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.
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.
A strong application essay makes for a more memorable application.
Set yourself apart with tips on essay prompts for the Common Application and read through both stellar and poor examples to get a better idea of how to shape your own work.
Sometimes we just need someone to show us how it’s done. I was confused, disoriented, and a little disturbed by what I had just read, but I just had to keep reading to learn what the heck was going on in this scene.” (mentorverse.us) 3. ) Look at the high praise this essay received from the admissions team: “She manages to impress the reader with her travel experience, volunteer and community experience, and commitment to learning without ever sounding boastful or full of herself.” (quintcareers.com) 4. Discover college admission essays listed by category.
You’ll find access to more than 25 killer essays, but here’s the caution: these are samples. How To Break The Rules The admissions officer at Cornell call this “Most compelling essay ever submitted . You Be the Judge, Part One Sure, this is an example of a great essay, but better than simply reading an excellent sample essay, you can read expert commentary just below it. You Be the Judge, Part Two That last entry was helpful, wasn’t it? Three-Play: Gathered at a Single Site, 3 Winners Sure, like all the other samples we’re sharing, these three are great, but with a difference: check out the unique points of view offered by international students, who must undergo the same process as domestic students. An Essay Worth Sharing: When an experienced admissions counselor asks your permission to share your essay with 20 other schools, you know it’s a winner. Ten-pack of Brilliant Essays Scan down the list of ten great opening lines, and when you find an essay that matches your style, click through to read it all.
Replace “was” in “The essay was written by a student; it was amazing and delightful” and you’ll get: “The student’s essay amazed and delighted me.” We’ve moved from a static description to a sprightlier one and cut the word count almost in half. Ending on a preposition is the sort of English up with which teachers will not put.
WORD PACKAGES Some phrases — free gift, personal beliefs, final outcome, very unique — come in a package we don’t bother to unpack. RULES TO IGNORE In English class, you may have to follow a list of rules your teacher says are necessary for good grammar: Don’t use contractions. And don’t begin a sentence with a conjunction like “and” or “but” or “because.” Pick up a good book.