College Essays Ford Mustang

The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you.

Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through.

You’ll see that the best authors ignore these fussy, fusty rules.

Rachel Toor is a creative writing professor at Eastern Washington University in Spokane.

So they use your essay, along with your letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities , to find out what sets you apart from the other talented candidates. You have a unique background, interests and personality.

This is your chance to tell your story (or at least part of it).Picture this before you plop yourself down in front of your computer to compose your college application essay: A winter-lit room is crammed with admissions professionals and harried faculty members who sit around a big table covered with files.The admissions people, often young and underpaid, buzz with enthusiasm; the professors frequently pause to take off their glasses and rub their eyes.Anyone can write about how they won the big game or the summer they spent in Rome.When recalling these events, you need to give more than the play-by-play or itinerary.They would go into the garage and talk, really talk: “Once my mom said to me in a thick Korean accent, ‘Every time you have sex, I want you to make sure and use a condo.’ I instantly burst into laughter and said, ‘Mom, that could get kind of expensive! And remember those exhausted admissions officers sitting around a table in the winter.’ ” A girl wrote about her feminist mother’s decision to get breast implants. Jolt them out of their sugar coma and give them something to be excited about.Admissions committees put the most weight on your high school grades and your test scores .However, selective colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit.But once you start adding exclamation points, you’re wading into troubled waters. ACTIVE BODY PARTS One way to make your reader giggle is to give body parts their own agency.When you write a line like “His hands threw up,” the reader might get a visual image of hands barfing. CLICHÉS THINK YOUR THOUGHTS FOR YOU Here’s one: There is nothing new under the sun. George Orwell’s advice: “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.”TO BE OR NOT TO BE Get rid of “to be” verbs.

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