Uva supplement essay (order an essay inexpensively)

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2017-2018 #UVA First-Year Application Essays

I hope the rising seniors out there are having a great summer. I share our essay prompts for the next year each June with the hopes that we’ll give you plenty of time to think about which one is right for you. If you are thinking about writing your essays this early, I hope you’ll revisit them before you actually submit an application. It’s amazing how much can change in a few months.

I have three pieces of advice for you as you think about your essays:

1. Don’t overthink the topic. These questions are deliberately broad so that people can take their essays in many directions.

2. Don’t feel limited to the essay formula you may use for academic writing. While the five-paragraph essay (an intro, three supporting sections, and a conclusion) you use in school is technically correct, it might not be the best way to get your style and voice to come across.

3. Don’t feel obligated to use all of the advice you get. You’ll obviously want to get some people you trust to read your essays and give you feedback, but it’s okay to ignore feedback that doesn’t fit your style.

I’ll elaborate on those points in future posts. Now, let’s get to the prompts. This past year’s applicants submitted some really wonderful essays, so we didn’t feel the need to make major changes to our prompts. Remember that these short essays are in addition to your longer Common App essay.

1. We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists. Answer the question that corresponds to the school/program to which you are applying in a half page or roughly 250 words.

  • College of Arts and Sciences – What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences – If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make everyday life better for one friend or family member, what would you design?
  • School of Architecture – Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design.
  • School of Nursing
  • Kinesiology Program – Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.

2. Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.

  • What’s your favorite word and why?
  • We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
  • UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?

I’m happy to answer questions about our prompts in the comments!

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2016-2017 UVA First-Year Application Essays

Towards the end of every reading season, we gather to talk about which essay questions elicited great responses, which ones could be tweaked to be better, and which essays we’d like to retire. We often pull students into our discussions to get their perspectives. Conversations we have at Days on the Lawn and other admitted student events sometimes come into play as well. Some essays work year after year and others need tweaking. This year, we’ve made

You’ll write one general essay for the Common App and then you’ll write two short responses on the UVA screen. The Common App announced their general essay prompts back in January. Here’s what you’ll see on the UVA part of the application.

  • College of Arts and Sciences – What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences – If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make everyday life better for one friend or family member, what would you do?
  • School of Architecture – Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design.
  • School of Nursing – Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.
  • Kinesiology Program – Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.
  • What’s your favorite word and why?
  • We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
  • UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?

A note about word limits:

The word limits are there so you know that we are expecting short statements, not term papers. Be concise and thoughtful in your statement statement and try to convey your voice and style in your words. This is the one spot on your application where your personality gets to shine, so don’t treat this like a formal school assignment.

Charlottesville, VA 22904

190 McCormick Road

Charlottesville, VA 22903

© 2018 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

UVA Supplement Essays – College of Arts and Sciences and "The Dumbest Generation"

good ideas, good grammar and everything 🙂 Like above stated some setences do get a bit wordy. I also salute you for picking the dumbest generation prompt. My first look at it was my last ahhaa. Gooooood luck!

. to believe in things about which I was not certain. about . However, as I found myself finishing "The Things They Carried", Do put titles of books or films in " " marks. Italicize them.) The Things They Carried, I was overwhelmed with perplexing emotions.

Tim O'Brien the author of the novel, conveys the. —Also, I put "convey" in the present verb tense. If you think it is unclear that he is the author. I think you should do this at the beginning:

Instead of the title, use the author's name. O'Brien challenged me to .

Uva supplement essay

College Essay Prompts: The University of Virginia | College Coach Blog

The University of Virginia has always provided some of my favorite supplemental essay prompts (and not just because it’s where I went to grad school). They are short (250 words max) and they are personal. Both of these mean that a student is forced to get to their point quickly, something I find students struggle with when they have a longer word count, and they are forced to really think about what makes them tick.

If you look at all the available prompts offered in the first section of the UVa supplement, the theme would be this: What do you value? All four options essentially ask a student to address this larger question. Even the seemingly breezy, “what is your favorite word and why?” is essentially asking a student to give the reader a little insight into what they think is important. Because the four prompts focus on the same core question, let’s look more deeply at just one.

