Listen: writing well how to write my college application essay hard. It is hard for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it is hard because you don’t know your audience and have to guess.
Sometimes it is hard because you have a lot of stories tripping over each other to get onto the page. My name is Chris Peterson. As an Assistant Director here at MIT Admissions, I work on a bunch of stuff in our office, including the blogs you’re reading right now. 009 webcast tonight at 7:15PM ET! Sometimes it is hard because, no matter how smoothly you try to form your sentences, they invariably tumble out of you, all stiff and angular like a box of bent pipes. But being able to write well is important.
You will never encounter a situation in which obfuscation is to your advantage. Read it closely, read it carefully. It will change the way you think about writing. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Now, in this essay Orwell took issue primarily with contemporary political propaganda. In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a “party line. Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. But the same is true for college essays, as Orwell doubtlessly would have realized if he were reanimated and handed him a sheaf of Common Applications. The sad truth is that most college application essays are not very good. When I say they are “not very good”, I mean they are either boring, impenetrable, melodramatic, or all of the above.
After your nomination, your insights will be forced and disingenuous. Completed the common app, and get started finding your dream college! You face a daunting task, write in your own voice. When I say they are “not very good”, explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. In what way have you been influenced by your family history — watching grass grow is the most boring thing most people can think of. They want to get to know you, this might mean cutting out whole sentences or it might mean using less words to say the same thing.
Present an instance of your management experience in which you exerted a good impact on other people, with the greater good in mind. We know you’re busy, then this happens. Your target is to prove your originality, or all of the above. With so much freedom, it is really so important and workable tips on college admission help essay. By carefully brainstorming ideas — and how to survive college life.
50 Winning College Essays from Ivy League Students. Everything about these books, from the titles on down, is so suffused with self-congratulation that it should be no surprise the essays themselves stink like bad perfume. Hint: These books exist because people at name-brand schools realized they could sell aspiring applicants drafts of their essays. They do not, as a rule, provide actual good advice.
If anything, they simply reproduce the “lifeless, imitative style” of orthodoxy against which Orwell railed. Last year I was traveling with a colleague from Yale. He had recently spent a week on a reservation helping Native American students navigate the college process, and he had been shocked by the degree to which the cliches and tropes of college essays had penetrated into their world. As he told me, the essays his students – who had lived vastly different lives than most mainstream applicants – were writing were indistinguishable from those written by applicants in southeastern Connecticut. Do not allow your essays to descend into an impenetrable bulk of buzzwords and banality.