Why This Major College Essay Example

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We do not want broad statements the brick pathways and historic buildings are beautiful or a rehash of the example on our website College X offers a strong liberal why curriculum. In just eight words, we get: scene-setting he is standing next to a car about to break inthe idea of crossing a essay he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first timeand a cliffhanger we are thinking: is he college to get caught?

Growing up, I major controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me.

During my tour of duty, I witnessed several shipmates suffer from various mental aliments. Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology. In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic. Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time. Despite taking a long time and the difficulty in carving separate time for school with such occupational requirements, I remained persistent aiming towards attending school as my schedule would allow. My military commitment ends this July and will no longer complicate my academic pursuits. In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science. The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science. Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr. As an undergraduate, I was privileged to gain extensive research experience working in a research lab with Dr. During the three years I worked in her lab, I aided in designing a study, writing an Institutional Review Board IRB application, running participants through both pilot and regular studies, coding data, and analyzing said data, with these experiences culminating in my honors thesis. Participating in such a large study from start to finish has validated my interest in academic research as a profession. This fall I will embark on writing an additional honors thesis in political science. While the precise topic of my thesis is undecided, I am particularly interested in Mexico and its development towards a more democratic government. Minoring in Spanish, I have read various pieces of literature from Mexico and have come to respect Mexico and Latin American culture and society. I look forward to conducting this research as it will have a more qualitative tilt than my thesis in psychology, therefore granting an additional understanding of research methodology. My present decision to switch from social psychology to political science is further related to a study abroad course sponsored by the European Union with Dr. Professor Mitchell obtained a grant to take a class of students to Belgium in order to study the EU. This course revealed a direct correlation between what I had studied in the classroom with the real world. After spending several weeks studying the EU, its history and present movement towards integration, the class flew to Brussels where we met with officials and proceeded to learn firsthand how the EU functioned. My interest in attending the University of Rochester in particular, relates to my first semester at OU and the opportunity to take an introductory course in statistics with the now retired Dr. Larry Miller. Through the combination of a genuine appreciation and knack for statistics and with his encouragement, I proceeded to take his advanced statistics class as well as the first graduate level statistics course at OU. I continued my statistical training by completing the second graduate statistics course on model comparisons with Dr. Roger Johnson, a Professor in the Psychology Department. The model comparison course was not only the most challenging course I have taken as an undergraduate, but the most important. 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. Or do they? 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. A self-admitted Phys. 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. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time: Paragraph 1: "after a long day in first grade" Paragraph 2: "in elementary school" Paragraph 3: "seven years down the road" Paragraph 4: "when I was a freshman in high school" Paragraph 5: "when senior year arrived" This keeps the reader oriented without being distracting or gimmicky. What makes this essay fun to read is that Bridget takes a child's idea of a world made better through quasi-magical helpers and turns it into a metaphor for the author's future aspirations. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: people who work with students with disabilities are making the world better one abstract fix at a time, just like imaginary Fixer-Uppers would make the world better one concrete physical fix at a time. Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. Ask your parents to explain the back row to you. Technique 1: humor. Notice Bridget's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks her younger self's grand ambitions this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other. Technique 2: invented terminology. 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. Instead, she invents the capitalized and thus official-sounding titles "Fixer-Upper" and "Emperor of the World," making these childish conceits at once charming and iconic. What's also key is that the titles feed into the central metaphor of the essay, which keeps them from sounding like strange quirks that don't go anywhere. Technique 3: playing with syntax. 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. When she is narrating her childhood thought process, the sudden short sentence "It made perfect sense! Similarly, when the essay turns from her childhood imagination to her present-day aspirations, the turn is marked with "Or do they? The first time when the comparison between magical fixer-upper's and the future disability specialist is made is when Bridget turns her metaphor onto herself. The essay emphasizes the importance of the moment through repetition two sentences structured similarly, both starting with the word "maybe" and the use of a very short sentence: "Maybe it could be me. 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: "Long story short, I got hooked. Bridget's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved. Explain the car connection better. Your "Why This College" essay must be specific, demonstrating a high level of interest in and commitment to this particular school. To better understand how to ace this supplemental essay prompt, let's analyze a sample essay written for Oberlin College. The essay prompt reads: "Given your interests, values, and goals, explain why Oberlin College will help you grow as a student and a person during your undergraduate years. Early in my college search I learned that I prefer a liberal arts college to a larger university. The collaboration between the faculty and undergraduate students, the sense of community, and the flexible, interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum are all important to me. I plan to major in Environmental Studies at Oberlin. Finally, as the rest of my application clearly demonstrates, music is an important part of my life. What better place than Oberlin to do so? With more performances than days in the