Essay Advice

  • FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

    What makes a great college essay?
    What are some common essay questions?
    How do you make your essay selections?
    Who should I have review my essay?
    Do I need to type my essay?
    Can I use the same essay question response for more that one college?

    What makes a great college essay?

    A good essay is one that reveals something about you that may not be ascertained by any other part of the application package. This is your opportunity to show the Admissions Committee who you really are, by presenting yourself as a unique individual. Seize this opportunity to put yourself in "three-dimensional" form. Colleges are interested in finding out about the qualities and characteristics you possess. Moreover, they care about substance more than content. If you demonstrate a substantive approach to the simplest life experience, then you have the formula for a great college essay.

    What are some common essay questions?

    • Write about a personally satisfying experience.
    • Write about your academic interests.
    • Tell us about your decision to choose this college and your future career path.
    • Write about something that you are passionate about.
    • Though these questions may seem different, they are all attempting to ascertain "who you are!" Colleges all want to uncover as much as they can about you, gaining insight into your personality, character, determination, values, goals, background and anything else your can reveal about yourself. Below are some more creative topics which colleges use in an attempt to glean the same information.
    • Write a letter to your new college roommate introducing yourself and describing your background.
    • Imagine you were marooned on an island and you had to choose only one person to be with, whom would it be and why?
    • If you were to describe yourself by a quotation, what would it be?
    • If you were to introduce a new idea or a new material object to a primitive culture, what would it be?
    • You've just won a million dollars in a lottery. How would you spend it?
    • What was the best advice you ever received? Why? Did you follow it?

    How do you make your essay selections?

    First: Keep in mind that the essay is your opportunity to expand upon your accomplishments and achievements. Do not worry about being boastful. This is your opportunity to stand apart from the many other applicants. So, make your selections accordingly.

    Second: Think carefully about what you want the Admissions Committee to know about you that you might not have revealed elsewhere in the application package. Then, make sure to incorporate that information into your essay selection.
    Here are some areas in your life to reflect upon that may assist you with your selection:
    • An experience that contributed to your growth or change.
    • An interesting relative or family background.
    • The loss of someone or something important. It is acceptable to write about sad or tragic events, but try to focus on how the experience contributed to your growth or change in a positive way.
    • Volunteer work.
    • A work experience.
    • How would your friends describe you? Make a list of adjectives that describe you and think of some stories or anecdotes where these characteristics showed up.
    • Moving.
    • What was your happiest moment or greatest thrill?
    • A hobby or an interest you spend time on.
    • A fun or memorable family vacation.
    • A special teacher that truly inspired you.
    • A book that had a profound impact on your life.
    • A day or someone you will never forget.

    Who should I have review my essay?

    Ask your English teacher, guidance counselor and parent/guardian to review your essay. Each person will offer a different perspective, which could contribute to a more impressive essay.

    Do I need to type my essay?

    No, but if you can, it is highly recommended. If you do opt to submit a handwritten essay, make sure to use black pen.

    Can I use the same essay question response for more than one college?

    Yes, colleges do not share application packages. If you can save time by doing this, it is to your advantage.
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