The bigger issue is not how you write, but what you write about. Content, Character, and Avoiding an Existential Crisis The other reason colleges ask you to submit essays is because they want to know who you are as a person. It's difficult to accurately gauge a person's character just by looking at a transcript or resume. But college admissions essays help the committee members understand what makes you tick. They'll use your responses to answer questions like: What motivates this student?
What is he passionate about and why? Why does this student want to attend our school? What will she bring to the campus community? How has this student's background impacted who he has become? How does he respond to obstacles or unexpected events? In a way, writing a college entrance essay is the best part of the whole application because it puts you in the driver's seat. You get to decide what you want the admissions committee to know. It's a great opportunity — but also a huge responsibility — and the pressure may make some students feel like they're having an identity crisis.
Try not to fall into an endless abyss of questions like, "Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? What does it all mean? Writing a Successful Common App Essay The Common Application is an online portal that allows you to fill out a single application for all the colleges to which you apply.
Most schools nearly participate in this online system, so there's a good chance you will use it. Some schools also require supplementary information or additional essays, but the Common App is still a huge time saver.
The website also releases a list of college admission essay prompts each year, and students can choose which one they want to answer. Common Application Essay Prompts for Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.
If this sounds like you, then please share your story. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. In your admissions essays, you can make reference to why your passions would best be supported at the college to which you're applying. This can help admissions officers understand the type of student you will be on campus. An important element of your application.
Key points: Be passionate about your future Where you can, share news of you acting on your passions Don't come across as passionate about admission, be passionate about your prospective life at college and what you hope to learn. Academic Improvement, not perfection With all this talk about admission, you might worry about the kind of grades required to get accepted into your dream college.
You might be agonising that your grades aren't perfect or they aren't as strong as you'd hope they'd be. Well, I got something to say: Quit that stress'n right now I tells ya! While, obviously, they can assist you in gaining admission, perfect grades are not essential. It is a requirement that you submit a high school transcript when applying to college. From as young as aged 13, your grades will be laid bare for the world to see in all their glory. However, what's most important to many colleges is not that your grades are perfect but that you've displayed a solid improvement in grades during your time at high school.
This is a key trend admissions boards want to see. The graph of your average scores consistently scaling upwards. To the right, my school peers and I miserably pose for our history teacher who could not resist taking a picture when he saw our droopy faces the morning of our first AP exam. I move over to the right side of the page. At the top, I have neatly sewn on three items. The first is a page of a Cambodian Bible that was given to each of the soldiers at a military base where I taught English.
Beneath it is the picture of my Guatemalan girls and me sitting on the dirt ground while we devour arroz con pollo, red sauce slobbered all over our lips. I reread the third item, a short note that a student at a rural elementary school in Korea had struggled to write in her broken English. I lightly touch the little chain with a dangling letter E included with the note.
Moving to the lower portion of the page, I see the photo of the shelf with all my ceramic projects glazed in vibrant hues. 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.
I make sure to include a photo of my first scrapbook page of the visit to Hearst Castle in fifth grade. Unlike the previous one, this page is not cluttered or crowded. There is my college diploma with the major listed as International Relations; however, the name of the school is obscure.
The remainder of the page is a series of frames and borders with simple captions underneath. Without the photographs, the descriptions are cryptic.
For now, that second page is incomplete because I have no precise itinerary for my future. The red flags on the map represent the places I will travel to, possibly to teach English like I did in Cambodia or to do charity work with children like I did in Guatemala. As for the empty frames, I hope to fill them with the people I will meet: a family of my own and the families I desire to help, through a career I have yet to decide. Until I am able to do all that, I can prepare.
It reads like the opening to a movie. She keeps clothes for a long time; she likes to be comfortable. What does "Levi's" suggest? She's not obsessed with neatness.
What do these details tell us? Family is really important to her. Fireplace: What does a fireplace connote? Warmth, closeness. My brother's hot cocoa: Why hot cocoa? Again, warmth. How is the fact that her brother made it change the image? It implies that her brother is engaged in the family activity.
Do you think she likes her brother? Would your brother make hot cocoa for you? And finally: Listening to rain: Why not watching TV? What does it tell you about this family that they sit and listen to rain together? Taken together, they create an essence image. Quick: What essence image describes your family? Even if you have a non-traditional family—in fact, especially if you have a non-traditional family! Based on the image the writer uses, how would you describe her relationship with her family?
We know all we need to know. Did you notice? Did you notice how clearly she set up the idea of the scrapbook at the beginning of the essay? Look at the last sentence of the second paragraph bolded below : Cutting the first photograph, I make sure to leave a quarter inch border. The sentence in bold above is essentially her thesis.
It explains the framework for the whole essay. She follows this sentence with: This particular project is the most valuable scrapbook I have ever made: the scrapbook of my life. Super clear. We need to trust that this is going to be worth our time.
Two reasons: 1. Showing before telling gives your reader a chance to interpret the meaning of your images before you do. Why is this good?
It provides a little suspense. Note that it's all "show. Now we get it. Showing then telling gives you an opportunity to set-up your essay for what I believe to be the single most important element to any personal statement: insight. Insight answers the question: So what? I read the last page and close the book, staring out the window at the shining fish ponds and peaceful rice paddies. I feel like a speck of dust outside the train, floating, content and happy to be between destinations. I am at home between worlds.