“UVa students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?”

Just last week, I read one of the best responses I have seen for this prompt. The student talked about how “excess is a burden and minimalism is a gift.” He talked about how he doesn’t allow himself to buy new hangers for the closets in his house because when he buys something new that means something has to be discarded. His message for the Beta Bridge was: “The things you own end up owning you.” What I liked most was that his message was very personal and very specific. Do I know everything there is to know about this student? No. But I do know something very intimate about what makes him tick and that’s the whole point of this essay prompt. He values people over things and he proved it throughout the rest of the essay.

Now let’s talk about the supplemental prompt for those applying to the College of Arts and Sciences:

“What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?”

A few words of caution:

  1. I think the biggest mistake students make with this prompt is that they presume they should write about their favorite work of art, music, etc. But that’s not what the question asks. I always remind students of something very simple: read the prompt! “Surprised, unsettled, or challenged you” doesn’t mean liked. It might be your favorite, but it could very well be the opposite. I have had more than one student write this essay on “In Cold Blood.” Grappling with the idea of murder with no real motive is definitely troubling. This, however, leads to the second caveat.
  2. Remember there are two questions asked. Students often answer the first half and then forget to address the “in what way?” portion which is, frankly, the interesting part to an admissions officer. At the end of the day, the admissions officer doesn’t care about the book or the song. They care about you. They want to know why you picked this book or that piece of art, and what it tells them about how your mind works.
  3. This isn’t a book report. The response is challenging because students need to find the happy medium between assuming the reader doesn’t have knowledge of the piece of material in question, and also not wasting too much of the short 250 word count describing it. I’d spend no more than 75-100 words on the description of the work and then spend the rest on your reaction to it.

A Few Essays That Worked (And a Few That Didn’t)

Jacques Steinberg on Today

Jacques Steinberg, education correspondent for the Times, appears on the Today show to discuss what works in a college essay.

By None None on Publish Date December 6, 2010.

In preparation for a segment on NBC’s “Today” show this morning, I reached out to the admissions offices at the University of Virginia and Occidental College in California for examples of essays that they considered memorable — for good, or ill.

Before I share some of these samples, a caveat (one familiar to regular readers of this blog): while it can be instructive to read actual college admissions essays, trying to copy a particular approach — or in some cases avoid it — can be perilous. That’s because how one responds to an essay can be an intensely personal experience.

That said, I would argue that there are some basic lessons to be gleaned from the following examples. Here, for instance, is an excerpt from an essay that was not especially well received at the University of Virginia, in part because the writer misjudged the age and sensibility of his or her audience:

John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ was sung by Fox’s new show, ‘Glee.’ In one particular episode, a deaf glee club performed this song. I heard it before when John Lennon sang it: unfortunately I did not care much for it. When I watched this episode while the deaf adolescents were singing it, and soon joined by another glee club, it surprisingly affected me…

John Lennon sang it like a professional, but what he did not have was the emotion behind the words. He sang it more staccato than legato. He sang it like it was his job, and nothing more. These singers from Glee sang with powerful emotions. …

Another essay, also musical in focus, got a more appreciative read at U.V.A.:

I strode in front of 400 frenzied eighth graders with my arm slung over my Fender Stratocaster guitar — it actually belonged to my mother — and launched into the first few chords of Nirvana’s ‘Lithium.’ My hair dangled so low over my face that I couldn’t see the crowd in front of me as I shouted ‘yeah, yeah’ in my squeaky teenage voice. I had almost forgotten that less than a year ago I had been a kid whose excitement came from waiting for the next History Channel documentary.

It was during the awkward, hormonal summer between seventh and eighth grade when I first heard Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ The song shocked my senses — until that point my musical cosmos consisted mainly of my father’s Beatles CDs.

I would argue that the admissions committee was able to relate a little more to this essay than the first. And it was certainly more evocative and detailed. It also conveyed more about the writer (and applicant) — a crucial quality in a college admissions essay.

I turn, now, to excerpts from a recent essay that struck a visceral chord within the admissions office at Occidental (where, as an aside, President Obama began his college career):

My head throbbed as I closed my eyes and tried to convince myself to give up.

