A good transfer essay presents a clear and specific reason for wanting to transfer. Your writing needs to show that you know well the school to which you are applying. Is there a specific program that is of interest to you? Did you develop interests at your first college that can be explored more fully at the new school? Does the new college have a curricular focus or institutional approach to teaching that is particularly appealing to you? Make sure you research the school well and provide the details in your essay. A good transfer essay works for a single college only. If you can replace the name of one college with another, you haven t written a good transfer essay.
A lot of transfer students have a few blotches on their college records. It s tempting to try to explain away a bad grade or low GPA by putting the blame on someone else. Don t do it. Such essays set a bad tone that is going to rub the admissions officers the wrong way. An applicant who blames a roommate or a mean professor for a bad grade sounds like a grade-school kid blaming a sibling for a broken lamp. Your bad grades are your own. Take responsibility for them and, if you think it s necessary, explain how you plan to improve your performance at your new school. The admissions folks will be much more impressed by the mature applicant who owns up to failure than the applicant who fails to take responsibility for his or her performance.