• Saturday, Jul 02, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Ace that essay

  • Published at 05:51 pm August 2nd, 2017
Ace that essay
College applications are daunting on many fronts, but no part of the process causes more stress than the application essay. You could be the next Salman Rushdie and yet be stumped by the word limit and the pressure of selling yourself on paper. The good news is, there are ways to “hack” the process and make it a more comfortable experience.

Tell me why

It’s a lot easier to approach the essay when you know why you’re writing it. Colleges and universities basically want you to demonstrate two things: why you fit in, and why you stand out. Sounds like two opposite things? Sure, but now that you know, you know what to pluck out of your resume and highlight in order to kill the two birds. For example, if you’re going for a liberal arts college that’s known for its creative expression, you can talk about how you killed it at that Jatra Biroti open mic, or bagged an honourable mention at a Cartoon People comic contest. You get the idea.

Pick and stick

A lot of the application forms will give you more than one essay prompt. Select the one you’ll be able to answer in detail, and then stay on point. For example, one of the Common Application 2017-2018 prompts is “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.” This is a good one for an international student to pick, and if you do, you want to create the context of your identity, and really amp that up (while remembering to tailor it so that you fit with the intended college’s “brand”).

222The right fit

There are really two types of college essays: the narrative essay, in which you tell a story or an anecdote to illustrate your answer, such as the time you helped your maid write a letter, and how this sparked off an interest in adult education for the underprivileged, or an expository format where you state a position and then defend it with examples, such as your thoughts about feminism. Remember to read your essay prompt very carefully to determine which style the essay is really asking for.

The ebb and flow

Now that you’ve determined your objective, your theme and your format, the next step is to create the content for the essay. This is where a lot of people get stumped by the word limit. Before you write down the essay, consider interviewing yourself. Ask yourself twenty questions related to the topic, and write out the answers in full. Next, review the questions and answers, and whittle it down to the five most important questions and answers. Finally, change the order so that your essay has a clear beginning, middle and end, and it flows naturally from one to the other.

Proof and share

Before you send off the application, do not forget to re-read and proof-read your piece, and let a few trusted friends and well-wishers have a gander so that you can furnish the institution with the most polished and error-free version of your statement. The importance of this step cannot be overstated, as all it takes is a single typo to put the reviewer off. So get some feedback before you mail it off, and you’ll sleep much better.
50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail