OR, you could geek out about Edward Hopper. You could write about his lonely, minimalist paintings and how they make you feel, and you could tell the reader that you've always admired his talent for telling a whole story with only a few seemingly unimportant characters. You could write about your own storytelling and how it is inspired by Hopper. That's going deep. One is better than the other I'll give you a hint: it's the second one. By focusing on details, you set yourself apart; many people love museums and could list some artists that they like.
Not many have taken the time to geek out about Edward Hopper on paper. Write how you speak: If your friends, family members, and teachers would describe you as silly, outgoing, and uninhibited, why would you submit a collection of essays all written in a formal, subdued tone?
Thoughtfulness, introspection, and an unassuming tone make for great college essays too! Many college essay writers choose to tell me outright that their personality is this way or that way. Telling me that your friends would describe you as silly and outgoing is, unfortunately, not enough. As the admissions officer reading your application, I need proof — in the form of a written tone that matches your spoken one.
As I read through your essays, I am crafting an image in my head of the person who will arrive on our campus in the fall if admitted. They know a fake from the real deal. This is why everybody loves The Catcher in the Rye.
We love hearing that voice, that honest kid voice. If they can speak in that voice, it honestly does not matter what they say. Crawford remembers being contacted by an Asian immigrant who was stalled in the essay process. He told her a tale about well-meaning neighbors who gave his family a box of Christmas ornaments that turned out to be cat toys. We still do. The part that is about you is the most important part. If you feel you need to include a description, make it one or two lines. Remember that admission offices have Google, too, so if we feel we need to hear the song or see the work of art, we'll look it up.
The majority of the essay should be about your response and reaction to the work. How did it affect or change you? This college essay tip is by Dean J, admissions officer and blogger from University of Virginia. The tip below is paraphrased from a post on the University of Virginia Admission blog.
Be specific. Consider these two hypothetical introductory paragraphs for a master's program in library science. Since I was eleven I have known I wanted to be a librarian.
Some of my best days were spent arranging and reading her books. Since then, I have wanted to be a librarian. But they are extraordinarily different essays, most strikingly because the former is generic where the latter is specific.
It was a real thing, which happened to a real person, told simply. There is nothing better than that. Tell a good story. Most people prefer reading a good story over anything else. Worry less about providing as many details about you as possible and more about captivating the reader's attention inside of a great narrative. I read a great essay this year where an applicant walked me through the steps of meditation and how your body responds to it.
Loved it. Yes, I'll admit I'm a predisposed meditation fan. Write like you speak. I actually use voice memos in my car when I have a really profound thought or a to do list I need to record , so find your happy place and start recording. Make notes where and when you can so that you can capture those organic thoughts for later.
This also means you should use words and phrases that you would actually use in everyday conversation. If you are someone who uses the word indubitably all the time, then by all means, go for it. But if not, then maybe you should steer clear. The most meaningful essays are those where I feel like the student is sitting next to me, just talking to me.
This college essay tip is by Kim Struglinski, admissions counselor from Vanderbilt University. Verb you, Dude! Verbs jump, dance, fall, fail us. Nouns ground us, name me, define you. Teach them well and they will teach you too. Let them play, sing, or sob outside of yourself. Give them as a gift to others. Try the imperative, think about your future tense, when you would have looked back to the imperfect that defines us and awaits us. Define, Describe, Dare. Have fun.
This college essay tip is by Parke Muth , former associate dean of Admissions at the University of Virginia 28 years in the office and member of the Jefferson Scholars selection committee. Keep the story focused on a discrete moment in time. By zeroing in on one particular aspect of what is, invariably, a long story, you may be better able to extract meaning from the story. So instead of talking generally about playing percussion in the orchestra, hone in on a huge cymbal crash marking the climax of the piece.
Or instead of trying to condense that two-week backpacking trip into a couple of paragraphs, tell your reader about waking up in a cold tent with a skiff of snow on it.
Start preparing now. Take a look, and start to formulate your plan. Brainstorm what you are going to tell us — focus on why you are interested in the major you chose. If you are choosing the Division of General Studies, tells us about your passions, your career goals, or the different paths you are interested in exploring.