‘Come on, Ashley. Put the pencil down. Just put the pencil down and go to bed,’ I told myself sternly. I had been hard at work for hours — brutal, mind-numbing hours. I groaned as I moved over to my bed, collapsing in a pile of blankets and closing my eyes.

I lay there for a moment or two, gathering strength, gaining courage. My tense shoulders began to unclench as I stretched out and opened my bleary eyes…

Suddenly, I bolted upright on my bed, eyes wide, blankets flying. Everything had fallen into place. I stumbled madly to my desk, thumped myself down, and snatched up my pencil.

‘I’ve got it! That’s it!’ I whooped, scribbling furiously, as my brother pounded on my wall for silence.

I had just won another skirmish in my ongoing battle with the crossword puzzle.

What worked here? I’m told the admissions officers appreciated how the writer conveyed her love of words — and in the process told them much about herself. As a writer, I admired the way she built a sense of mystery at the outset, one that served to draw the reader in.

I’ll close with an attempt at metaphor that fell a bit flat, at least in its reception at Occidental. The applicant writes:

I believe in jello; a silly greeting, tasty dessert, or the answer to life as we know it?

Factor #1: Have you ever tried to make jello? It takes patience. First you have to boil the water; then mix it with powder, stirring for two minutes; then finally adding the cold water and putting it in the fridge for forty-five minutes. Think about the creation of people…

To share your own thoughts on essay strategies — and, perhaps, some excerpts of your own — please use the comment box below.

Comments are no longer being accepted.

Although the essays chosen as the “good” examples are well-written, I found the other 2 more interesting. Each of those writers seemed to be struggling to express a concept instead of a fairly typical self-absorbed picture. Obviously. the “good” essays are easier to identify with, but they are also rather juvenile. Our education system tends to reward the neat package, not the messy one. I’d like to think that both sets of essay writers deserve an excellent education.

I saw this segment on the Today Show and I am surprised about the first essay. I understand the concept of Glee being a new show and seeming juvenile, but it isn’t. I find the show rather creative for taking older songs, modernizing them, and reintroducing them to a new generation of people. Not to mention it adds new life to a song already loved by the older generation who watch the show as well. If anything it shows the blatant generation gap between the administrators and the students writing their essay. John Lennon was a great artist but it doesn’t mean I’m obligated to be a fan, nor is this student. People should respect the difference of opinion. This student was honest enough to say he/she didn’t like the song and why when performed by John Lennon, but found beauty in the song he/she previously dismissed when performed by a group of deaf children. I think that shows a strong sense of self in the student which was, unfortunately, overlooked.

Thank you so much for these examples. I will note that the Jello essay uses semicolons improperly. Grammar errors destroy credibility. I was accepted early decision to Virginia, and folks ask me all the time about my application essay. I wrote about the single moment of shaking an opponent’s hand during a national debate tournament. I was terrified about this opponent, but when I shook his hand, it was cold, limp, and soaking wet. Knowing he was just as nervous as I changed everything for me. I wanted to share with the application committee my revelation that I don’t need to be intimidated by anyone. My advice for future applicants: Ask yourself what “gift” your essay delivers to the reader. What’s the pay-off for the audience? If you aren’t writing with the audience in mind, the essay will seem self-indulgent. Thanks so much!

This is the part of the application that should be removed. Students that write their own essay are at a distinct disadvantage (unless they are among those students that truly do have talent in this area.) Because the stakes are so high and the competition so great, more and more families are hiring consultants to either write or heavily edit the essays. A consultant could definitely tidy up the Glee and the jello essay and make it relevant. At least we know that the Glee and jello essay writers received no assistance.

Other than the most competitive schools is anyone reading the essays?? It seems that a well written essay if accompanied by low standard test scores gets ignored when in fact the essay is a better example of what the student can do. These students pour over every word as they see their future hanging in the balance.

Does the admissions committee at University of Maryland actually read the answers to the short answer questions? Do they read the essays?

