In this blog, we have an example of an epic admissions essay, so epic in fact, that it got its author accepted to five Ivy league colleges and few other big name players.
Further down, we've also got another example of an effective admissions essay from a Singaporean author, who was admitted into two Ivy League colleges among others.
These examples can help you with your own essay, but before we reveal the secret to success, we should cover some of the basics. General Tips For Writing an Admissions Essay The common application personal statement is a word essay that you will submit to all US colleges to which you apply. Unfortunately, there's no "formula" for this essay.
If there were, then you'd be able to replicate that formula and get accepted on the merits of your essay alone But while there's no one right way to write a successful essay, there are an infinite number of wrong ways to approach your personal statement, and you need to avoid them at all costs! Here are a few tips to help optimise your essay and ensure you stand out from the pool of applicants.
Understand The Prompt Before you even begin to think about writing, you need to analyse the essay "prompt". The common app personal statement requires you to choose from five prompts, which are basically starting points for your essay. Pick the prompt that appeals most to you and start writing! Most universities will revise these each year, so it's important to take a look at what has changed - if anything - and what you need to focus on.
Your essay is the best opportunity for you to showcase some of your talents, but it's also the perfect chance to show your passions, your personality, your willingness to grow, or your ethics. Make sure you follow the prompt that best allows you to showcase your unique selling point. But don't let it stop you from being creative and thinking outside the box.
You are going to have much more luck if you make the prompt fit you, rather than you trying to fit the prompt. Loosen Up: Get That Flow Happening Yes, your college application is serious business, but it's not the time to play it safe. Remember: you need to stand out, not blend in. Write about something personal; this could be something you love, something you're proud of, or a moment in your life that changed you.
Loosen up and write about something meaningful to you. Follow a prompt - like this one from the common application: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Let this idea or topic pour out of you. Demonstrate your passions, how the idea has changed you, why this topic or idea has shaped you as a human. Go into detail - detail beyond what the lay person would know.
Or go into detail about what you don't know and why this fascinates you. Your first draft will not be perfect, so don't get caught up trying to make it so. Just let the words flow onto the paper and spill your guts. Be Honest If you want your academic essay to be more than just another piece of paper in the sea of applications, then differentiate yourself with honesty. Don't just write about your solid grades and strong work ethic during high school - this will go down faster than a lead balloon.
The college essay should paint you as an exciting, innovative, deep-thinking, passionate, and empathetic person with the ability to understand and dissect life situations - showing them to be an asset to campus culture. Your essay needs to show why that's you, why you're different, and what you can offer. You need to talk about something that impacted your life. A moment, a conversation, a game, a class, an interaction - anything.
Just make sure you're true to yourself. For example, Crimson CEO Jamie Beaton, who was accepted into five Ivy League colleges, wrote about failing at his first part-time job, while Soumil Singh, now a Harvard student , wrote about a game of cricket.
They didn't talk about how perfect and amazing they were at school or how impressive their grades were, they wrote about pivotal moments in their life - real moments that meant something to them. I am someone who is so much concerned about my spiritual life and all the rules and pre Princeton Short Answers For the last three years, I have savored the intellectual stimulation and pressure-filled competition of Public Forum debate, but I have also grown tired of my favorite activity being dominated by boys.
This year, as debate captain, I strengthened my high school team into a female-majority powerhous After tracing the first line on the paper, you need to pull the pen upwards and move across a third dimension, through the air, before dropping it back down onto the paper and making a second stroke to complete the X. With constant use, it becomes part of you.
But, sitting on a soft couch at a Starbucks in c Why Rice "We are going to visit Rice today" My mom leaned back in her front row seat and said to me. My brain went into a frenzy.
All other questions flooding my thoughts dissipated, however, when my eyes lay on Rice's beautiful Byzantine styled buildings with its magnificent archways Football and Journalism One bead of sweat splashes across the newspaper headline. Still dressed in full football pads, I sit alone in the journalism computer lab, editing copy a few minutes before 9 p. Three hours after football practice, my cleats, untied, remain stuck on my feet and I have barely even made a dent in th I open my crusty eyes and stare at her, bleary-eyed.
My eleven year old eyes struggle to focus, in need of glasses and lacking the money to purchase them. Common App Prompt 1 — "Half" My brother and I have never thought twice about the technicality of being twins. It has always been, for us, a matter of fact. New Me It was always, and still is, entertaining to listen to the botched attempts of my teachers to pronounce my last name. Lost in a fusion of languages, I entered the English Language Learners Program where I felt the pressure of always being a step behind those around me.
