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 his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability.
Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: The humor also feels relaxed. 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. Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due.
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 breaking into the van in Laredo is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation.
PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools , from state colleges to the Ivy League.
We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. I have always loved riding in cars. 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 for my empire. 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 fresh 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 have a job could be Fixer-Uppers. I was like a ten-year-old FDR. Seven years down the road, I still take a 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.
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. 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 really nervous. I hadn't had too much interaction with special needs students before, and wasn't sure how to handle myself around them. Long story 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 analyst. 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 a 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.
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 Stephen, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of her essay. The essay is arranged chronologically.
Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time:. I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. Ask your parents to explain the back row to you. This essay uses many techniques that make Bridget sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know her.
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 in childhood as helpers or assistants, and to simply say that as a child she wanted to rule the world. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure.
Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, 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: The best essays convey emotions just as clearly as this image.
Explain the car connection better. The essay begins and ends with Bridget's 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 take the focus off of her and 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 is she hoping to bring to the lives of her future clients?
How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.
Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it. Does it help you really get to know the writer?
Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay. 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. Let me level with you: And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline.
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 it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it!
Interested in learning more about college essays? Working on the rest of your application? 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:. Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia.
You may have high scores and a perfect resume, but a bad application essay can easily ruin the first impression if you do not approach the writing seriously. It is definitely important to follow college requirements, but it is not enough to make your paper outstanding. Therefore, Pro-Papers prepared tips and tricks that will help with admission essay writing. Most of the teachers prepare their students to writing application essays in the last year of school. If you have no idea how this kind of work should look like for some reason, it is better to read a few samples before writing.
There are thousands of them on the web, but it is better to find official ones that have actually worked for their owners and have been published as great examples for future applicants.
Such samples may help you to outline the paper and give you a few ideas on how to tell your story or which one to choose. Your essay has to be written on a topic defined by the college you are applying to. You still have to present a meaningful story that has influenced your life and changed the way you see the world.
However, your work should also answer a question or provide explanations that are required in a prompt. It sounds simple, but many students tend to forget about the question, being too busy writing a narrative. Admission committees, especially in prestigious colleges, may not even consider your application if you fail to follow the prompt, so you have to think of the ways to connect your story to it.
Starting an essay, some of the students realize that their life was calm, and there were no critical situations worth mentioning, or they have not learned anything from them. In such case, it is crucial to realize that admission officers do not expect you to describe fantastic or surreal events. The things that really matter are your feelings and your passions.
It can even be something you find completely insignificant, but what can show your intelligence, motivation, and the way you are moving towards your goals. Therefore, you can impress admissions with any story, but only if you present it in a right way.
Writing a narrative, you need to understand that people on the committee have already seen all of your documents, and you do not have to repeat the information from them in your essay. What is more important is to show a real person behind all of the scores and papers, a person who is unique and interesting enough to become a part of a huge community.
Therefore, your story has to show what makes you different, and what diversity you will bring to classes. An application essay is very personal, but you need to be as sincere and honest as you can to make admissions feel like they know you, and you are the one who will fit their environment.
Trying to present themselves in the best light, students often seem arrogant in their essays. They are trying to mention too many skills and abilities in an extremely short piece of work, which, obviously, makes them look supercilious. If you want to avoid looking ridiculous in the eyes of committee members and still show your best, you need to analyze what kind of skills are relevant and important for the specialty you want to master, and which ones you actually possess.
To do it, you can make a 'brag list' and put down all of the significant abilities you have in there to afterward, choose ones admission officers will find valuable. You can also think of a real-life story that will help you support your claims with examples, which will also prove that you are telling the truth. When you finish an essay, it is vital to take some time to proofread it. You will definitely spot a few mistakes, typos and some discrepancies in the text. It is recommended to leave a paper for a day and return to it later with a fresh mind to make sure your essay is clean and says everything you wanted an admission committee to know.
If you have used some complicated academic words or unusual phrases, consider replacing them with more simple ones. A usage of such vocabulary does not make you look smarter, but rather shows that you have retrieved a few unknown words from a dictionary and put them in your essay right away. You may also ask an expert to check your paper for inaccuracies and inconsistency. It will help to get rid of unnecessary information and mistakes that might have left after your review.
If you do not know any expert, Pro-Papers can introduce you to a few experienced ones. Order a cheap and qualitative editorial service from our admission essay writing service and let credible specialists perfect your work.
High school years are considered the most stressful in students' lives. Trying to maintain good study habits to get a nice GPA, passing numerous tests, visiting different courses, and engaging in extracurricular activities, students hardly have time to eat and sleep. The pressure is extremely high, as schoolers have to choose a future specialty and a college, which will guide them through all of its aspects.
Students spend years of their lives creating a perfect background for their college applications. They are obliged to decide what kind of future they want without having enough time to think it through.
There is no place for doubts and mistakes, as the preparation process starts early and rarely gives someone a chance to change the decision without unpleasant consequences. It is important to compose every document beforehand and start writing admission essays months before the application process begins. Yes, it is impossible to call the whole process a pleasant. However, it really helps to obtain a great knowledge and get into a good college if you take it seriously.
We perfectly understand the struggle, and, therefore, our team is always ready to facilitate the task and save your time and nerves. Pro-Papers is a superior writing service, which prepares stellar papers for any academic facilities.
Our professionals have an outstanding experience in writing, and many of them have been members of admission committees in colleges around the globe. Therefore, they know how papers are reviewed, and what kind of applicants are usually accepted.
These experts have settled in a writing sphere to share admission secrets, and help you craft a perfect college or high school admission essay. Our custom writing service delivers only original works of the highest quality. Pro-Papers writers always follow all of the indicated requirements and can complete essays on any topics.
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