I find these examples and the ensuing comments to be an example of just how subjective college admissions officers are when making their decisions. Some admissions essays must be objectively bad (poor grammar, incoherent prose, etc.) and I imagine that some must be objectively good, however, it seems to me that the great bulk lie in the middle. In that middle ground then isn’t the merit of one’s essay inextricably tied to the taste’s of the admissions officers reviewing that essay? Would a brilliant essay by Hunter S. Thompson be tossed out because the reader hated drug use and non-conformity? Would an essay by Tom Wolfe be rejected because the reader hated exclamations? Oh my! Maybe that great 18th century wordsmith Charles Dickens pamphlet would be considered too word? Or Hemingway’s to sparse?

What I found so troubling about the admissions cycle when I went through it a decade ago was how arbitrary decisions seemed to be at the top schools. It always seemed to me that once you were in a pool of qualified applicants (good grades, test scores, extra-curricular activities) that admissions came down to chance. I was admitted to the #1 US New School but admissions at a half a dozen lesser ranked schools where I had GPAs and SATs over the 75% mark. Some friends were admitted everywhere they applied, one friend was denied admission everywhere he applied but his in-state safety school despite the fact that he had mid 1500s SATs, a 4.0 GPA and founded our schools Environment Club. I’ve never figured out why that happened, I doubt there’s a simple answer.

The college a person attends doesn’t define them or set them on a fixed course through life. Nevertheless, it is important and it does matter. In fact it matters tremendously to those students and parents who struggle through courses and bills to make their dreams of education a success, and that’s why it is so terrifying that chance and subjectivity play such a large role in the college admissions process.

The purpose of the essay is to reveal something personal about yourself to the admissions committee that isn’t conveyed elsewhere in the application. The first essay didn’t work because it was analysis of the merits of two versions of a song. I’m surprised that the crossword puzzle essay was offered as an essay that worked — it seems unoriginal, forced, overly dramatic, self-coscious. I read plenty of those as an admissions officer. The debate one worked because it revealed the author as an observant, empathetic and mature person. And for jello — I think that could have been a very funny essay with some good editing, and perhaps may have revealed the author as a quirky kid with a good sense of humor.

I agree with lp’s analysis. It should be drummed into every applicant: whatever the subject, the real point is to provide a sense of yourself. Unless you are some kind of master stylist, writing about “other things” will not impress — and even superlative style might very well be lost on an admissions officer who is, after all, looking for a reason to make a decision — any decision — about your application.

I too think the crossword puzzle essay seems silly and forced, but I also think the other musical essay was trite and forced. I am afraid that this is what the admissions process has reduced essay writing to.

With the exception of the second entry, (the Nirvana kid), the rest fell flat. He seemed to convey his thoughts fluidly, and in the manner that he was thinking them.

The first entry was of minor interest… but obvioulsy didn’t achieve what it was intended to achieve

The third was simply terrible. Enough said.

The fourth had redeeming value.

There are multiple purposes for the essay. One is to guage an applicant’s ability to write. Fortunately, many employers, like The Times, still value this ability. If your child does not “have a talent” in this area, he/she needs to get to work.

More important, if a consultant writes an applicant’s essay, that applicant is cheating. Your answer implies that it is acceptable for a student to do so. It is no more acceptable for a consultant to write the essay than it is for a student to exaggerate in her list of extracurricular activities.

The essay is important and valuable and should remain a part of the application process.

It’s not the topic, or it’s generational relationship to the reader, it’s the writing, Sentence structure, organization, rhetorical flourish; the good essays have all three of these. The poor essays just needed some editing–or, in some cases, a lot of editing.

The College Application Essay is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to the Admissions Committee but must be done with care or it will reduce your chances for admission.

Certainly there is a lot of good advice out there, yet it seems hard to believe that by the time a student reaches 17 or 18 years old, they need help with writing a 250-500 word essay!

I’ve worked with teens applying to college for several years now, guiding them through the process, and yes, helping to write their essays. Believe me, they need it!

Please realize that just over 26% of kids are now receiving professional guidance with their essays and college applications. Why?

Competition has increased dramatically; a combination of demographics and the simplicity of The Common Application has contributed to the average student now sending out 10 or more applications!