This college essay tip is by Hanah Teske, admissions counselor at the University of Illinois. Imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. No one's idea of a good time is writing a college essay, I know. But if sitting down to write your essay feels like a chore, and you're bored by what you're saying, you can imagine how the person reading your essay will feel.
On the other hand, if you're writing about something you love, something that excites you, something that you've thought deeply about, chances are I'm going to set down your application feeling excited, too—and feeling like I've gotten to know you. Think outside the text box! Put a little pizazz in your essays by using different fonts, adding color, including foreign characters or by embedding media—links, pictures or illustrations.
And how does this happen? Look for opportunities to upload essays onto applications as PDFs. This college essay tip is by Nancy Griesemer, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University graduate and founder of College Explorations who has decades of experiencing counseling high schoolers on getting into college.
Write like a journalist. Think about any article you've read—how do you decide to read it? You read the first few sentences and then decide. The same goes for college essays.
A strong lede journalist parlance for "lead" will place your reader in the "accept" mindset from the beginning of the essay. A weak lede will have your reader thinking "reject"—a mindset from which it's nearly impossible to recover. So application essays are a unique way for applicants to share, reflect, and connect their values and goals with colleges.
Admissions officers want students to share their power, their leadership, their initiative, their grit, their kindness—all through relatively recent stories. Use your essays to empower your chances of acceptance, merit money, and scholarships. Rebecca Joseph, professor at California State University and founder of All College Application Essays , develops tools for making the college essay process faster and easier.
Get personal. To me, personal stuff is the information you usually keep to yourself, or your closest friends and family. So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share. Try anyway. When you open up about your feelings —especially in response to a low point—you are more likely to connect with your reader s.
Because we've all been there. So don't overlook those moments or experiences that were awkward, uncomfortable or even embarrassing. Weirdly, including painful memories and what you learned from them! Chances are, you also shared a mini-story that was interesting, entertaining and memorable.
This college essay tip is by Janine Robinson, journalist, credentialed high school English teacher, and founder of Essay Hell , has spent the last decade coaching college-bound students on their college application essays. I believe everyone has a story worth telling. Sometimes the seemingly smallest moments lead us to the biggest breakthroughs. Keep it simple! No one is expecting you to solve the issue of world peace with your essay.
Remember, this essay is about YOU. What makes you different from the thousands of other applicants and their essays? Use vivid imagery. This college essay tip is by Myles Hunter, CEO of TutorMe , an online education platform that provides on-demand tutoring and online courses for thousands of students.
Honor your inspiration. My parents would have much preferred that I write about sports or youth group, and I probably could have said something interesting about those, but I insisted on writing about a particular fish in the pet store I worked at—one that took much longer than the others to succumb when the whole tank system in the store became diseased. It was a macabre little composition, but it was about exactly what was on my mind at the time I was writing it.
I think it gave whoever read it a pretty good view of my 17 year-old self. I'll never know if I got in because of that weird essay or in spite of it, but it remains a point of pride that I did it my way. This college essay tip is by Mike McClenathan, founder of PwnTestPrep , which has a funny name but serious resources for helping high school students excel on the standardized tests.
Revise often and early.The elegant errors result from a lack of popular with written texts. They decline the significance of delivering quality and why academic papers. To take advantage of competition centers and tutoring, students need to getting this a habit.
Does it reveal something about the applicant? Don't read the Common Application prompts. Organize your writing process. So instead of talking generally about playing percussion in the orchestra, hone in on a huge cymbal crash marking the climax of the piece.
Tell a good story.
Clark is currently in his second year at Harvard Law School. Students should be diligent in their research for assigned topics. What have you enjoyed about high school? Write about that. Before we hire them, they have to undergo several tests to ensure that they are who they say they are.
Create a thesis. We need to trust that this is going to be worth our time. There is my college diploma with the major listed as International Relations; however, the name of the school is obscure. Clunk is a good one. With great pride, I have added a clipping of my page from the Mirror, our school newspaper, next to the ticket stubs for Wicked from my date with Dad. The most obvious things make great topics.
The entire left side I have dedicated to the people in my life. Can you cut it in half without changing the meaning? We operate purely on customer satisfaction.
Showing before telling gives your reader a chance to interpret the meaning of your images before you do. Are you thinking of comic books?