These are my 3 college essays I wrote and liked the most. Now, by NO means are these the perfect essay for me, much less for anybody else. What I'm saying is, everybody's "perfect" essay is different, so... (here comes the tips portion)
1. please don't try to imitate my
style. I spent all my junior year trying to imitate styles of essays that my
English teacher liked - well, my writing deteriorated that year. Seriously.
So please don't let that happen to you. I am not saying that my style's better
or whatever, just that everybody's style is different.
2. Write from the heart - it sounds simple but is so difficult.
3. Write about a subject that YOU REALLY care about - then you'll sound passionate and have a kick ass essay.
4. Don't try and make it sound like an English or History paper - intellectual essays may get you a good grade, but they are boring. Henry James will probably get rejected but Elie Wiesel has a good chance - yet they are both great writers.
5. Don't rewrite an essay to death. Mind, there's a different between rewriting and re-editing. Former is reworking the language; latter, the grammar.
6. This is a Nancy rule - if you don't turn out something in under 15 minutes, chances are you don't feel passionately enough about the subject. Of course, I type fast (60 word/minute), but you get the gist.
7. Lastly, there're always exceptions. DON'T LET ANYBODY STIFLE YOUR STYLE!!!!!!
With all that said, here it goes.
The piano essay - prompt: write about an interest or activity that has been particularly meaningful to you. This is my artsy schmarsty one. Cliche college essay. Descriptive and blah.
The library essay - prompt: write a personal essay that will help us to know you better. (yeah, this prompt is VERY specific) This is my favorite. I think my voice really comes through here. Short and blunt.
The English essay - prompt: make up your own. This one's just very funny, I think.
Colleges I submitted these to:
Yale - The piano essay and the library essay, accepted!!
Columbia - The library essay, waitlisted
University of Chicago - The English essay, accepted!!