Parents and teachers will often tell students who are just starting out on their essays to “write sincerely,” “write about your feelings,” “write about what matters to you.” That advice, while well-intentioned, is not helpful. Instead of starting from such a broad place, begin with the narrow strategy of researching the worst college-essay clichés; that way, even if you don’t have the faintest idea what to write about, you at least know what you have to avoid.Examples of hackneyed essay characteristics that immediately make admissions officers roll their eyes include: Now, what to write about?The key to writing an essay worth reading is writing an essay that has not been written before.
It can be instinctive to paint the best picture of yourself possible in your essay, but put aside vanity and pride for a moment.
You’ve already spent the rest of your college application flourishing your immaculate GPA, club leadership, and volunteer work.
Oftentimes, the most powerful essay topic is one that lets some of your imperfections seep through.
You can start by thinking of a time that you struggled, made a mistake, or were embarrassed.
is never the same as a.m.” He goes on to explain how he and his relatives were accidentally separated on the trip, walking the reader through the challenges he faced on his way back to safety, and ending on a tone of humility and lesson-learning.
How To Write An Essay For An Application
Good essays don’t all need to hype up an applicant’s superpowers: They can expose weaknesses, demonstrating subtlety and self-awareness.
What his essay did was make admissions officers pause in their tracks for a moment, and peer a tad more closely at the rest of his application. Think of it not as an essay in the academic sense, but an unlined blank canvas you can use to present whatever you want. Admissions officers barrel through dozens of essays a day, and the rote tedium of it can cause them to be hyper-critical of even the smallest of typos and grammatical errors.
Show them this small respect, and you’ve already beat out many others kids for that coveted acceptance letter.
It was an observational piece about having this window on a community.”But this doesn’t mean you should ramble on pointlessly for five paragraphs.
Make sure your topic reveals something about yourself, or why you want to study and pursue the things you do.