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In general, there are 2 types of essays.

  • In general, there are 2 types of essays.
  • Type 1: Open ended
    • Promotes creative writing
      • Ex: “Step outside and describe how you would change what you see. Why?”
  • Type 2: The personal statement

Provides a portrait of the applicant beyond what is evident on academic record

  • Provides a portrait of the applicant beyond what is evident on academic record
  • May be used in lieu of a resume to describe extracurricular activities and service
  • Helps the college assess critical thinking, writing abilities, interests, experiences, values, attitudes, and expectations
  • Can help determine how creative and resourceful a student can be when confronted with a difficult topic

Colleges are increasingly asking for graded writing samples in addition to or in the place of an essay.

  • Colleges are increasingly asking for graded writing samples in addition to or in the place of an essay.
  • These are assignments that you have completed for a class and have been turned in to your teacher, graded and returned.
  • The writing sample shows the student’s ability to write in an academic setting, as well as the teacher’s assessment of that writing.

Provide reasonable straightforward responses

Do keep your focus narrow

Do NOT tell the readers what you think they want to hear

  • Do NOT tell the readers what you think they want to hear
    • Be original, and be YOURSELF
  • Do NOT forget to proofread
    • Typos and grammatical errors reflect poorly on the writer, and can be interpreted as carelessness.
    • Do not trust your computer’s spell check. Ask someone to look over your essay.
  • Writing Ability
    • Want to see if you can write at the college level
    • Avoid using words that you don’t understand
    • Understand sentence and paragraph structure
    • Keep a good pace; flow logically and have a good conclusion
    • Make it believable
    • Keep it relatively brief and coherent

Insight into who you are

  • Insight into who you are

Sex, drugs, violence

  • Sex, drugs, violence
  • Travelogues
  • The News
  • Swearing
  • Humor/ sarcasm


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