These are the stories behind the list of activities and leadership roles on your application.
But that’s not nearly as scary as it seems, because you get to choose what to share and how to share it.
Take a minute and think about the college or university admission officers who will be reading your essay.
If you can paint a clear picture for your reader by providing details, you are much more likely to lodge a marker in their memories. If Nothing Else, Entertain: Imagine you’re a college essay reader at an upstanding academic institution and it is your job to read dozens of essays a day, every day, for weeks on end.
Ninety percent of the essays that pass your desk are stone-cold boring, and maybe ten percent break through the fuzz and force you to pay attention.
This will require many elements working together in harmony.
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You will need a compelling subject, a direct and powerful narrative, impeccable grammar and a memorable style. It is often hard to know whether an essay is truly entertaining until the end stages of writing, but when you are reading over your drafts, the question should always be in the back of your mind: Is this essay fun to read?
So many students want and expect themselves to produce pure, uninhibited brilliance the first time their fingers hit the keys, but that is almost never the way good essay writing works.
Writing a compelling essay is a process, and the best writing can often be plucked from our stream-of-consciousness efforts.
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.