How To Write A College Essay
How to Write a College Essay
It is difficult to write well due to many different reasons. It may be hard since one does not know their audience and have to guess. Sometimes it is hard to write because one may have very many ideas or stories that end up interfering with each other as one gets on to a page to write. In other instances, it may be because however hard a writer may try to create their sentences, the sentences spill out of them invariably.
The ability to write well is really paramount. One may never get in an instance in which confusion functions to their advantage. A writer will encounter, from time to time, situations where vivid, imperative writing make their feelings known, make their case and in some cases, and maybe save lives. Edward Tufte argued that the Challenger Disaster may have had a chance at being prevented only if the case that was launched against it in clearer terms or language.
Since no one depends on college application essays that you have written, it may be a really good time to review a number of the rules that can enable you write in an exquisite manner.
My main guides on how to think concerning writing are George Orwell’s Politics and the English language. He lays a theoretical foundation for this piece that is about the importance of language, writing included, in shaping up our way of thinking. Later, he built upon this case in 1984.
Study the following essay closely carefully and analytically. It will end up altering your way of thinking concerning writing. Always, I keep Orwell’s rules of writing next to me:
Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
The same is also true for college applications as Orwell would have said. The truth about the applications is sad and is that most of the applications are not real and derived from other books such as sources and, therefore, look very counterfeit lack originality.
A very large portion of essays written by students applying for college is drawn from books with titles like “50 Winning College Essays from Ivy League Students”. The major part of the content of these books are stuffed with self-congratulations that make the essays look very counterfeit. Books such as these are aimed at aspiring applicant. The advice they give in these books are not actually good and in a real sense, they produce the “imitative and unmotivated style” that is very orthodoxy and Orwell was against.
The orthodox nature runs deep. I happened to be travelling last year with a workmate from Yale. My companion had just completed a week on a reservation assisting Native American students apply for college places, and had been shocked by the level by which the nature of uniformity and tropes that college application essays had dropped to in their world. He informed me that the application essays written by his students who led very different ways of life from most of the mainstream applicants, wrote essays that are not different from the ones written by the applicants from Southern Connecticut. They all had common phrases that were composed of very mainstream information that was scattered all over the internet.
Never allow your essays to fall into the bulk of irrelevant information and self-praise. You should be an interesting writer and the contents of all essays you write should be exclusively your own ideas. The best description of this is How to Write a Great Statement of Purpose, by Vince Gotera from the University of Northern Iowa. It is a book that I used when writing my essays as I applied for graduate school.
Gotera notes that each of the two samples was 45 words long and contained virtually the same information. However they are very different essays, most notably because the first is generic and the second is specific. It was a real by all accounts and there is nothing than can get better than that.
I will save you the trouble of buying one of those books and give you the seven rules of writing well by Kurt Vonnegut, which are also applicable to college applications.
Find a subject you care about.
Do not ramble, though.
Keep it simple.
Have the guts to cut.
Sound like yourself.
Say what you mean to say.
Pity the readers.
Specificity, clarity, and brevity are the tools to write a good essay. Use them to write a quality and captivating essay.
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