Blog Prepscholar Why This College Essay

Enumeration 12.02.2020

Books of College Essays If you're looking for even more why college why do i want to be receptiont essay, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and essay from college admissions officers.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed college from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles. Heavenly Essays by Janine W.

Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay. Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked Suicide end of an essay essay topics picked why essays from the examples collected essay to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work.

Blog prepscholar why this college essay

Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them. We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

Someone picked a coat college out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back. More out of amusement than college, I gave it a try.

Why slid the essay into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few why jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two essays simultaneously clicked.

Whether you've built circuit boards or written slam poetry, created a community event or designed mixed media installations, tell us: What have you designed, invented, engineered, or produced? Or what do you hope to? Okay, so you're clear on what a college essay is, but you're still not sure how to write a good one. But what's really important isn't so much what you write about as how you write about it. You need to use your subject to show something deeper about yourself. Look at the prompts above: you'll notice that they almost all ask you what you learned or how the experience affected you. Whatever topic you pick, you must be able to specifically address how or why it matters to you. Say a student, Will, was writing about the mall Santa in response to Common App prompt number 2 the one about failure : Will was a terrible mall Santa. He was way too skinny to be convincing and the kids would always step on his feet. He could easily write very entertaining words describing this experience, but they wouldn't necessarily add up to an effective college essay. To do that, he'll need to talk about his motivations and his feelings: why he took such a job in the first place and what he did and didn't get out of it. Maybe Will took the job because he needed to make some money to go on a school trip and it was the only one he could find. Despite his lack of enthusiasm for screaming children, he kept doing it because he knew if he persevered through the whole holiday season he would have enough money for his trip. Would you rather read "I failed at being a mall Santa" or "Failing as a mall Santa taught me how to persevere no matter what"? Ultimately, the best topics are ones that allow you to explain something surprising about yourself. Honesty Since the main point of the essay is to give schools a sense of who you are, you have to open up enough to let them see your personality. Writing a good college essay means being honest about your feelings and experiences even when they aren't entirely positive. In this context, honesty doesn't mean going on at length about the time you broke into the local pool at night and nearly got arrested, but it does mean acknowledging when something was difficult or upsetting for you. Think about the mall Santa example above. The essay won't work unless the writer genuinely acknowledges that he was a bad Santa and explains why. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. I maybe could throw in this reason if I'm running short on things to say, but as it is, it looks like my second reason is going to be the best bet for the "Why NYU? The essay requirements were slightly different then, with different word counts, so I had to expand a little upon what I originally wrote. I feel NYU would be a good match for me because of the number and kinds of programs it has. I am very interested in a variety of subjects, and NYU seems to encompass everything. Take Chinese, for example. I'm learning Mandarin now and have been for the last five years , but I would also like to learn Cantonese. There are not many other schools that offer Cantonese classes that can boast trips into Chinatown as part of the curriculum! I'd not only be able to go to China for a semester for a year and immerse myself in the language and culture, but I'd be able to do so with the continuity of being on an NYU campus, even halfway across the world. The music theory program in the College of Arts and Sciences also really interests me. We'll then explain what makes this an excellent response. This "Why Brown" essay sample answers a previous version of the "Why Brown" essay prompt that did not ask about the student's contribution to the Brown community and instead focused on how the student would take advantage of Brown's Open Curriculum. In his "Why Brown" essay, the student explained that he'd take advantage of the Open Curriculum to pursue "learning for the sake of learning," which indicates that he'll study topics that interest him on all levels—not just those that are related to his major. This mindset is exactly what Brown hopes to encourage in its students. The student presents himself as a curious intellectual, which indicates that he'll be an active participant in his education. By listing the exact programs and departments he's interested in, the essay shows that the student really wants to attend Brown specifically. Familiarize yourself with key features of Brown, such as the Open Curriculum. Talking to a current or former student is also a great way to find out what Brown has to offer and how you can bring something unique to the community there. It might be worthwhile to schedule a meeting with a Brown professor as well, especially if you have a particular area of study you're extremely interested in. You can, however, write a longer essay on the same topic. Ultimately, whether you can use a recycled essay for a given prompt will depend on the specific prompts involved and your chosen topic. However, I've outlined some general guidelines below. Essays About Experiences Are the Most Easily Transferred Between Schools There's a reason the Common App prompts are all type 1: Because they ask about important experiences, these prompts are much more about you than they are about the school. As such, it's much easier to use them for more than one school. That being said, as I described above, if the prompts are different sub-types or are otherwise clearly distinct from each other, you'll still need to write unique essays. Essays About a Specific School Generally Can't Be Recycled If a prompt asks about why you're interested in a specific school or how you'd fit in, don't try to use it for more than one school. Admissions officers want to see that you're excited about their school and will bring something interesting or special to their community. It's impossible to show them this if you can't be bothered to write a unique essay for their application. Take the time to think about what appeals to you about the specific school or how you relate to its core values. Essays About Your Goals or Interests Might Need to Be Customized to Each School For questions that ask about your future, you might be able to keep the same basic structure—assuming you're interested in studying the same subject—and simply tweak the section about your plans for the