Outstanding College Essays Year 1 Problem Solving Activities

” This is the perfectionist’s calling card in seeking validation that the essay is good enough.

Students often ask if they should work on another draft or if their essay is sufficiently polished.

The following are tips for these applicants in developing an authentic, impactful college essay: Don’t read the essay questions, read yourself.

Most conformists will stifle their unique voice by attempting to respond to the specific prompts that the Common Application provides.

The college essay is not a test to see if you can read minds or anticipate what the admission office wants to hear.

Plain and simple, they want to know about you, how well you write and how self-aware you are. Regardless of the topic about which you choose to write, be sure the essay reveals more about you than the other characters or places in the story.

The glow from the laptop reflects off his forehead as he stares at the screen, paralyzed by panicked perfectionism.

The Common Application essay prompts are neatly copied onto the blank document, taunting him with possibility.

Instead, put the reader in the moment by painting a picture and then elaborate on why it is important.You are writing a personal narrative, not a parable, so don’t feel compelled to conclude with a lesson learned or a happy ending. When you have finished a draft of your essay, read it over and ask yourself why you wrote it.If you cannot answer this question, you might not be going deep enough or painting a vivid picture of who you are and what is important to you. Have you effectively communicated who you are and what you value?The best way to tell is to have your parents or a friend give a draft of your essay to a colleague or individual who has never met you.  Ask them to read the essay and then respond with three adjectives that describe you and a sentence that captures what they learned. If not, it is back to the drawing board.“Am I done?If all else fails you can default to the last prompt, which is essentially topic of your choice. Do not write your way into the essay by simply restating the initial prompt or question.Don't spend precious word space impressing us with your knowledge of the school, rather present your argument for how you envision yourself participating in academic and social life at the school." The moral to the college essay is that there need not be a moral.Beware, you can write and rewrite your college essay to death with multiple editors providing feedback as you try to get it just right, but as musician Mike Morris says, “too good is no good.” Seasoned admission deans can quickly detect the unauthentic essay that has been scrubbed over, soon devoid of any personal voice.Young novelists, journalists, and published poets are all on similar footing with the typical English student when approaching the admission essay—it is not just about how you write but also how vulnerable you are willing to be.Students shouldn't feel the pressure of having to write a Pulitzer-winning essay to gain admission to their college of choice.With that said, they also need to know that an award-winning piece won't supersede poor academic performance.

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