How To Write An Effective College Essay

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is never the same as a.m.” He goes on to explain how he and his relatives were accidentally separated on the trip, walking the reader through the challenges he faced on his way back to safety, and ending on a tone of humility and lesson-learning.

Good essays don’t all need to hype up an applicant’s superpowers: They can expose weaknesses, demonstrating subtlety and self-awareness.

Universities in the US and across the world are increasingly looking away from test scores and grade point averages and toward one particularly unique component of students’ applications: the essay.

If done exceptionally well, it’s a catapult to an acceptance offer.

Such ventures may come off as gimmicky—and we certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone repeating this exact idea in a future year—but they’re effective at one thing: grabbing the reader’s attention.

Ziad, who had interned for Hilary Clinton and was recognized by Barack Obama at a White House dinner in 2015, was already more than qualified. Ask a teacher, friend, parent, or counselor to read it over—then ask five more people to do the same.

Essay prompts are intentionally open-ended, and there are several ways to go about choosing a topic.

Here’s a nearly foolproof one: Write about a person, place, or idea that you perhaps to the point of geeky, nervous-laughter embarrassment—love.“Write about what you’re interested in, not what you think is interesting about you,” says Quartz lifestyle reporter Jenni Avins, who wrote about her part-time job in high school making crepes in a coffee shop: “I was really interested in the people who came into this creperie, and this little world.

It was an observational piece about having this window on a community.”But this doesn’t mean you should ramble on pointlessly for five paragraphs.

Make sure your topic reveals something about yourself, or why you want to study and pursue the things you do.


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