In a year where 10 brilliant kids are vying for every one slot at your average Ivy League school (yes, that statistic is accurate), the personal essay has become a tipping point that can turn a deferral into an acceptance letter.
In a year where 10 brilliant kids are vying for every one slot at your average Ivy League school (yes, that statistic is accurate), the personal essay has become a tipping point that can turn a deferral into an acceptance letter.Tags: Williams College Window EssaySolve My Geometry ProblemDebatable Topics Research PaperResearched PapersEssay On Cbt TreatmentHamlet Plot Analysis EssayCivil War Research PapersCreative Travel Writing
"I once heard one [essay-writing] professional brag about slipping in mistakes to throw off admissions officers," he says.
"That's just disgusting."Rule #1: When Tackling a Global Issue, Make it Personal Brown Freshman Nawal Traish could have chosen to write about U. relations with Libya or general unrest in the Muslim world.
Instead, Roberts advises, "It's OK to take on serious topics, but tell us how it relates directly back to you." ( Click here to read Nawal's essay.)Rule #2: Show That You Have Some Perspective Hallie Jordan knew not to pretend she'd had a hard-knock life with no options.
If you're a white, middle-class kid, it never hurts to show that you realize how lucky you are—and that you sought out diversity.
"I remember in the days after [Hurricane] Katrina, I had an otherwise thoughtful and engaged kid sitting across from me bemoaning how the kids in New Orleans were 'going to have awesome essays,'" says Ponnusamy.
How To Write A Winning College Essay
"This sense amongst upper-middle-class kids that 'nothing bad has ever happened to me' is always amusing. The essay that got Isabel Polon into Yale swells with appealing and insightful details that show her meticulous nature.
Instead, she speaks to her personal relationship with Libya, her father's homeland, and her own understanding of her Islamic faith.
"It's a mistake for students to think that they have to come up with any deep or life-altering topic," says University of Virginia's Greg Roberts, who expects to read essays this year on Afghanistan, health care, and other hot political issues.
“I just felt like I knew him.”Roberts worries that students tend to be too conservative with essays and are afraid to take risks.
“There are no wrong answers here, and the last thing you want is a dry or boring essay,” he says.