
Editing for Graduate School Admissions Essays
When applying to graduate school, med school, MBA programs, or professional degree programs, you will write a slightly different kind of admission essay. As with college application essays, graduate students must show the graduate faculty who they are, both as a person and as an academic researcher. However, you also need to demonstrate your academic achievements and present them in the right order.
Common graduate school essays include:
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
- Personal Statement
- MBA Admission Essay
- Letter of Recommendation
We will not go into all the details and guidelines for grad school essays here. But as you will see, graduate application essays are more complex and require more information about the graduate school candidate. This also means more potential writing errors and word count issues, making graduate school admission essay editing even more crucial.
Graduate School Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Personal Statement
The SOP and personal statement are the two most common application essays submitted for admission to graduate schools. Although there are some differences in these documents, both require the student to explain their research interests, academic background, research plan or objectives, and reasons why they would be a good fit for the school.
Graduate and post-graduate programs look for applicants with a strong interest in their chosen subject area. Ideal graduate school applicants will also have completed research work in their undergraduate years. PhD SOPs should contain further details about both the candidate’s background and research objectives than an SOP for a master’s program.
Online editing companies that offer Statement of Purpose editing employ editors who have undergone the grad school application process and have received advanced academic degrees (master’s or doctorate degree). These SOP editing service experts examine the essay prompt and ensure your writing contains all the relevant information in the right place and meets the word count requirements.
Like SOPs and personal statements, MBA application essays must include a personal statement and answer some central questions about the applicant’s academic background and future business plans. Your goal here is to impress MBA admissions officers (or “adcoms”) and make them excited to accept you as a member of their MBA program.
When looking for the best MBA application essay editing service, find an editing company whose editors have attended business school. These editors will understand the special talents or traits that these committees look for in an ambitious candidate.
Here are some of the questions that MBA application essays might ask:
- What have you done or experienced?
- What do you want to do (short term/long term) and why?
- How will our school help you get there?
- Why do you want to get your business degree now?
Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
Letters of recommendation are key pieces in the graduate school and MBA admission puzzle. These essays are endorsements of you as a candidate and highlight your personal qualities, as well as your demonstrated skills and attributes in an academic or professional setting. They are usually written by professors, research advisors, or employers. You can also receive recommendation letters from peers if your relationship is relevant to their appraisal of your abilities.
Is it okay to edit a recommendation letter?
While some schools do not allow grad school recommendation letters to be edited (or even seen) by the candidate, many others do allow editing. For international students whose referee’s first language is not English, using an English essay editing service to revise your LOR can be very helpful. Editors proofread and edit your letter of recommendation to retain the author’s exact meaning, while improving the quality of writing and creating more natural English expressions.
You want to make sure that graduate school admissions officials understand all the glowing praise your professor, mentor, lab partner, etc. is giving you. A professional editor knows what these officials love to hear: that this graduate candidate has impressed his or her professional colleagues through hard work and dedication to research.
If your editor does not change the meaning of your referee’s text, revising a recommendation letter is usually not a problem. Just be sure to inform your referee of possible editing before they write your recommendation letter.
Editing a letter of recommendation for graduate school or MBA programs takes experience. It requires an understanding of the author’s meaning and knowledge of what exactly to improve and how. A competent admissions editor may use more appropriate vocabulary terms and phrases that capture the author’s meaning. But they will never add or delete substantive content that changes the author’s intended meaning.
Academic CVs and Resumes
In addition to application essays, transcripts, grades, and recommendation letters, many graduate and professional degree programs require an academic CV or resume.
A graduate school CV summarizes the candidate’s research work and achievements. An academic resume will also include academic work experience. They should clearly lay out your skills, experiences, and research objectives. Admissions officials can then more easily determine whether you are suitable for a position as a graduate researcher or instructor.
When editing these kinds of admissions documents, an editor focuses on formatting, conciseness, and terminology. Specifically, an editor will improve the “power verbs” and expressions used to describe your past research and professional positions.
A CV or resume needs to make an instant impact on your reader. As you can see in the CV editing sample below, admissions editors will usually focus on specific terms and phrases rather than rewrite entire sentences.
How are graduate school admission essays edited?
The purpose of all graduate essays is to prove to graduate admissions committees that you are a capable scholar and will fit in well in their program. Therefore, graduate school admission essay editing services focus on ensuring you have given your reader enough information and answered the prompt thoroughly.
Some admissions editing companies such as Wordvice Editing Service offer premium editing services for admissions essays. These services usually include proofreading and copy editing, extensive editing for style and terms, rephrasing for more natural English expressions, and many comments suggesting ways to improve your writing.
Premium admissions essay editing is the best way to make your essays as polished and powerful as they can be to impress your target readers. Our editors understand both how to write and how to edit admissions essays. Most have received advanced degrees from university programs and are attuned to finding, fixing, and enhancing the most crucial elements of your essay.
What is the best way to edit and proofread your admissions documents?
You can probably tell by now that we highly recommend using a professional essay editing service online to revise your admissions essays. You could edit these essays yourself or give them to a friend who is good at writing and editing English essays. But how can you really be certain that they can offer the best writing advice for these important documents? By entrusting your essay to a professional English editing service like Wordvice, you greatly increase your chances of acceptance in any college or university program.
Wordvice has been ranked by at least one major publication as the best college application essay editing service in the industry. Our admissions essay editors have all attended top programs in the US, Canada, the UK, and other countries with English-language curricula.
Wordvice provides professional English proofreading and editing services for all kinds of documents. For more tips on writing and revising your admission essays, visit our Admissions Resources pages. Or check out our complete list of admission essay editing services below.