prompt for college application essays

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Ninety percent of the essays that pass your desk are stone-cold boring, and maybe ten percent break through the fuzz and force you to pay attention. As an applicant, you want your essay to shine a bright light in the face of that oft-bored reader. No matter what your subject, serious, uplifting, sentimental or pithy, your essay should aim to entertain. This will require many elements working together in harmony. You will need a compelling subject, a direct and powerful narrative, impeccable grammar and a memorable style.

A little laughter never hurts either. It is often hard to know whether an essay is truly entertaining until the end stages of writing, but when you are reading over your drafts, the question should always be in the back of your mind: Is this essay fun to read? Some students achieve entertainment value by being controversial. Others load their pieces with comic relief. Some are able to describe events in such detail that a reader simply must get to the end of the essay. No matter what tactics you end up using, your goal should be effortless and compelling readability.


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When you finish writing your first draft, do a branding test- try to label yourself based on your essay and see what you come up with. We thought so. Sign up for free instructional videos, guides, worksheets and more! Score our Exclusive Video Brainstorming Guide and more!

Chopping excess words

The best essay length is determined not by word count, but by these five criteria on "How to Write the Best Admission Essay. Did you fully answer the admissions essay question or complete your argument? If you are answering a specific prompt, make sure you answer all parts of the prompt! If you set up your own situation or argument to explain, write completely. A well-written word essay is useless if you do not finish defending your thesis or reasoning.

What the Real Story About College Applications and Essays?

That said, if your essay is long, check for redundancy and trim it down! That said, you need to write enough so that the readers admission counselors can see your skill as a writer and thinker. If you think you have written too much, check for repetition and eliminate it. If your essay sounds stilted, maybe you have cut too many words out. Try reading the essay aloud and check if it sounds natural and whole. Admission counselors want to see how you present yourself in your essay.

But give yourself the time to set yourself apart from other applicants. Students have written word essays and gotten into good colleges — and some have written 2, words. Generally students write between words.

But the point of finding your perfect length is that word count is not the benchmark used. One of the most important things you can remember before writing your college admissions essay is that you need to "show" not just "tell" what's been important in your life, and give reasons why. Too often students write generally about circumstances in their essays, without visually depicting the impact and showing how it affected your life.

The more succinct the better. Given what he shared in his essay, we can imagine Jerry being an active participant both in and out of the classroom. I looked up and flinched slightly. There were at least sixty of them, far more than expected. I had thirty weeks to teach them the basics of public speaking. Gritting my teeth, I split my small group of tutors among the crowd and sat down for an impromptu workshop with the eighth graders.

They were inexperienced, monotone, and quiet. In other words, they reminded me of myself…. I was born with a speech impediment that weakened my mouth muscles. My speech was garbled and incomprehensible.

Keywords To Use In Your College Application Essay

Understandably, I grew up quiet. I tried my best to blend in and give the impression I was silent by choice. I joined no clubs in primary school, instead preferring isolation. It took six years of tongue twisters and complicated mouth contortions in special education classes for me to produce the forty-four sounds of the English language.

Then, high school came. I was sick of how confining my quiet nature had become. For better or for worse, I decided to finally make my voice heard. Scanning the school club packet, I searched for my place. But then, I sat in on a debate team practice and was instantly hooked. I was captivated by how confidently the debaters spoke and how easily they commanded attention. I knew that this was the path forward. Of course, this was all easier said than done. Whenever it was my turn to debate, I found that I was more of a deer in the headlights than a person enjoying the spotlight.

My start was difficult, and I stuttered more than I spoke in those first few weeks. Nonetheless, I began using the same tools as I did when I learned to speak all those years ago: practice and time. I watched the upperclassmen carefully, trying to speak as powerfully as they did. I learned from my opponents and adapted my style through the hundreds of rounds I lost. With discipline, I drilled, repeating a single speech dozens of times until I got it right. Day by day, I began to stand a little taller and talk a little louder both inside and outside of debate.

In a few months, my blood no longer froze when I was called on in class.

Bad College Essays: 10 Mistakes You Must Avoid

I found I could finally look other people in the eyes when I talked to them without feeling embarrassed. My posture straightened and I stopped fidgeting around strangers.

I began to voice my opinions as opposed to keeping my ideas to myself. As my debate rank increased from the triple to single-digits, so too did my standing at school. I began interacting with my teachers more and leading my peers in clubs. In discussions, I put forward my ideas with every bit as much conviction as my classmates. When seniors began to ask me for advice and teachers recruited me to teach underclassmen, I discovered not only that I had been heard, but that others wanted to listen. At heart, I am still reserved some things never change , but in finding my voice, I found a strength I could only dream of when I stood in silence so many years ago.

Standing in front of the crowd of students, it was my hope that by founding this program, I could give them an experience that was as empowering as mine had been for me. As the weeks passed, the students inched past their insecurities and towards finding their voices, just as I had always wanted to do. On the last day of class for that year, I looked up and saw each of the students standing confidently, equipped and ready to speak their minds in whatever they wanted to do. The essay illustrates her joy in trying new things and having diverse interests.

This helps us understand how Madison would thrive in a liberal arts academic setting with lots of flexibility where she can find the unique cross-sections of her interests. Having had this question asked of me many a time, I realize that such an inquiry must be considered practically.

40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

The correct answer would keep me happily sustained for the rest of my years, whereas the wrong choice could leave me tormented until I wither away from monotony. But if instead, I call upon my contentment understandings and assess my options accordingly, I may arrive at an indefectible conclusion.

5 Words to Improve your Essays - Writing - Eng

And after much deliberation, I believe that I have come to such a response: potatoes. These tubers are the perfect sustenance due not only to their nutritional qualities but, most notably, to their remarkable versatility. Potatoes may be prepared in a myriad of dishes. The thought of golden tater-tots follows; deep-fried potatoes cooked perfectly so as to create a slow crunch when chewed. Then are characteristic french-fries—shoestring or steak, skin on or off.

Baked-potatoes, latkes, hash-browns, gnocchi—all respectable meals. Oh potatoes, how I love you. To a casual onlooker, this question may appear inconsequential in its hypothetical nature, but as they say; you are what you eat. My inclination towards the varied is not contained to my food habits—it is a recurring theme throughout my life. I have a fifteen-year-old sister and a two-year-old brother. This variation tends not to leave me with an aversion to commitment, but a disposition towards diversity.

I am interested in many things. I love to play viola; I get a rush communicating without-words to my quartet members in order to convey a musical message.