Assume that most kids will have similar GPA’s, SAT’s and a noteworthy background in athletics, music or some other passion when applying to a particular school…..what really differentiates him or her? The essay and a personal interview. Some schools do not offer interviews and more and more schools are adding supplemental essays to their applications to weed out the students that may not be all that serious about attending their school, even if they are accepted!

Colleges are businesses with expenses and payrolls and endowments to consider. Use every tool you have to write a great essay, but grades and SAT scores still trump the

essays unless you can guarantee you’ll bring them their first ever College Golf Championship! (Might be a good topic to write about!)

Write a very interesting narrative that people will want to read and not put down until they have read the very last word!

Write to your audience……do not write about the time you got caught doing something illegal and brag about your brillant negotiating skills with the police and how you managed to avoid being arrested!

Forget humor unless you are a professional comic……very hard to convey a funny story…….sometimes you really need to have been there!

Finally, have lots of people read it, and if it’s not excellent, just very good, do it again! Its that important!

Good Luck Everyone January 1st Deadline is coming fast!

Is post number 12 an advertisement? Its seems like an awful lot of private college admissions “counselors” use the comments sections of this blog to justify their services.

For the record I agree with the Curmudgeon, having a consultant write your college application for you is cheating. Its fine to have some help, but the majority of the work and the essay’s “voice” should be the student’s.

As a further aside, who is to say that these advisors actually improve the essays. I’m not a professional writer and I don’t work in admissions, but I find “Highly Competitive Essays’” use of exclamation points to be excessive.

Hi The Curmudgeon (#10),

Post #12 confirms my point. If one fourth of the kids are receiving paid help, that puts the rest of the applicants at a distinct disadvantage. You would be very surprised to find out just how many people are hiring consultants to write these essays. I absolutely do not mean to infer that it is acceptable to cheat. I only mean to say that it creates an unfair playing field. Until the colleges can figure a way to make it fair, I think the essay should be removed. Students can submit graded English assignments instead.

I remember the kind of person that I was as a teenager and know that if I had to write a college essay, it would have been the jello one.

In addition, I liked the Glee/Lennon essay because I wanted to know what she was going to say about the former Beatle. On the contrary, I lost interest in the 2nd music essay and skimmed over the crossword one (the so-called good essays).

As a CUNY applicant in 1979-80, I didn’t need to complete an application essay. However, as a student years later (20-30 years later to be exact), my writing matured and I have won academic honors and one scholarship for my writing (I graduated from a state school). I love writing and couldn’t imagine my life without it (although I write for pleasure, not publication).

By the way, my SAT scores were also low but I received a Bachelor’s at 43 and a Master’s (4.0 GPA) at 46. I currently have my dream job, introducing books to children.

So there, admission officers!

Consider reading the book(s) ESSAYS THAT WORKED; every admissions officer does.

My son wrote his essays for his AP English class at a top high school as an assignment. The “prompts” are known about in summer, so making it a part of AP English in fall was easy – especially since many students applied to UC and the private colleges routinely and it boasts a 95% college rate.

They went through several reviews and revisions. And by the end they worked well. He got into UCLA – that was his first choice.

After that experience, my daughter put together her essays easily with my son’s input. She ran them by her college English and History instructors (she went entirely the community college route in lieu of high school). She got into Berkeley – that was her first choice.

I believe that students who don’t have diligent and involved English instructors who are willing to make these college essays a part of their curriculum or personal time are at a significant disadvantage.

Even though the essay is written by the student and in the student’s voice, these professionals pointed out flaws that needed correction and reinforced the prompt questions.

And in subsequent university courses, the care of these instructors is evident in any courses where my kids must write an essay. They had a lasting impression.

I would wish other student would get this guidance. I feel that these essays were “first drafts” with ideas but no guidance to refine them.

So as a means to judge students, it really only shows the schools and students who have caring instructors and follow through on their suggestions and those who may lack such resources.

That comment read like an ad!

But guess what. Even ads can have too many exclamation points!

If I was an admissions reader, I’d be exhausted by all of those bangs!

Please, please, please, spare us the ads in the comments!

Btw, the crossword essay was stylistically hackneyed!

