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Topics to Avoid in a College Admission Essay

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❶But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power.

College Essay One

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In Brazil, I was born into a multi-cultural family. My mother was born in Brazil, but from Italian descent, while my father was from a "rival" country, Argentina. No one seemed to care that my father was not like the rest of my mother's family and they just accepted him into the family. This is my foundation and where I come from, both literally and figuratively.

I started out in Brazil, but at the age of four I moved to Colombia. Colombia was definitely my least-enjoyed "stop. Colombia was also my first real experience with prejudice. In Colombia, I had a good friend named Sameer, who was Arab; people outside of my family looked down on me, as if he were a bad person just because of his ethnicity and as if I were a bad person for being his friend.

I did not understand why it mattered where someone was from, considering that you are not defined by where you were born or what your heritage is, but rather the person you are and the way you choose to live your life. Given this experience and others like it, I was not sad to leave Colombia after two years. We then moved to Spain. Living in Madrid was probably one of the most culture-filled experiences of my life. I still remember most of my three years there quite clearly.

Although Spain was safe, it was still not the ideal place to live. My best friend, Pablo, was of African descent and again, people would look down upon our friendship as if it were a sin. I used to take road trips across Spain with my family to learn about ancient civilizations and how much of an issue slavery was in the olden days, and it was clear that for many, the olden days still lingered.

Each of those trips was like a new chapter of a history book I wanted to devour. After Spain, at the age of nine, I moved to Miami. Miami is definitely the most culturally diverse city I have ever lived in, but somehow, people still manage to judge. During my first year here, the kids used to make fun of me for having a British accent because of my studies in a British school in Madrid.

I even got made fun of for my Spanish accent when I spoke Spanish because of the lisp the Spanish have when they speak compared to many of the local Cubans. In the other countries, I was judged for the people I spent my time with. But in the United States, I was the source, and it felt different. After all my travels, the only place I truly feel happy and unbothered is Brazil. Maybe it is the comfort my family provides me or perhaps I have not been around to see that racism is present there as well.

Whatever it is, I wish I could spread that into every country I have lived in and show people that, at the root, everybody actually is the same. The final draft is easier and more interesting to follow.

The "message" of the essay is clear from the start, but it doesn't read like the thesis in a five paragraph essay for English class. The final draft reads like a story he would be telling you and is more clearly a reflection of this student's world view, based on the people he's met and the specific experiences he's had.

One thing seems to naturally flow from the next. The final draft really allows us to peek into his world and the depths of his experiences. His world view not to mention his essay is more believable after he's shared with us where he comes from, philosophically and literally. The essay works because he really lets us into his world by lifting the veil on the rich details of his beliefs and his life experiences.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website. To score an acceptance letter, experts say the essay must stand out from the crowd.

Personal Essay Tips and Tricks The main college essay should be personal and tell some story about the applicant, Norman says. Sample Personal Essay Draft 1 Below is the first draft and a final draft of a student's college essay, with Norman's comments below. Also, forget about any pet stories — officers hate them. Do not be afraid.

Think about writing college essay like an opportunity to share your experience and thoughts with the Admission Committee. Try to show your another side and to enjoy this experience. Topics to Avoid in a College Admission Essay What could be more dreaded for an ordinary student than writing an admissions essay?

Essay Help There are thousands of examples of great college admission essays written on different subjects online. Essay Questions There are always a lot of questions for the admission officers about the role and purpose of the essay. So, here is a list of 10 topics to avoid in your essay for college admission. Sports There are millions of students that have written in their essays about sports achievements.

Strictures Sometimes you just need to follow the rules, and writing college admission essay is that case. Illegal activity Drug use, drinking and driving, arrests or jail time. Do-good experiences It can be a surprise for you, but believe, colleges do not want to read about your charity experience. The most important thing or person in my life This is absolutely boring. Death, divorce, tragedies No negative moments. Humor Do not overdo.

Think Positive Do not be afraid. 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. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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Anna Wulick Jun 1, Visible Signs of Planning Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. Stellar Execution A killer first sentence. Want to build the best possible college application? Download it for free now: Follow us on all 3 of our social networks: Ask a Question Below Have any questions about this article or other topics?

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How To: Write Your Personal Essay Posted by Carolyn Pippen on Wednesday, September 11, in Application Process, General Information, The College Essay. While we still have a few more days until the official beginning of fall, around here it feels a lot like the season has already begun.

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Write your own awesome personal statement with our COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY LAB, which will guide you through the process, providing tips and even more examples along the way. Before you start, check out our own sample essays—or scroll down for the Best of the Web.

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When it comes to applying to a college or university, many students fear the personal essay above all. Get college application and admissions tips for your college essay from expert Bari Norman. The essay is the most important part of a college appllication, see sample essays perfect for applying to schools in the US. College Admissions Assistance; Personal and Auto Loans; Resources. International Financial Aid; Sample College Admission Essays. This section contains two examples of good college essays.

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Finally, I’ll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to full essays and essay excerpts, this article will be a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay! A collection of outstanding admission essays to help you approach your own personal statement with confidence and excitement. I also want to recommend you take a look at our Essays that Worked: real essays submitted by real students who have since matriculated at Connecticut College. These essays are terrific, and you can find them listed.