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College – Essays

What are college essays? What essay questions are asked?

This differs from application to application, but the common theme among essay questions is that they are designed to elicit information about you that will paint a richer, more human picture than the rest of the application. This is your opportunity to stand out, so don’t waste it! This does not mean that you have to write a creative, gimmicky essay – it does mean that you should put a lot of effort into selecting your topic and writing your essay so that it is smoothly written and the message is clear. The most important quality an essay can have is that it is memorable (and not because it was amazingly bad). While it seems like a fairly simply task to write something which is all about yourself, it is surprisingly difficult for most people, and there are several brainstorming/topic selection tips in our essay-writing tutorial that may help you figure out where to start.

Once you have picked a topic and written a first draft of the essay, you should have someone who knows you well look it over to make sure it is an accurate reflection of your personality. While grammar and style are important, these can easily be corrected by professional editors; what is more important is that your essay is honest and will really give the admissions officers a window into your life. If your mother or your best friend can read the essay and not realize it is about you, you need to rethink your topic. This is a useful measure for gauging the appropriateness and completeness of the rest of the application, too – if someone you know well does not think it portrays you accurately, then it probably doesn’t, and you should reconsider some of what you have written.

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