This is an interesting article. These next few weeks certainly are critical for college applications! On the essay side of things, I’ve found the site theEssayExchange.com, really helpful in assisting my daughter with building her essay.

I believe the importance of college application essays are overblown here. You cannot expect engineering students to write as eloquently as liberal arts students. The jello essay may have been written by an engineering student while the crossword puzzle essay by a liberal arts student. I hope colleges are not just looking for good writers. This country needs great engineers too! And you are not going to be impressed by many of their college app essays.

I agree with seachange. Cheating is unjustifable, but we all know it happens. Besides consultants, friends, siblings and parents have been known to write students’ essays.

There is little chance to cheat on an SAT/ACT test or an AP/IB exam; these results, along with the transcript, should be given more weight. Yet every autumn it is the essay that causes the most anxiety. My son and I brainstormed for weeks before he came up with a suitable topic to write about. Then it took him another a few weeks to write and edit his essay.

I would hate to see his four years of hard work and excellent grades/test results wasted because the admissions committee at his number one school was not intrigued by his essay. Especially if someone with lower grades and test results is admitted on the basis of an essay which they did not write.

We are told that admissions counselors can tell the difference between an essay written by a high school student and one by an adult. I hope they really can.

Personally, I feel the essay is important to give a “face” to the applicant. The rest of the application is a listing of grades, scores and extracurriculars (which can easily be embellished) but the essay is supposed to be the student’s voice.

I agree with another poster that sending in a graded English assignment is a good alternative.

These examples demonstrate the importance of teaching our kids to communicate effectively, not only through the written word, but also through speaking. If kids can’t communicate their ideas through proper grammar techniques and through content, admissions officers have a difficult time deciding if they are an appropriate match for the school. Communication is key in all fields. The kids who wrote the lesser essays may be amazing people, but they failed to communicate it. Glenda

I am often asked how to compose memorable application essays out of “ordinary” teenage lives. High school seniors who haven’t won international awards or lived on houseboats or in homeless shelters can feel as if their essays have little to offer. They’re terrified that they will make the same “mistakes” that are highlighted here in “The Choice” (and no wonder … even I–an admissions professional for three decades–had a tough time differentiating between the “good” and “bad” ones!).

I always reply that, during my 15 years of reading application essays at Smith College, many of the most memorable submissions were on mundane topics. One of my all-time favorites was about a laundry mishap at a summer school. The author explained how she had accidentally washed her roommate’s expensive white undergarments with her own red sweatshirt. Of course, the essay wasn’t really just about laundry … it was more about the boundaries of friendship. Other wonderful essays I recall include a hilarious one on playing in a truly terrible school band and another called “Why I Shop at Wal-Mart.”

While there are lots of books out there that serve up samples of “successful” essays, there are two that I especially like that offer helpful suggestions on how to craft your own. “On Writing The College Application Essay: Secrets of a former Ivy League Admissions Officer,” by Harry Bauld (which I’ve recommended for eons) and a newcomer called, “Concise Advice: Jump-Starting Your College Admissions Essays,” by Robert Cronk, both lead students through the composition process and never lose sight of the fact that 17-year-olds can rarely report triumphs—or traumas—that might help their essays stand out in a crowd.

Admission officials really DO want to read about their applicants’ experiences, no matter how “typical,” and they are eager to view them through the writers’ eyes. Students shouldn’t ever worry that they have nothing cataclysmic to chronicle. After all, what could be more “ordinary” than laundry?

I would say that the applicant who wrote the “Imagine” essay didn’t get due to the essay’s flat prose, poor organization, and questionable grammar, not its subject matter. The song was not sung “by the show,” but by the characters on the show. The sentence “When I watched this episode while the deaf adolescents were singing it, and soon joined by another glee club, it surprisingly affected me…” is just an incredible mess. He didn’t watch “while” they were singing; it should be “were joined by;” and “surprisingly affected me” is a terribly clumsy construction. How about: “As I watched another glee club join the deaf adolescents in singing the song during this episode, I was surprised by how much it affected me.” Not all applicants will be strong writers, but all need to show at least a basic grasp of how to communicate a thought.

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