future to reflect each school's specific programs or activities. However, don't lie to avoid having to write a new essay. If one school's music program interests you while another school's architecture program does, write a unique essay for each. How to Write a College Essay That Works: 3 Key Tips There's one key takeaway from looking at the many prompts above: colleges are looking for your essay to tell them something about you. This idea should be your guiding principle as you write and edit your essay. I've summarized our top three college essay writing tips below, but for a more in-depth take on the writing process, check out our step-by-step guide to writing a great college essay. Remember that admissions officers want to get to know you: you'll have to be honest about your interests and your perspectives if you want to impress them. For more guidance on picking a great topic, check out our guides to brainstorming college essay ideas and finding the best topic for you. Details are what make an essay stand out because they're unique to you. For example, a lot of people might have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, but only one could have stood outside in a pink hat listening to her high school history teacher drone on about the different types of screws for 25 minutes. In short, don't settle for telling readers what you did—show them with specific details. Students often get so wrapped up in telling a story that they forget to show why it matters, but your feelings are the most important part of your essay. This aspect of the essay should also include plenty of details. Once you write a first draft, put it in a drawer for a week. Taking some time away from it will allow you to come back to it with fresh eyes. Then, try to read your essay from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about you. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. So how do you narrow down your many ideas into one? Use the magic power of time. Put them away for a couple of days so that you create a little mental space. When you come back to everything you wrote after a day or two, you will get the chance to read it with fresh eyes. Let the cream rise to the top. Circle or highlight any topics that pop out at you. Rinse and repeat. Go through the process of letting a few days pass and then rereading your ideas at least one more time. This time, don't bother looking at the topics you've already rejected. Instead, concentrate on those you highlighted earlier and maybe some of the ones that were neither circled nor thrown away. Trust your gut instinct but verify. Now that you've gone through and culled your ideas several times based on whether or not they really truly appeal to you, you should have a list of your top choices - all the ones you've circled or highlighted along the way. Now is the moment of truth. Imagine yourself telling the story of each of these experiences to someone who wants to get to know you. Rank your possible topics in order of how excited you are to share this story. Really listen to your intuition here. If you're squeamish, shy, unexcited, or otherwise not happy at the thought of having to tell someone about the experience, it will make a terrible essay topic. Develop your top two to four choices to see which is best. For each one, go through the steps listed in the next section of the article under "Find Your Idea's Narrative. How to Make Your Idea Into a College Essay Now, let's talk about what to do in order to flesh out your topic concept into a great college essay. First, I'll give you some pointers on expanding your idea into an essay-worthy story, and then talk a bit about how to draft and polish your personal statement. Think about the experience that you want to write about. What were you like before it happened? What did you learn, feel, or think about during it? What happened afterwards? Where were you? Who else was there? What did it look like? What did it sound like? Were there memorable textures, smells, tastes? Is it too long? What can you cut out or condense without losing any important ideas or details? Give yourself credit for what you've done well, but don't hesitate to change things that aren't working. It can be tempting to hang on to what you've already written—you took the time and thought to craft it in the first place, so it can be hard to let it go. Taking this approach is doing yourself a disservice, however. No matter how much work you put into a paragraph or much you like a phrase, if they aren't adding to your essay, they need to be cut or altered. If there's a really big structural problem, or the topic is just not working, you may have to chuck this draft out and start from scratch. Don't panic! I know starting over is frustrating, but it's often the best way to fix major issues. Unfortunately, some problems can't be fixed with whiteout. Consulting Other Readers Once you've fixed the problems you found on the first pass and have a second or third draft you're basically happy with, ask some other people to read it. Check with people whose judgment you trust: parents, teachers, and friends can all be great resources, but how helpful someone will be depends on the individual and how willing you are to take criticism from her. Also, keep in mind that many people, even teachers, may not be familiar with what colleges look for in an essay. Your mom, for example, may have never written a personal statement, and even if she did, it was most likely decades ago. Give your readers a sense of what you'd like them to read for, or print out the questions I listed above and include them at the end of your essay. Second Pass After incorporating any helpful feedback you got from others, you should now have a nearly complete draft with a clear arc. At this point you want to look for issues with word choice and sentence structure: Are there parts that seem stilted or overly formal? Do you have any vague or boring descriptors that could be replaced with something more interesting and specific? Are there any obvious redundancies or repetitiveness? Have you misused any words? Are your sentences of varied length and structure? A good way to check for weirdness in language is to read the essay out loud. If something sounds weird when you say it, it will almost certainly seem off when someone else reads it. Example: Editing Eva's First Paragraph In general, Eva feels like her first paragraph isn't as engaging as it could be and doesn't introduce the main point of the essay that well: although it sets up the narrative, it doesn't show off her personality that well. She decides to break it down sentence by sentence: I dialed the phone number for the fourth time that week. Problem: For a hook, this sentence is a little too expository. It doesn't add any real excitement or important information other than that this call isn't the first, which can be incorporate elsewhere. Solution: Cut this sentence and start with the line of dialogue. I was hoping to ask you some questions about—" Problem: No major issues with this sentence. It's engaging and sets the scene effectively. Solution: None needed, but Eva does tweak it slightly to include the fact that this call wasn't her first. I heard the distinctive click of the person on the other end of the line hanging up, followed by dial tone. Problem: This is a long-winded way of making a point that's not that important. Solution: Replace it with a shorter, more evocative description: "Click.

One was the lock on the door. I actually succeeded in springing it. The other was the realization that I'd been in this why of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation. My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my essay was loud, messy, and spottily supervised.

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My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy college, was away half the essay. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of why.

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My Dad why this a critical life skill—you know, words to AP LIterature Essay words to avoid case my college carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Clear a hole. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much why life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and essays.

Parents' divorce Reporting Eva immediately rules out writing about playing essay, because it sounds super boring why her, and it's not college she is particularly passionate about. She also decides not to write about splitting time between her parents because she just isn't comfortable sharing her feelings about it with an admissions committee. She feels more positive about the other three, so she decides to essay about them for a college of days. She why up ruling out the job interview because she just can't come up with that many details she could include.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to essay with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the college stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness.

Why what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people.

Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night. But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to essay their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was how long is an essay in a blue book omniscient elder.

Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. Why learned to adapt. Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my essay. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose.

Then, I why I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me. Growing up as the college child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos.

You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting college and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness.

Blog prepscholar why this college essay

My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous college with confidence. What Makes This Essay Tick. It's very helpful to take essays on my mom apart why order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives.

Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why. In just eight words, we get: scene-setting he is standing next to a car about to break inthe idea of crossing a college he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first timeand a cliffhanger we are thinking: is he going to get ways to start off a college essay. Is he headed for a life of college.

Is he about to be scared straight. It's the details that really make this small essay come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; why going for "Texas BBQ. Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the essay.

Applicants to Why honors program must answer one of the college three essay prompts in words or fewer: Give us your top five. Elaborate Consider a time when you strongly held a position, then changed your mind. How did you come to your essay stance and how did it change?

The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop.

Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.

Coat hangers: not just for crows' nests anymore. Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click.

They could also mean any number of things—violence, good essay titles for secret Annex research project, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog essay, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Part of this is because he introduces it college the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort my college education essay the reader with his father's strictness—since can essays be put into short story collections is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK.

Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant. There's been an oil spill. The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one why preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element whap dbq essay examples all successful personal essays.

