The theoretical foundation he lays in this piece — about the importance of language, including writing, in shaping how we are capable of thinking — he later built upon in Read it closely, read it carefully. It will change the way you think about writing. 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. 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. 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. 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 do this. Do not allow your essays to descend into an impenetrable bulk of buzzwords and banality. You are an interesting person. College application essays can seem really freaky and daunting. That means you care! I have no say in the admissions process, and if I had the key to writing the perfect college essay, I would be a rich man sitting in a hot tub in Monaco. I am a shmuck. But I am a shmuck here for you. Because people like to emphasize how much academics, extracurricular activities, teacher recommendations, and the interview matter in the application process, the personal essay tends to be undervalued.
But it is mucho importante see, I took Spanish! The personal essay is the only place in your entire application where the admissions officers have the ability to hear your own voice.
While a lot of applications have similar academics or extracurricular activities in them, none of them of them have you in them. What that does mean is that if someone was holding a stack of nameless college essays and dropped them in your school or at your house, that each of your friends, teachers, and family members would be able to pick out your essay.
Your personal essay is also not Mrs. Write your personal essay in your regular, every day voice. Your instinct might tell you to make this seem proper and elevated, and that instinct is baloney. You can write about your mom, you can write about the time you went to McDonalds with your friends, you can write about anything.
Brainstorm a ton of ideas! Humor Stop trying to be so funny. If it comes out naturally in your essay, great. Admissions officers will see the futile attempt — and likely not find it amusing.
Nobody needs a summary of your vacation — people know what happens on mission trips and during volunteer hours. While you should feel free to mention a great experience or trip, but your entire essay should not talk about your one experience volunteering during a mission trip in Costa Rica. If you do want to bring up these topics, try to think of something interesting or unexpected that happened during your trip. Did a particular person or experience have an impact on you? Specific happenings can make great topics — try to think of something unusual and craft your essay around that experience, instead.
See example within the opening of this article. Some of the best and brightest students do this: Fine, but be prepared to write whatever you feel like writing from a college that may not be your first choice.
Before you do this, remember one thing:
Crafting an Unforgettable College Essay Most selective colleges require you to submit an essay or personal statement as part of your application. It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work.
Your essay can give admission officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcasing your writing skills. Try these tips to craft your college application essay.
While it's important to be thoughtful and mature, you don't want your college application essay to be too heavy. Try to lighten up the essay with a clever metaphor, a well-placed witticism, or a little self-deprecating humor. But don't overdo it. The essay that is filled with bad puns or off-color jokes will often end up in the rejection pile. Nov 19, · Remember, as you write, the essay is not about what you have done. The essay is about who you are. If you get to this point, you will know what essay you want to write .
While (hopefully) no lives are riding on your college application essays, this is a great time to revisit some of the rules of writing well. George Orwell's Politics and the English Language is my personal guide to thinking about writing. College application essays can seem really freaky and daunting. If you’re nervous to write your essay, that’s good! That means you care! But, hopefully I’ve got some helpful, very unofficial tips here to make you feel a little more confident in writing this future masterpiece.