Writing The College Essay

Writing The College Essay-37
Many of them just nod, bored by the common sense of it all.Your topic should generally fall into one of two categories: Intellectual Statement: this essay is meant to show what you are interested in pursuing in terms of your college major, and the moment (do not flashback more than two years) that you were sparked by it.You should pick this option if you think that admissions will already get a heap about your personality (read: extracurriculars) from your teachers and activity list, but not enough about why you love learning (i.e., your grades and scores should have been better).

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I think students get really caught up in thinking that this essay has to emcompass your entire life and it has to be groundbreaking and, you know, publishable quality.

And that's a lot to ask of a high school student.

And he wrote about how people were treating him as they went through the drive through. He called himself an undercover anthropologist, which admittedly was a little nerdy in a Brown sort of way.

But I liked his essay because, I was able to see what he was seeing and feel what he was feeling.

Every piece of advice you have ever received on the purpose of the college essay is wrong. The college essay is a page-long assignment given to you by a school, to be completed by a certain date. The purpose of the college essay is to get into college.

You are familiar with this construct, work to do at given to you by a school, due by a certain date, otherwise known as homework. If you ask just about anyone what the purpose of the college essay is, they will say — with glazed eyes — “to let the admissions office get to know you.” But instead, you should write something that you think will make someone be measurably more likely to admit you to college.

Do not “write” seven paragraphs of conclusion and your thoughts; content is writer’s craft. When I am helping a student with an essay, there is little purpose in developing witty turns-of-phrase or glassy segues if you cannot tell what the student is trying to communicate in the essay through its content.

I have discussed this all over at Yale, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Wesleyan, Vassar, Emory, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, the NYU Center for Family Life, Merrill Lynch, Ernst & Young, the Young Presidents Organization, often right in front of admission officers.

- One piece of advice I would give to every student is to ask someone who know's them a little bit, to read their essay and to tell them what impressions they have of you after reading the essay.

- I think the essays that work best are actually quite simple.

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