There is no tried-and-true formula for writing the perfect application essay, but there is one rule that all students should follow in their essays: be true to yourself. “They have to learn to trust themselves as a resource,” says Rankin. “They have the information within them, and they should go with that.” Basically, talk about what you know. If you are naturally funny, infuse some humor into your essay. If a fictional character has had a greater impact on your life than any real person, write about that character. Be genuine, and your personality will shine through the words on the page.
Our first version of this first essay's beginning is casual, to say the least. Some of the language, the choice of words, would be typical of friends standing in front of a painting at the museum, remarking in an off-handed way some of its more obvious characteristics. Words and phrases such as "guy," "pretty much," "horse's rear end," "weird thing," "give a darn," "pretty," and, of course, "Whoa, Nelly!" would be inappropriate in formal academic discourse. It's not so much that those words are , exactly, just that they are neither precise nor helpful in our understanding of how the painting registers its effects on the viewer. In addition, the analysis of the painting is done entirely from the viewpoint of the first-person singular, "I." Again, that's not exactly wrong, but the reader is impressed by the fact that these impressions could be entirely those of the eccentric individual writing, not that these are impressions that ought to be shared by others.
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Write An Essay About Someone Who Has Inspired You write an essay about someone who has inspired you The first step in composing a research paper is finding a subject to write about.
The essay section of your college application can seem pretty intense, especially after filling in the easy stuff like your name, address, and test scores. Where do you begin? What should it sound like? Who can you ask for help? We asked the experts for some answers.
There are also plenty of suggestions for what not to write about, like why your Mom/Dad/sibling/coach/pastor is important to you. Why? Because certain subjects are commonplace and overused, and you want your application essay to stand out. That being said, if the need to address one of those topics is strong enough, or if you have an extremely unique experience, you should trust your instincts.
The pressure to write is determined by the relationship between you as writer and the audience you're trying to reach and affect. Let's examine two essay beginnings with an eye toward determining the writer's purpose and how that sense of purpose establishes tone and word choice. Let's say that for a course in Art Appreciation we (there's a bit of pressure right there!) a brief analysis of a famous painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, (c. 1558; Oil on canvas, mounted on wood, 73.5 x 112 cm; Musees royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels). [Clicking on the image below will call up a larger version of the same painting 179 kb, not recommended with slow connections.] As you read the beginnings, think about the relationship between writer and audience and how this might have influenced how the writer wrote as he or she did.
Finally, make sure you truly understand the application essay prompt. Read (and reread) it carefully. Why? Because you need to understand the question to answer it correctly! This may sound obvious, but many students write eloquent application essays that completely miss the mark, bypassing what the prompt was actually asking. For instance, “write about someone who has influenced you” does not mean you are to write that person’s biography. The essay is still about you.
In addition to the essay you have written for the Common Application, please write an essay of about 500 words (no more than 650 words and no less than 250 words). Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application.
Think twice before using any of the following topics, say these experts. They are overused, and your essay may become lost in the crowd. Remember to write about something that is unique to you and no one else.
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