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You can always cut what doesn’t work and it is much easier to work with an overabundance of words and ideas than nothing at all. Admissions essay readers know it too, and expect you to . In the first sentence, we understand that you enjoyed certain activities.In the second, yes, we know you like fishing but we also understand your commitment to an activity you engaged in every day and recognize that your fishing trips are a social effort.As an applicant, you want your essay to shine a bright light in the face of that oft-bored reader.
Don’t edit yourself before you allow your creativity to warm up and pour onto the page.
Never judge your writing until you have a few paragraphs written down first. We’re content and grammar snobs, so we find clichés to be extra unappealing, but we also have enough confidence in your creativity to know that you can do better. It’s all in the details: What is the difference between these two sentences? My favorite activities included fishing and cooking my daily catch. My friends and I woke up early every morning to catch bass on Lake Michigan, cooking our spoils with herbs picked from a local farm.
Many students have a tendency to skew generic in the telling of their personal stories.
What makes an essay memorable is often the sum of the little things.
You accomplish this self-branding by choosing a creative topic (or a creative twist on a common topic), and writing about it with enough detail to burn an image of yourself in the reader’s brain.
When it comes down to you and another similarly qualified candidate, you want an admissions officer to be able to stand up with your application in his/her hand and say, “I like the girl who performed trapeze in the circus,” or “How about the girl who saved her grandfather’s life?
Start with the topic: before any other step in your writing process, you need to come up with the main idea. Research: If you have decided to write about something that is close to your heart, you need to get as many details as you can.
You can be totally into the topic, but there always is something more to find out.
Talking about your family’s adoption of a three-legged dog and how your pet’s perseverance and quirky attitude influenced the way you live your life, will make a better essay than a super general diatribe on why you like dogs, for example.
If you find yourself getting lost while writing, ask: what am I trying to say about myself, and am I using a specific, compelling example to tell my story? Write first, edit later: When it comes to writing, we are almost always our own worst critics.