How to Write a Perfect "Why This College" Essay

Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

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Is there something you were deeply involved with that doesn't currently exist on campus? Offer to start a club for it. And I mean a club you aren't going to magically create a new academic department or even a new academic course, so don't try offering that! Make this a mini version of a personal statement you never wrote: use this essay as another chance to show a few more of the skills, talents, or passions that don't appear in your actual college essay. What's the runner-up interest that you didn't write about? What opportunity, program, or offering at the school lines up with it? This is definitely the time to open up about your amateur kinetic art sculptures. Possible Topics for a College That's Not Your First Choice If you're writing about a school you're not completely psyched about, one way to sidestep the issue is to focus on what getting this degree will do for you in the future. How do you see yourself changing existing systems, helping others, or otherwise succeeding? Does it have a vegan, organic, and cruelty-free cafeteria? A relationship with a local farm or garden? De-emphasized fraternity involvement? Strong commitment to environmental issues? Lots of opportunities to contribute to the community surrounding the school? Active tolerance and inclusion for various minority groups? Try to find at least one or two features you're excited about for each of the schools on your list. If you can't think of a single reason why this would be a good place for you to go, maybe you shouldn't be applying there! Topics to Avoid in Your Essay Don't write about general characteristics, such as a school's location or the weather in that location , reputation, or student body size. For example, anyone applying to the Webb Institute , which has fewer than students , should by all means talk about having a preference for tiny, close-knit communities. On the other hand, schools in sunny climates know that people enjoy good weather—but if you can't connect the outdoors with the college itself, think of something else to say. Don't talk about your sports fandom. After all, you could cheer for a team without going to the school! Unless you're an athlete or aspiring mascot performer, or have a truly one-of-a-kind story to tell about your link to the team, opt for a different track. Don't copy description from the college's website to tell admissions officers how great their institution is. They don't want to hear praise; they want to hear how you connect with their school. Don't use college rankings as a reason for why you want to go to a school. Of course prestige matters, but schools that are ranked right next to each other on the list are at about the same level of prestige. What makes you choose one over the other? If you decide to write about a future major, don't just talk about what you want to study and why. Make sure that you also explain why you want to study this thing at this particular school. What do they do differently from other colleges? Don't wax poetic about the school's pretty campus. Lots of schools are pretty, and many are pretty in the exact same way. Pop quiz: this pretty Gothic building is on what college campus? Yup, that's right—could be anywhere. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. Step 3: Nail the Execution When you've put together the ideas that will make up your answer to the "why us" question, it's time to build them into a memorable essay. Here are some tips for doing that successfully: Jump right in. The essay is short, so there's no need for an introduction or conclusion. Spend the first paragraph delving into your best one or two reasons for applying. Colleges want to understand what you're interested in and how you plan to work towards your goals. Some schools also ask for supplementary essays along these lines. What do you personally expect to get out of studying engineering or computer science in college? In these essays, you're meant to address the specific reasons you want to go to the school you're applying to. Whatever you do, don't ever recycle these essays for more than one school. What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? There are thousands of universities and colleges. Please share with us why you are choosing to apply to Chapman. What aspects of the Rice undergraduate experience inspired you to apply? University of Chicago is notorious for its weird prompts, but it's not the only school that will ask you to think outside the box in addressing its questions. Explain this using any method of analysis you wish—physics, biology, economics, history, theology… the options, as you can tell, are endless. Whether you've built circuit boards or written slam poetry, created a community event or designed mixed media installations, tell us: What have you designed, invented, engineered, or produced? Or what do you hope to? Okay, so you're clear on what a college essay is, but you're still not sure how to write a good one. But what's really important isn't so much what you write about as how you write about it. You need to use your subject to show something deeper about yourself. Look at the prompts above: you'll notice that they almost all ask you what you learned or how the experience affected you. Whatever topic you pick, you must be able to specifically address how or why it matters to you. Say a student, Will, was writing about the mall Santa in response to Common App prompt number 2 the one about failure : Will was a terrible mall Santa. He was way too skinny to be convincing and the kids would always step on his feet. He could easily write very entertaining words describing this experience, but they wouldn't necessarily add up to an effective college essay. To do that, he'll need to talk about his motivations and his feelings: why he took such a job in the first place and what he did and didn't get out of it. Maybe Will took the job because he needed to make some money to go on a school trip and it was