3. Choose any topic of your choice: I wrote a descriptive essay of my trip to the Eiffel Tower and how I was blown away by the beauty and grandeur of the structure. And this was also an essay that I had used in an English class for a writing contest and my teacher had rated the paper as an A+ so hey, it was probably my best writing.
Kim Lifton is president of . You can read Kim’s blogs and get useful writing tips by signing up for . Wow is also on and. Check their to sign up for webinars and workshops on college admissions essays. Remember this: The college essay subject is YOU; the topic is secondary.
Another reason to focus your summer energy on crafting a quality essay: at this point in the admission process, it is one of the few things you can still control. This is your chance to show us what you are capable of when you have time to think, prepare, rewrite and polish.
While there is no magic formula for the perfect admission essay, there are a few things prospective college students should know. Here are my Top Ten tips:
Persuasive writing, also known as the argument essay, utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action. The argument must always use sound reasoning and solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples, and quoting experts.
Ms. Merrill’s Top Ten tips are an excellent guideline for the college admissions essay. I’m currently a college sophmore and vividly recall going through this process.
One additional tip I would add is keep it lite. I think college admissions panels are tired of reading about how you spent your summer wielding a hammer for Habitat for Humanity or ladling soup in a homeless shelter.
In the sixteen years since its inception, AdmissionsEssays has been helping students craft and edit memorable personal statements & letters of recommendations.
To write a comparison or contrast essay that is easy to follow, first decide what the similarities or differences are by writing lists on scrap paper. Which are more significant, the similarities or the differences? Plan to discuss the less significant first, followed by the more significant. It is much easier to discuss ONLY the similarities or ONLY the differences, but you can also do both.
Then for organizing your essay, choose one of the plans described below whichever best fits your list. Finally, and this is important, what main point (thesis) might you make in the essay about the two people/things being compared? Do not begin writing until you have a point that the similarities or differences you want to use help to prove. Your point should help shape the rest of what you say: For example, if you see that one of your similarities or differences is unrelated to the point, throw it out and think of one that is related. Or revise your point. Be sure this main point is clearly and prominently expressed somewhere in the essay.
the best thing you can do is try out a lot of ideas. my english teacher senior year made us write a different personal essay every day for the first month of school. i never would have thought of my ultimately successful topic if i hadnt been for being forced to do so much writing. if you really feel you must start over the summer, try out lots of ideas and dont commit. ask an english teacher or recent ivy grad for advice, your parents may not have the best sense of a relevant and not trite topic.
finally, i think the mundane topics advice is risky. true, you can have a very good essay on a mundane topic, but you also run the risk of sounding like everyone else and being trite. if you are writing about your subway ride as a metaphor for your dreams in life, it had better be a really sparkling, innovative essay.
Periodically, in a feature called “Tip Sheet,” The Choice will post short items by admissions officers, guidance counselors and others to help applicants and their families better understand aspects of the admissions process. As an inaugural post in this series, Martha C. Merrill, the dean of admission and financial aid of , and a graduate of the class of 1984, encourages incoming high school seniors to begin contemplating their college essays this summer. She also offers perspective on what she looks for in an applicant’s essay.
As the parent of two college-aged sons, I could not agree with this advice more. One wrote about a challenge that he overcame and the other about being compassionate. Both essays were about events that happened in their everyday school lives. Both were written in active voice and were little windows into their characters. Neither used the words challenge or compassionate. I am convinced that it was the strength and sincerity of their essays that opened the doors at the top schools that said “Yes” to my sons. The essays were the differentiating factor in all the numbers that are part of an application.
I encourage other parents to suggest that their kids just be themselves in their essays – small is good, generalities are boring, tell about something that makes you you. Oh, and read The Gatekeepers – – it offers the best insights into the college admissions process of any of the dozens of books I read on the topic.