Sebastian Suchanowski Programmer's notes

15Apr/101

Writing the college admission essay

While preparing my own essay and reading books I work out some grand rules, and I would like to share them.

  • You have to find a specific point in time to write about, 500 words it’s not enough to get into details of some meaningless fact,
  • Your story can’t be ordinary because admissions counselor have read already tons of them and you want be remembered and plant a seed that will give you passport to dreamed college,
  • There are not such things like bad stories, there are only badly narrated ones.. Each one can have it’s climax and that is what you should be focus on. Climax and The point are very important, because admission essay is not about story itself but its influence on you,
  • You have many ways to expose point of the story, it could be near the beginning and rest of essay could be strictly connected with your felling toward it or hero (You in most times) changing; you could as well write first some background stories which are leading to the point and leave yourself few sentences to comment it..
  • Give yourself some time to think up the topic to write, if you would plan it well and will think about it enough (not intensive, but occasionally in different places) it could come to you itself, painless, otherwise search for inspiration, look for some characteristic and finally ask yourself questions:
    • What did you change in your life lately?
    • What is your greatest victory?
    • What you are proud of?
    • What makes you different over your collogues?
    • What event change your way of thinking?
    • Who you have the most influence on?
  • Next thing which you should think of is point of view..┬áThere are some factors that determine it: person, number and tense. Most likely you will use first person (singular) and past tense, you could of course make it more mysterious and write in third person and reveal your true identity at the end,
  • While writing whenever you admit that the story is making you bored you can be sure that the same thing will admissions counselor feel as well. So don’t write trite, predictable stories, try to be tricky like movie which you can’t crack.
  • Drafts are necessary, after each correction they should evolve and became more and more piece of art instead of random placed words, but when you find out that this draft isn’t looking what it should look don’t be afraid to jettison it.. You will make another one, aye, the better one! — allusion to Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl =),
  • Besides what everybody says it’s always good to read your draft aloud then your mistakes will reveal painless,
  • Don’t let be overruled by procrastination, you have to focus and just get job done, there is nothing complicated in this,
  • It’s not a bad idea to start writing the opening sentences when you have already finished an essay, because you don’t always know where your pen will lead you and you also don’t want to write things that doesn’t have any sense when you will take into account whole story,
  • You have only 500 words so there is no room for a prologue,
  • I personally find it very stylish to start essay in the middle of action creating tension and excitement with the story beginning, it kinda spur me to read whole thing,
  • You writing shouldn’t be too formal or too informal, try keeping in the middle whenever you’re writing a comic story or a pathetic poem,
  • Basic but still worth mention, avoid words repetition in the same sentence as well as in following one.

And remember.. The sky is the limit…

We, the Poles don’t have to deal with admissions essay problem so I will not translate this part.

Post inspired by Alan Gelb’s Conquering the college admissions essay in 10 steps.

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  1. Good points for writing a story in any examination!!!thank you


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