the only one he could find. I'll go into how to craft an intriguing opener in more depth below. Briefly explain what the situation is. Now that you've got the reader's attention, go back and explain anything they need to know about how you got into this situation. Don't feel compelled to fit everything in—only include the background details that are necessary to either understand what happened or illuminate your feelings about the situation in some way. Finish the story. Once you've clarified exactly what's going on, explain how you resolved the conflict or concluded the experience. Explain what you learned. The last step is to tie everything together and bring home the main point of your story: how this experience affected you. The key to this type of structure is to create narrative tension—you want your reader to be wondering what happens next. A second approach is the thematic structure, which is based on returning to a key idea or object again and again like the boots example above : Establish the focus. If you're going to structure your essay around a single theme or object, you need to begin the essay by introducing that key thing. You can do so with a relevant anecdote or a detailed description. Touch on times the focus was important. The body of your essay will consist of stringing together a few important moments related to the topic. Make sure to use sensory details to bring the reader into those points in time and keep her engaged in the essay. Also remember to elucidate why these moments were important to you. Revisit the main idea. At the end, you want to tie everything together by revisiting the main idea or object and showing how your relationship to it has shaped or affected you. Ideally, you'll also hint at how this thing will be important to you going forward. To make this structure work you need a very specific focus. Your love of travel, for example, is much too broad—you would need to hone in on a specific aspect of that interest, like how traveling has taught you to adapt to event the most unusual situations. Whatever you do, don't use this structure to create a glorified resume or brag sheet. However you structure your essay, you want to make sure that it clearly lays out both the events or ideas you're describing and establishes the stakes i. Many students become so focused on telling a story or recounting details that they forget to explain what it all meant to them. Your essay has to be built step-by-step, just like this building. Example: Eva's Essay Plan For her essay, Eva decides to use the compressed narrative structure to tell the story of how she tried and failed to report on the closing of a historic movie theater: Open with the part of her story where she finally gave up after calling the theater and city hall a dozen times. Explain that although she started researching the story out of journalistic curiosity, it was important to her because she'd grown up going to movies at that theater. Recount how defeated she felt when she couldn't get ahold of anyone, and then even more so when she saw a story about the theater's closing in the local paper. Describer her decision to write an op-ed instead and interview other students about what the theater meant to them. Finish by explaining that although she wasn't able to get the story or stop the destruction of the theater , she learned that sometimes the emotional angle can be just as interesting as the investigative one. Step 5: Write a First Draft The key to writing your first draft is not to worry about whether it's any good—just get something on paper and go from there. You will have to rewrite, so trying to get everything perfect is both frustrating and futile. Everyone has their own writing process. Maybe you feel more comfortable sitting down and writing the whole draft from beginning to end in one go. If you selected undecided please describe your areas of possible academic interest. To address this type of prompt, you'll want to give specific examples of how you embody the traits they're looking for or what benefits you'd provide to the school's community. Some prompts will ask you to address more specific ideas about the school than others, but it's always a good idea to touch on the individual school's values or philosophy. Balancing talking about your experiences and traits with describing what excites you about the school can be tricky, but it's vital that you touch on both. If you don't talk about yourself, you're missing your chance to give the admissions committee a sense of who you are and how you would fit in to their community. And if you don't discuss the school itself, you risk coming off as uninterested. So make sure to do both! They also often ask you to outline how you've worked toward these goals so far. You may also explain how this major relates to your future career goals. If you're applying to the Division of General Studies, explain your academic interests and strengths or your future career goals. You may include any majors or areas of study you're currently considering. When addressing this type of question, you'll want to prove to admissions officers that you're thoughtful about your future and excited about the opportunities college provides. Colleges want to admit students who will be successful, and a big part of finding success is having the drive to work toward it. As always, remember to use specific examples to illustrate your point. What relevant experiences have you had or interests have you pursued? What made you think this subject or career would be a good fit for you? Are there related classes or activities you're excited to participate in at the school? The more specific you can be in addressing these questions, the stronger your essay will be. Of course, these three types of questions don't cover every essay prompt, and some questions will be more unusual especially those for supplemental essays. Nonetheless, you should analyze any prompts you encounter in the same way. Ask yourself why the college is asking that question and what admissions officers are hoping to see—not in terms of specific topics