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Writing a strong college admissions essay

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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Homeskool99
    Hey kind of a random question:
    I'm homeschooled and a rising senior which means - oh boy - admissions essay time:/

    I'm using the Common App but I'm really struggling with the essay because I feel like none of the prompts really resonates with me. Also, they seem to lean pretty heavily to the side of public school kids. I mean, as a homeschooler, I'm not really challenging beliefs, for example.

    What I could use is advice on how to pick the best essay prompt when, in my opinion, they're all pretty lame. Please don't heckle me about this - I've been staring at these prompts for about two months now, and they're great and all, they just aren't working for me. Honest advice is so greatly appreciated.
    (8 votes)
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    • leaf orange style avatar for user Benny C
      Has there never been a time in your life where you encountered someone with a different opinion? Or were exposed to something, a situation, that challenged your beliefs or morals? I think that's what the question is asking. Everyone has experienced a time like that.
      (7 votes)
  • male robot hal style avatar for user Mirghani
    Will writing a strong admissions essay better my chances in being accepted?
    (2 votes)
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    • leaf green style avatar for user Jon Frank
      Absolutely. If the schools didn't care about the essays, they wouldn't ask you to write them :) The essay is your chance to show the admissions committee who you are, what you care about, how you're unique, what your perspective is, etc. It's a TREMENDOUS opportunity to tip the scales in your favor, if you do it right.

      Just think about it: when you submit your application, you're basically just a piece of paper. They've got your grades and your test scores and a list of your activities. But they also have all of those things for eeeevery other applicant. And even if you have great scores or different activities than the other applicants, there's not a WHOLE lot that differentiates you from the crowd.

      ... except for those essays.

      These schools want MORE than just people with great scores. That's why people with perfect SAT/ACT scores get rejected every year. They want PEOPLE who are going to contribute to their campus, have an impact, provide a unique perspective, and graduate to go on and do awesome things. And they're looking to your essays to get at all of that.

      A solid essay can overcome a lower test score, a lower GPA, and really any other gap in your profile. It can't make miracles happen, of course (that other stuff matters, too!) but it CAN boost your application and your chances at admission.

      So it is important that you really give those essays everything you've got. They are very important and also unlike anything you've ever written before, so they're not going to be easy. But, again, if you do them right, they can make a BIG splash and have a HUGE impact on your overall candidacy.

      Here are some essay analyses to help get you started (just click on college on the top left!): http://admissionado.com/resources/essay-analysis/

      Good luck!
      (9 votes)
  • male robot hal style avatar for user Aryan the king of gods
    I am a 5th grader so i want essay writing for fifth grade.
    (5 votes)
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  • duskpin tree style avatar for user Tim Zhen
    what happens if no colleges pick you
    (3 votes)
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  • duskpin seedling style avatar for user iwinosa osawe
    didn't quite understand this video clip I want to learn how to write the various types of essays easily.....please I need help
    (2 votes)
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    • female robot amelia style avatar for user Tabetha Hollingsworth
      This may help: http://www.time4writing.com/writing-resources/types-of-essays/

      Also, when writing your college application essay, there should be a Prompt or Prompts you can choose from (like a question to answer). For me, i am taking a class that is requiring us to write a college application essay, there is a list of prompts and i chose one i like. Now, i am just wondering how i am going to construct it and craft it. Is that what you are wondering too? Like, what structure? I think how you should approach it depends on the prompt (maybe, kinda in the same boat as you right now) I'm going to go through all the videos and hopefully feel more equipped for writing mine. Check out that link though, it gives you the different types of essays and what they mean (narration...persuasive....expository...descriptive...)
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Joysundhakal98ngu
    Essay on role of ICT in natural disaster
    (2 votes)
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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Melodie Girardin
    Is it recommended or ill advised to use quotes in essays or personal statements?
    (1 vote)
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    • leaf green style avatar for user Jon Frank
      I'd say you can and SHOULD use a quote when it ties to your essay in a meaningful way. In other words, don't use a quote for the sake of using one. If it's central to your messaging, your theme, the content of the essay as a whole, it can be a very powerful addition. But after working with applicants for over 9 years (and after seeing over 26,000 applications), I have seen many students try to force quotes into their essays for one reason or another (to look smart, to add a complicated dynamic, etc.)... and it just doesn't work.

      You have to have a reeeeally good reason for using a quote in your writing, and it needs to connect STRONGLY to whatever you are saying. If the link is weak, just scrap it.

      Good luck!

      Jon Frank
      (3 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user thesis master
    best write a essay tips you can check on the following web page
    http://www.thesis.ae/essay-writing
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Manjeet Kaur
    Mera kalaj essay with Punjabi
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user fast assignment help
    Is it good to use phrases and proverbs while writing an essays?
    (1 vote)
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    • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Kristen Lee
      It depends on the topic you are writing, but the focus of the college essays should always be on the writer. A quote would take up space in the limited word count, or would shift the attention away from the writer's thoughts and reflections.
      (1 vote)

Video transcript

- First and foremost when looking at an essay, you're going to be looking things like, their ability to write well and their appropriation for college. But we're also using that information to kind of see things like, their resilience and their love of learning and their intellectual curiosity. - I always tell a student, you know, if you had the chance to come meet with the admissions committee and present yourself in person, would you want to do it? And without fail students say, yeah I'd love to have that opportunity. And when I ask why? They say because if they were able to get know the admissions committee, the admissions committee would want to admit because they would know them and they would get to know what their about and what makes them unique and special. - The essay is really neat in that it's one of the only places in the application where they have complete control. Where they can write about the things that they've been involved in and things that they've done. - 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. 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. So I always advice students to stick to the simple things that you know. And the essays that stand out the most in my mind are about simple, simple things, very everyday topics. - I have seen some amazing essays about things like students walking their dog, or even their bus ride to school. - I think our hope is that if a student were to drop the essay on the floor of their high school and someone were to pick it up. It didn't have your name on it. That they'd say for sure, oh I know that is so and so's essay, because it speaks so much about your voice and your experiences and your perspective. - I think my favorite essay that I've ever read came from a student in the midwest. And he wrote about working at a fast food restaurant. And he wrote about how people were treating him as they went through the drive through. And how he was treating them back. 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. So for the purposes of the application, where we as admish officers are trying to get to know the applicant, that's a great essay.