I speak both English and Chinese: Chinese is for math, science, and process, but I prefer English for art, emotion, and description. America owns my childhood, filled with pine trees, blockbuster movies, and Lake Tahoe snow; China holds my adolescence, accompanied by industrial smog, expeditious mobility, and fast-paced social scenes.
We are drawing into Shanghai Hong Qiao station. Home is neither arrival nor departure, neither America nor China. Home is the in-between, the cusp of transition — that is where I feel most content. What works? This essay is an example of how to tell the story of moving to America in a unique way. This student focused on a single question — where is home? Through this skillfully crafted essay, we learn that the student has led a very international life, the student has a way with words, the student loves literature, the student is bilingual, and the student is excited by change.
If this sounds like you, then please share your story. I wanted to find a solution so that nobody would have to feel the way I did; nobody deserved to feel that pain, fear, and resentment. This past summer, I took a month-long course on human immunology at Stanford University. I learned about the different mechanisms and cells that our bodies use in order to fight off pathogens. My desire to major in biology in college has been stimulated by my fascination with the human body, its processes, and the desire to find a way to help people with allergies.
Watkins was the coordinator of the foreign exchange student program I was enrolled in. She had a nine year old son named Cody. I would babysit Cody every day after school for at least two to three hours.
He would talk a lot about his friends and school life, and I would listen to him and ask him the meanings of certain words. He was my first friend in the New World. She had recently delivered a baby, so she was still in the hospital when I moved into their house.
The Martinez family did almost everything together. We made pizza together, watched Shrek on their cozy couch together, and went fishing on Sunday together. On rainy days, Michael, Jen and I would sit on the porch and listen to the rain, talking about our dreams and thoughts.
Within two months I was calling them mom and dad. After I finished the exchange student program, I had the option of returning to Korea but I decided to stay in America. I wanted to see new places and meet different people. After a few days of thorough investigation, I found the Struiksma family in California. They were a unique group. The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted.
The kids always had something warm to eat, and were always on their best behavior at home and in school. In the living room were six or seven huge amplifiers and a gigantic chandelier hung from the high ceiling. The kitchen had a bar. At first, the non-stop visits from strangers made me nervous, but soon I got used to them. I remember one night, a couple barged into my room while I was sleeping. It was awkward. In the nicest way possible, I told them I had to leave. They understood. The Ortiz family was my fourth family.
Kimberly, the host mom, treated me the same way she treated her own son. She made me do chores: I fixed dinner, fed their two dogs Sassy and Lady, and once a week I cleaned the bathroom. I also had to follow some rules: No food in my room, no using the family computer, no lights on after midnight, and no ride unless it was an emergency. The first couple of months were really hard to get used to, but eventually I adjusted.
I lived with the Ortiz family for seven months like a monk in the deep forest. It was unexpected and I only had a week to find a new host family. I asked my friend Danielle if I could live with her until I found a new home. The Dirksen family had three kids. They were all different.Essay could be your phone. It could be index cards. It could be a Mark notebook if you really want to do admissions with panache. Do not feel pressure to share every detail of challenging experiences, but also do not feel that you need to have a happy ending or solution. Your writing should college a context within which the reader best about who you are and what has brought you to this stage in your life.
.Some schools also require supplementary information or additional essays, but the Common App is still a huge time saver. So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share. Your common application essay is going to represent you at most — if not all — of the colleges to which you apply, so don't blow this one off! From coming up with ideas to organizing your thoughts to drafting and revising, our writing tutors know how to help you create top college essays to boost your chance of admission at your dream school. All four of my Korean grandparents sit in the top corner; they are side by side on a sofa for my first birthday —my ddol. Where you can, hammer your extracurricular passions and successes.
This is where help can be imperative.
But we won't dwell on mechanics. Show 4: "Mrs.
Take the pressure off and try free-writing to limber up. I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths. As it disappeared under handfuls of dirt, my own heart grew stronger, my own breath more steady. Be genuine and authentic. Make notes where and when you can so that you can capture those organic thoughts for later.
What have you enjoyed about high school? Use vivid imagery. Again, warmth. Math majors may claim that this is a totally unnecessary skill, but the truth is that everyone needs to be able to write effectively — at least to a minimum standard — in order to get through college. Be thoughtful about the experiences you've had that have shaped who you've become. In my hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, where normality was…well, the norm, I tried to be a typical student — absolutely, perfectly normal.
I read a great essay this year where an applicant walked me through the steps of meditation and how your body responds to it. This college essay tip is by Charles Maynard, Oxford and Stanford University Graduate and founder of Going Merry , which is a one-stop shop for applying to college scholarships
Watkins was the coordinator of the foreign exchange student program I was enrolled in. I want to study foreign language and linguistics in college because, in short, it is something that I know I will use and develop for the rest of my life. Not because you have a strong academic record. Which is home? My friend Min-young and I hid behind a willow tree, eagerly awaiting our orders.
Q: So what am I going to do with all these lessons? Did you notice how clearly she set up the idea of the scrapbook at the beginning of the essay?
Is she willing to work hard? All four of my Korean grandparents sit in the top corner; they are side by side on a sofa for my first birthday —my ddol.
For now, that second page is incomplete because I have no precise itinerary for my future. Superman question. You get to decide what you want the admissions committee to know. In the years that followed, this experience and my regular visits to my allergy specialist inspired me to become an allergy specialist.