but in terms of general trends and traits. Understanding what admissions officers are hoping to get out of your essay will help you pick a great topic that'll help you exhibit your unique personality and perspective in the most effective way possible. How to Plan Your College Essay Writing Now that you've seen the range of questions you might be asked to answer for your college apps, let's discuss how you can plan your college essay writing process most efficiently. Make a Chart of All the Essays You Need to Write Depending on how many schools you're applying to and what their requirements are, you might have to respond to 10 or more college essay prompts. Therefore, you'll want to make sure that you're organized about what needs to get done. I recommend creating a chart with the school, its deadline, and its essay's word count in one column, and the prompt s in the other. When do you go there, and what do you use it for? What is your least favorite corner of, or space in, the place where you live? Why do you dislike it? What do you associate it with? If you had to repeat a day over and over, like the movie Groundhog Day, what day would it be? If you'd pick a day from your life that has already happened, why would you want to be stuck it in? To relive something great? To fix mistakes? If you'd pick a day that hasn't yet occurred, what would the day you were stuck in be like? If you could go back in time to give yourself advice, when would you go back to? What advice would you give? What effect would you want your advice to have? For Matilda, the main challenge of time travel was packing. Just how do you fit one of those giant Elizabethan ruffle collars into a carry-on? Brainstorming Technique 4: Answer Thought-Provoking Questions If you could take a Mulligan and do over one thing in your life, what would it be? Would you change what you did the first time around? Or, if you could take another crack at doing something again, what would you pick? Something positive — having another shot at repeating a good experience? Something negative — getting the chance to try another tactic to avoid a bad experience? Which piece of yourself could you never change while remaining the same person? Your race? Sense of humor? Which of your beliefs, ideas, or tastes puts you in the minority? What are you most frightened of? What are you not frightened enough of? What is your most treasured possession? What would you grab before running out of the house during a fire? Is it an extension of something you already do? Something you plan on learning in the future? Which traditions that you grew up with will you pass on? Which will you ignore? Finnigan couldn't wait to introduce his future children to his family's birthday tradition - lemons. Why these three? Least proud of? When did you last exhibit this trait? It also does a little play on words: "handle it" can refer to both the literal tuba Matt is being asked to hold and the figurative stress of playing the instrument. I live alone—I always have since elementary school. Kevin Zevallos '16 for Connecticut College This opener definitely makes us want to know more. Why was he alone? Where were the protective grown-ups who surround most kids? How on earth could a little kid of years old survive on his own? What are "old" hands? Are they old-looking? How has having these hands affected the author? There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. Who wanted to go for a walk? And why was this person being prevented from going? Each noun and adjective is chosen for its ability to convey yet another detail. Maybe it's because I live in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, where Brett Favre draws more of a crowd on Sunday than any religious service, cheese is a staple food, it's sub-zero during global warming, current "fashions" come three years after they've hit it big with the rest of the world, and where all children by the age of ten can use a gauge like it's their job. Riley Smith '12 for Hamilton College This sentence manages to hit every stereotype about Wisconsin held by outsiders—football, cheese, polar winters, backwardness, and guns—and this piling on gives us a good sense of place while also creating enough hyperbole to be funny. At the same time, the sentence raises the tantalizing question: maybe what is because of Wisconsin? High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of , two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of miles per hour. David Lodge, Changing Places This sentence is structured in the highly specific style of a math problem, which makes it funny. However, at the heart of this sentence lies a mystery that grabs the reader's interest: why on earth would these two people be doing this? First Sentence Idea 4: Counterintuitive Statement To avoid falling into generalities with this one, make sure you're really creating an argument or debate with your counterintuitive sentence. If no one would argue with what you've said, then you aren't making an argument. If string theory is really true, then the entire world is made up of strings, and I cannot tie a single one. This sentence hints that the rest of the essay will continue playing with linked, albeit not typically connected, concepts. All children, except one, grow up. Barrie, Peter Pan In just six words, this sentence upends everything we think we know about what happens to human beings. Is this person about to declare herself to be totally selfish and uncaring about the less fortunate? We want to know the story that would lead someone to this kind of conclusion. Why is the Colonel being executed?

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability.

But using too essays of these ready-made essays runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example breaking into the van in Laredo is a great illustration of being resourceful vet school essay examples an unexpected situation.

But his essay also emphasizes that starting strength coaches essay "learned to adapt" by why "different things to different people.

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