The Perfect College Essay

Schools like the University of Chicago are notorious for being imaginative with their essay prompts by allowing current students to come up with them.

For example, one prompt this year reads: “What is square one, and can you actually go back to it? Your desire to attend the school to which you are applying?

If you are reading a newspaper article, the writer fades behind the facts and you know nothing about the writer except that s/he can collect, organize, and present the facts that you need to now.

You want the admissions reader to say, “Ah, this is a real person writing to me.

Trying to be proper or trying to impress or trying to be intellectual can be a drag.

What you should be are doing is getting noticed as unique.

You also want to have an opinion, not step back like an unthinking geek. It is a good idea to make sure different audiences understand what you have tried to write.

Write your essay as though you would be a great second date. You can make your essay beautiful by giving thought to a few things. Consider whether or not bold type face could make your essay easier to read. Test your essay with a friend, a teacher, a parent, even a younger reader.

Read and reread your college admissions essay with a fine tooth comb.

Ask whether or not every sentence, or every detail, is necessary to the point you’re trying to make.


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