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Add a personal message: It can cause sleepless nights and stomachs to churn. Countless hours are spent trying to find the perfect subject, the perfect description, the perfect words to portray the winning experience that will green-light an application. And yes, it can be the tipping factor that either gets you into a top school, or gets you a rejection letter.
John Mahoney, director of undergraduate admissions at Boston College, has a few words of advice for high school seniors working on their essay: The three veteran admissions officers, with a combined plus years of experience reading college-application essays, agree that the most important element is to tell a story that gives an impression of who you are.
While the essays are important, they say, it is the transcript that is the most important factor in deciding whether to admit a student.
The rigor of courses selected, how a student did in those courses, and standardized test scores are the first considerations. Then, all things being equal, an essay can tilt the balance in either direction, especially at the more selective schools. At selective schools, applicants are often very similar in academic achievements and extracurricular activities.
In these cases, essays take on added importance, they said. It is the little details that can be most revealing.
Mahoney recalls one from a student now at Boston College. In the first lines, the student described himself as a football player, standing 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing pounds.
He had noticed that everyone at practice seemed to know his name, and figured he must be better than he thought if everyone knew who he is. Berson remembers a student whose transcript was excellent, but his essay about a violent video game written in graphic language landed his application to the Norton campus in the rejection pile.
There are other things the three agree that students should avoid. Humor is probably not a great way to go because it is very difficult to be funny in print. Mahoney cautioned that many students fall into the trap of writing about a hero in their lives.
Berson has a list of things not to do that she tells students during the many lectures she gives about essay writing.
She tells students to throw away their thesaurus and write with words they actually use, and to keep it simple. And yes, she said, spelling and grammar matter. The three also say it is extremely important that students write their own essays, and that it is very easy for these professionals to spot something written by an adult.
There is a difference in the words they use, and how they say things. Ellen Ishkanian can be reached at eishkanian gmail.Good writing is all about using concrete examples. In this case, the writer is able to point to a specific incident that shows the prompt in action. This specific failed test gives the writer a sense of immediacy and allows them to explore the idea.
- What I wrote about in my essay was a hardship, I had mad a mistake in high school and because of that mistake, I had to, I was kicked out of that high school and I had to attend a different high school in a whole new environment, a whole set of new faces.
Of course, you’ll want the right app for that job so lets take a look at the best note taking apps for Android! Here are some more excellent productivity apps! 10 best to do list apps for Android.
Sadhvi Mathur October 14, 4 min read College Essays, Essay FAQs Are All Those Grammar-Fixing Apps Really a Substitute for Proofreading? Despite a rigorous education in the English language across most schools in the United States, grammatical problems persist for many students.
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