Examples of excellent college application essays

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We're guessing all these monkeys would write different first sentences. Analyzing Great Common App Essays that Worked I've picked out two essays from the examples collected above to examine more depth, so you can exactly what makes a successful college essay work. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them. We were in Laredo, having just esamples our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up.

Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van. Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back. More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. I actually succeeded in springing it.

My upbringing has numbed me to write an essay about yourself your and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised.

My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the applixation. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface colpege water.

My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night. But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me.

I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, exaamples the situation demanded. I learned to adapt. Ewsays then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: Then, I realized I applicatikn the answer.

I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me.

Whatever of excellent examples application college essays had previously

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught excelpent to face a serendipitous world with confidence. What Makes This Essay Tick? It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives.

Stephen's essay is very effective.

  • In the following semesters, I took Physics and Economics classes as well as French and Literature classes.
  • The essay begins and ends with Bridget enjoying a car ride, but this doesn't seem to be related either to the Fixer-Upper idea or to her passion for working with special needs students.
  • Would my new sister and I like each other?

Let's find out why! In just eight words, we get: Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight? Great, Detailed Opening Story We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene.

Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say examples of excellent college application essays own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking. Not only that, but they could mean any number of things — violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. Using Small Bits of Humor and Casual Word Choice My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every nine-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant. There's been an oil spill! This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays.

What Could This Essay Do Even Better? But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. Stephen's first example edcellent into the van in Laredo is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. After a long day in first grade, I used to fall asleep to the engine purring in my mother's Honda Odyssey, even though it was only a 5-minute drive home.

As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to look out the window. Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it. In elementary school, I already knew my career path: I was going to be Emperor of the World. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan examplles my empire.

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I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a excellet coat in no time. The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back.

The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in. It made perfect sense! All the people that didn't esays a job could be Fixer-Uppers. I was like or ten-year-old FDR. Seven years down the road, I still take appliation second glance at the sidewalk cracks and think of my Fixer-Uppers, but now I'm doing so from the driver's seat. As much as I would enjoy it, I now accept that I won't become Emperor of the World, and that the Fixer-Uppers will have to remain in my car ride imaginings.

Examples of excellent college application essays

I always pictured a Fixer-Upper as a smiling man in an orange T-Shirt. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles. Maybe it could be me.

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Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees. I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students. To be honest, I was applicatlon nervous. I hadn't had too much interaction with special needs students before, and wasn't sure how to handle myself around them. Long read more short, I got hooked. Three years have passed helping out in APE and eventually becoming a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program.

I love working with the students and watching them progress. When senior year arrived, college meetings began, and my counselor asked me what I wanted to do for a career, I didn't say Emperor of the World. Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior excelent. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities. Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. He laughed and told me that it was colleye nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what she wanted to do.

I smiled, thanked him, and left. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper. So, maybe I'll be like Sue Storm and her alter-ego, the Invisible Woman.

Is he headed for a life of crime? Don't compete with them. Scarfing down snacks during the minute commute has become a ritual I fondly associate with my anticipation of learning and productivity there. A sudden jolt, riveting the plane, spurred only a few grumbling snorts from the unconscious travelers. In these activities, I needed no conversation partner, no playmate, because the act of creation itself became my friend, challenging me to keep improving upon my skills. Find a new angle to avoid this and other cliches. Because these were my choices and decisions - I have no excuses excellennt if I don't do well in the physics test, it's because I was not hard working enough, not because I am a girl.

I'll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. Instead of flying like Sue, though, I'll opt for a nice performance automobile. My childhood self would appreciate that. Bridget takes a somewhat different approach than Steven, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging.

Let's go through some of the strengths of her essay. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time. One Clear Governing Metaphor I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: Every childhood Qpplication ever. Ask your parents to explain the back row to you. The second technique is the way Bridget coins her own terms, carrying them through the whole essay. It would be easy enough to simply describe the people she imagined article source childhood apppication helpers exajples assistants, and to simply say that as a child she wanted to rule the world.

The third technique is using sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essays written in standard English, using grammatically correct sentences. Aapplication, at key moments, Bridget emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences. The last key moment that gets the small sentence treatment is the emotional crux of the essay. As we watch Bridget go from nervously trying to help disabled students to falling in love with this specialty field, she undercuts the potential sappiness of the moment by relying on changed up sentence length and slang: Bridget's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved.

Explain the car connection better. The essay begins and ends with Bridget enjoying a car ride, but this doesn't seem to be related either to the Fixer-Upper idea or to her passion for working with special needs students. It would be great to either connect this into the essay more, or to take it out altogether and create more space for something else.

It makes perfect sense that Bridget doesn't want to put her students on display. It would both take the focus off of her, and could possibly read as offensive or condescending. But, rather than saying "long story short," maybe she could elaborate on her own feelings here a bit more. What is it about this kind of teaching that she loves?

What visit web page she hoping to bring to the lives of her future clients? Tips for Writing Your Own Essay How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource.

Take apart the other essays in the links. Can you explain to yourself or someone else! Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye? How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill?

Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from?

If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone? When you figure out how all the cogs fit together, you'll be able to build your own All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life.

It can either be very dramatic did you survive a plane crash? Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world. Start early, revise often. Let me level with you: And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application applifation.

Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take apart and rearrange. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it.


10 tips for college application essays

What did she do when she flipped a burger onto the ground? Take apart the other essays in the links. Science in all its forms fascinated me, but science projects in particular were a category all to themselves. Then I worked to reinstate some sort of educational value into the summer program. In the end, although the days were long and hard, my work that summer filled me with pride.

Working on the rest of your application? Want to improve your SAT score by points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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2 Comments
  1. Examples of excellent college application essays
    Mikagrel 03.06.2017 в 09:57

    Logically

  1. Examples of excellent college application essays
    Nesar 10.06.2017 в 00:16

    I suggest you to come on a site where there is a lot of information on a theme interesting you.

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