The Killer Essay
The One and Only Essay Question in the Universe: “Tell Us About Yourself”
No matter which prompt you choose to write about, you are the main subject. This is your chance to distinguish yourself from others and connect on a personal level with your admissions officer.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning essay. You do need to reveal who you are, how you think and what you value. This is what admissions officers are looking for behind the GPAs and standardized test scores.
So avoid those bland, generic yawners like, “What I learned when I…..”, “How my hard work and discipline paid off…” or “These are a few of my favorite things.” Write about something you really know and care about, no matter how small or quirky it may seem.
Here Are A Few College Essay Tips
Keep It Real
Do not try to impress your reader with big words or fancy phrases. Use your own voice, the one you would use in a conversation, or when you’re telling a story to someone over coffee. Write like you talk, without the umms or grammatical errors. Remember, many of your admissions readers aren’t much older than you are!
Spice It Up
Always use specific examples, bits of dialogue, colorful adjectives and active verbs. Your challenge is to keep your over-worked, bleary-eyed reader AWAKE.
No Robert Frost!
Avoid clichés and famous quotations: If two roads diverge in your essay, grab a red pen.
Tell Them Something New
Don’t repeat anything that has been covered in the rest of your application, unless you have an unexpectedly provoking new angle on that topic.
Don’t Rush It
Creating a Killer Essay is a gradual process that involves many rewrites. Take short breaks to save your sanity. As you begin to write your college essays, check out The Process in 10 Steps.
Stuck? Need more college essay tips? Need a push in the “write” direction? Ask Susan…
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