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A car, kimchi, Mom’s upsizing — the writers used these objects as vehicles to get at what they had come to say. REPEATING THE PROMPT Admissions officers know what’s on their applications.They allowed the writer to explore the real subject: This is who I am. Instead, look at times you’ve struggled or, even better, failed. Don’t begin, “A time that I failed was when I tried to beat up my little brother and I realized he was bigger than me.” You can start right in: “As I pulled my arm back to throw a punch, it struck me: My brother had gotten big.Students have a lot of trouble with capitalization in their college essays because the rules for capitalizing certain academic disciplines, programs, majors, and degrees are not consistent. Of course, you still need to keep in mind that the person reading your essay is evaluating you.
It’s the gigantic stack in the middle that warrants discussion. Here’s a tip: Choose a topic you really want to write about. It might be your favorite book or the Pythagorean theorem. We share clothes and watch ‘The Real Housewives’ of three different cities together” does not make for a good essay.
If the subject doesn’t matter to you, it won’t matter to the reader. It might be why you don’t believe in evolution or how you think kale must have hired a PR firm to get people to eat it. In school, you were probably encouraged to write papers that took a side. “I love my mom even though she makes me clean my room, hates my guinea pig and is crazy about disgusting food like kale” could lead somewhere While the personal essay has to be personal, a reader can learn a lot about you from whatever you choose to focus on and how you describe it.
OMG ur nvr gonna believe this but EA deadlinez r rly close. And when you’re (not your) in a rush, it can be really tempting to write in shorthand, power through to the end and kiss your essay goodbye.
But as scary as the approaching deadline may seem, now is the BEST time to slow down, check your work, and avoid careless errors.
So imagine you were describing your story to a teacher that you liked and felt comfortable with.
You wouldn’t talk like you were speaking to your high school principal, but you wouldn’t be quite as relaxed as you’d be if you were just talking with your friends.That’s fine in academic work when you’re being asked to argue in support of a position, but in a personal essay, you want to express more nuanced thinking and explore your own clashing emotions. One of my favorites from when I worked in admissions at Duke University started out, “My car and I are a lot alike.” The writer then described a car that smelled like wet dog and went from 0 to 60 in, well, it never quite got to 60.Another guy wrote about making kimchi with his mom.How can I possibly comb through every word and weed out every error?” The truth, dear students, is that you may not be able to catch every last mistake, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.It’s possible to be too informal in a college essay.It shouldn’t sound like you’re talking to your best friend (and it shouldn’t be written like a text message).These exhausted folks, hopped up from eating too many cookies and brownies, have been sitting in committee meetings for days after spending a couple of months reading applications, most of which look pretty similar: baseball = life, or debate = life, or “I went to a developing country and discovered poor people can be happy.”They wade through long lists of candidates, state by state, region by region. But occasionally one will make an admissions officer tear down the hallway to find a colleague to whom she can say, “You have to read what this Math Olympiad girl said about ‘Hamlet.’ ” Your goal is to write an essay that makes someone fall in love with you.The best applications and the weakest don’t come to committee. Once you commit the time and emotional energy to get your butt in the chair to write, you face a daunting task — figuring out what to write about. With so much freedom, this is a challenge for most students.Too formal: “I found chemistry to be a particularly challenging subject, as my natural academic strengths lie with writing.” Too informal: “Chemistry is stupid.I’d pretty much rather write 10 papers in my English class than do one problem set in chemistry.” Just right: “Chemistry and I just don’t get along.