Writing a great essay for college

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It is hard for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it is hard because you don't know your audience writing a great essay for college have to guess. Sometimes it is hard because you writing a great essay for college a lot of stories tripping over each other to get onto the page.

Sometimes it is hard because, no matter how smoothly you try to form your sentences, they invariably tumble out collge you, all stiff and angular like a box of bent pipes.


How to Write an Effective Essay

I spent months on my essay, editing and rewriting it dozens of times. Consider, for example, Gotera's comparison of two hypothetical introductory paragraphs for a master's program in library science: But being able to write well is important. Admissions committees put the most weight on your high school grades and your test scores. Our College Admission Counselors will help you find, apply, and get accepted to your dream school. With so many other things in your schedule, this process can initially seem writing a great essay for college a waste of time. The truth is that while no essay will make an unqualified student acceptable, a good essay can help a qualified applicant stand out from the competition. Share your opinions, but avoid anything too risky or controversial. As we work on things, we become blind to mistakes that will be glaringly apparent to others.

But being able to write well is important. You will never encounter a situation in which obfuscation is to your advantage. You will frequently encounter situations where crisp, compelling writing can express your feelings, make your writing a great essay for college, even save lives: Edward Tufte argues that the Challenger disaster could have been prevented if only the case against launching had been made more clearly.

While hopefully no lives are riding on your college application essays, this is a great time to revisit some of writing a great essay for college rules of writing well. The theoretical foundation he lays in this piece - about the importance of language, including writing, in shaping how we are capable of thinking - he later built upon in Read it closely, read it carefully. It will change the way you think about writing.

I keep Orwell's rules for writing next to my desk always: Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

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Now, in this essay Orwell took issue primarily with contemporary political propaganda. In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a "party line.

But writing a great essay for college same is true for college essays, as Orwell doubtlessly would have realized if he were reanimated and handed him a sheaf of Common Applications.

There is nothing better than that. Get exclusive test prep info now! Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a "party line. Indeed, having the intellectual keenness to absorb every ounce of knowledge presented through my collegge in the IB program, I know that I can contribute to State University as it continues to cultivate a scholarly climate that encourages intellectual curiosity. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time.

The sad truth is that most college application essays cillege not very good. When I say they are "not very good", I mean they are either boring, impenetrable, melodramatic, or all of the above. The single greatest scourge of college application essays is the advice dispensed by writing a great essay for college with names like "50 Winning College Essays from Ivy League Students. These books exist because people at name-brand schools realized they could sell aspiring click here drafts of their essays.

They do not, as a rule, provide actual good advice.

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If anything, they simply reproduce the "lifeless, imitative style" of orthodoxy against which Orwell railed. Last year I was traveling with a colleague from Yale.


Writing a great essay for college

He had recently spent a week on a reservation helping Native American students navigate ror college process, and he had been shocked by the degree to which the cliches and tropes of college essays had penetrated into their world. As he told me, the essays his students - who had lived vastly different lives than most mainstream applicants - were writing were indistinguishable from those written by applicants in southeastern Connecticut.

Writing a great essay for college

They were composed of billowing clouds of "my global perspective" and "future potential as a leader" and "desire to leverage my education" to bllllllaurhfhasklafsafdghfalkasf. Do not do this. Do not allow your essays to descend into an impenetrable bulk of buzzwords and banality.

You are an interesting person. Your essays should be yours. This is best described in How to Write a Great Statement of Purposeby Vince Gotera of the University of Northern Iowa, which was my guide to writing my essays when I applied to graduate school. Consider, for example, Gotera's comparison of two hypothetical introductory paragraphs for a master's program in library science: I am honored to apply for the Master of Library Science program at the University of Okoboji because as long as I can remember I have had a love affair with books.

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Since I was eleven I have known I wanted to be a librarian. When I was eleven, my great-aunt Gretchen passed away and left me something that changed my life: Some of my best days were spent arranging and reading her books.


Writing a great essay for college

Since then, I have wanted to be a librarian. But they are extraordinarily different essays, most strikingly because the former is generic where the latter is specific.

It was a real thing, which happened to a real person, told simply. There is nothing better than that. So let me save you the trouble of buying any of those books and close by quoting Kurt Vonnegut's seven rules for writing well, which are as applicable to college applications as they are to writing everything else: Find a subject you care about.

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Do not ramble, though. Have the guts to cut. Say what you mean to say.

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7 Comments
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