Outside of class each day was UPenn Supplement - Autobiography Robotics It moved timidly at first, its gears slowly churning as it felt the spark of life flow through its wires.
Slowly, it turned, rotating on its treads, as it scanned the arena for any signs of movement. My mom had specifically asked the waitress if there were peanuts in it, because when I was two we found out that I am deathly allergic to them. When the waitress replied no, I went for it. Suddenly I started scratching my neck, feeling the hives that had started to form. I rushed to the restroom to throw up because my throat was itchy and I felt a weight on my chest.
I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths. I was fighting the one thing that is meant to protect me and keep me alive — my own body. All I knew was that I felt sick, and I was waiting for my mom to give me something to make it better. I thought my parents were superheroes; surely they would be able to make well again. But I became scared when I heard the fear in their voices as they rushed me to the ER.
After that incident, I began to fear. I became scared of death, eating, and even my own body. Ultimately, that fear turned into resentment; I resented my body for making me an outsider. In the years that followed, this experience and my regular visits to my allergy specialist inspired me to become an allergy specialist.
Even though I was probably only ten at the time, I wanted to find a way to help kids like me. I wanted to find a solution so that nobody would have to feel the way I did; nobody deserved to feel that pain, fear, and resentment. This past summer, I took a month-long course on human immunology at Stanford University. I learned about the different mechanisms and cells that our bodies use in order to fight off pathogens. My desire to major in biology in college has been stimulated by my fascination with the human body, its processes, and the desire to find a way to help people with allergies.
Watkins was the coordinator of the foreign exchange student program I was enrolled in. She had a nine year old son named Cody. I would babysit Cody every day after school for at least two to three hours. He would talk a lot about his friends and school life, and I would listen to him and ask him the meanings of certain words.
He was my first friend in the New World. She had recently delivered a baby, so she was still in the hospital when I moved into their house. The Martinez family did almost everything together. We made pizza together, watched Shrek on their cozy couch together, and went fishing on Sunday together. On rainy days, Michael, Jen and I would sit on the porch and listen to the rain, talking about our dreams and thoughts.
Within two months I was calling them mom and dad. After I finished the exchange student program, I had the option of returning to Korea but I decided to stay in America.
I wanted to see new places and meet different people. After a few days of thorough investigation, I found the Struiksma family in California. They were a unique group. The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted. The kids always had something warm to eat, and were always on their best behavior at home and in school.
In the living room were six or seven huge amplifiers and a gigantic chandelier hung from the high ceiling. The kitchen had a bar. At first, the non-stop visits from strangers made me nervous, but soon I got used to them. I remember one night, a couple barged into my room while I was sleeping. It was awkward. In the nicest way possible, I told them I had to leave.
They understood. The Ortiz family was my fourth family. Kimberly, the host mom, treated me the same way she treated her own son. She made me do chores: I fixed dinner, fed their two dogs Sassy and Lady, and once a week I cleaned the bathroom. I also had to follow some rules: No food in my room, no using the family computer, no lights on after midnight, and no ride unless it was an emergency.
The first couple of months were really hard to get used to, but eventually I adjusted. I lived with the Ortiz family for seven months like a monk in the deep forest.
It was unexpected and I only had a week to find a new host family. I asked my friend Danielle if I could live with her until I found a new home. The Dirksen family had three kids. They were all different. Danielle liked bitter black coffee, Christian liked energy drinks, and Becca liked sweet lemon tea.
After dinner, we would all play Wii Sports together. I was the king of bowling, and Dawn was the queen of tennis. Afterward, we would gather in the living room and Danielle would play the piano while the rest of us sang hymns. Of course, those 28 months were too short to fully understand all five families, but I learned from and was shaped by each of them.
By teaching me English, nine year-old Cody taught me the importance of being able to learn from anyone; the Martinez family showed me the value of spending time together as a family; the Struiksma family taught me to reserve judgment about divorced women and adopted children; Mrs.
In short: He buries a series of essence images in his first paragraphs one per family. When he reveals each lesson at the end, one after the other, we sense how all these seemingly random events are connected.
We realize this writer has been carefully constructing this piece all along; we see the underlying structure. See how distinct each family is? He does this through specific images and objects.
Interestingly, after studying foreign languages, I was further intrigued by my native tongue.
It was awkward. Within seconds, my reflexes kicked in. His eyes glistened with intensity. Vagary I should have been on a train back home, hours ago.
Clearly, the bird was dead. He rolled his eyeballs. I breed prizewinning clams.