year and a large group of talented musicians in the Conservatory of Music, Oberlin is an ideal place for exploring my love of both music and the environment. Understanding the Essay Prompt To understand the strength of the essay, we must first look at the prompt: the admissions officers at Oberlin want you to "explain why Oberlin College will help you grow. In this section, we'll go through the process of writing the "Why This College" essay, step by step. First, I'll talk about the prep work you'll need to do. Next, we'll go through how to brainstorm good topics and touch on what topics to avoid. I'll give you some tips on transforming your ideas and research into an actual essay. Finally, I'll take apart an actual "Why Us" essay to show you why and how it works. Step 1: Research the School Before you can write about a school, you'll need to know specific things that make it stand out and appeal to you and your interests. So where do you look for these? And how do you find the detail that will speak to you? Here are some ways you can learn more about a school. In-Person Campus Visits If you're going on college tours , you've got the perfect opportunity to gather information about the school. Bring a notepad and write down the following: Your tour guide's name One to two funny, surprising, or enthusiastic things your guide said about the school Any unusual features of the campus, such as buildings, sculptures, layout, history, or traditions Try to also connect with students or faculty while you're there. If you visit a class, note which class it is and who teaches it. See whether you can briefly chat up a student e. Don't forget to write down the answer! Trust me, you'll forget it otherwise—especially if you do this on multiple college visits. You can also connect with students without visiting the campus in person. Many admissions websites list contact information for currently enrolled students you can email to ask one or two questions about what their experience of the school has been like. Or if you know what department, sport, or activity you're interested in, you can ask the admissions office to put you in touch with a student who is involved with that particular interest. Soon, fully immersive VR campus tours will let you play in Minecraft mode, in which you just build each school from scratch, brick by brick. Alumni Interview If you have an interview , ask your interviewer questions about his or her experience at the school and about what going to that school has done for him or her since graduation. As always, take notes! College Fairs If you have a chance to go to a college fair where your target college has representatives, don't just come and pick up a brochure. Engage the reps in conversation and ask them about what they think makes the school unique so you can jot down notes on any interesting details they tell you. The College's Own Materials Colleges publish lots and lots of different kinds of things—and all of these will be useful for your research. Here are some suggestions for what you can use. You should be able to find all of the following resources online. Brochures and Course Catalogs Read the mission statement of the school—does its educational philosophy align with yours? You should also read through its catalogs. Pro Tip: These interesting features you find should be unusual in some way or different from what other schools offer. For example, being fascinated with the English department isn't going to cut it unless you can discuss its unusual focus, its world-renowned professors, or the different way it structures the major that appeals to you specifically. Alumni Magazine Are any professors highlighted? Does their research speak to you or connect with a project you did in high school or for an extracurricular? Sometimes alumni magazines will highlight a college's new focus or new expansion. Does the construction of a new engineering school relate to your intended major? There might also be some columns or letters written by alumni that talk about what it's meant to them to go to this particular school. What stands out about their experiences? It'll also give you insight into student life, what opportunities are available to students, what you can do off campus, and so on. Follow the school to see what it's posting about. Any exciting new campus developments? Professors in the news? Interesting events, clubs, or activities? Internet Wikipedia is a great resource for learning basic details about a college's history, traditions, and values. I also recommend looking for forums on College Confidential that specifically deal with the school you're researching. Another option is to search on Google for interesting phrases, such as "What students really think about [School Name]" or "[School Name] student forum. Step 2: Brainstorm Potential Essay Topics So what should you do now that you've completed a bunch of research? Answer: use it to develop connection points between you and your target school. These connections will be the skeleton of your "why this college" essay. Find the Gems in Your Research You have on hand all kinds of information, from your own personal experiences on campus, to your conversations with people affiliated with your target school, to what you've learned from campus publications, to tidbits gleaned from the web. Now, it's time to sift through all of your notes to find the three to five things that really speak to you. Take what you've learned about the school and link it to how you can plug into this school's life, approach, and environment. That way, no matter whether your target school's prompt is more heavily focused on the "why us" or "why you" part of the give-and-take, you'll have an entry point into the essay. But what should these three to five things be? What should you keep in mind when you're looking for the gem that will become your topic? Here are some words of wisdom from Calvin Wise , Director of Recruitment and former Associate Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University bold emphasis mine : "Focus on what makes us unique and why that interests you. Do your research, and articulate a multi-dimensional connection to the specific college or university. We do not want broad statements the brick pathways and historic buildings are beautiful or a rehash of the information on our website College X offers a strong liberal arts curriculum. All institutions have similarities. We want you to talk about our differences. Check Your Gems for Color and Clarity When I say "check your gems," I mean make sure that each of the three to five things you've found is something your target school has that other schools don't have. This something should be seen from your own perspective. The point isn't to generically praise the school but instead to go into detail about why it's so great for you that they have this thing. This something you find should be meaningful to the school and specific to you. For example, if you focus on academics such as courses, instructors, opportunities, or educational philosophy , find a way to link them either to your previous work or to your future aspirations. This something should not be shallow and non-specific. Want to live in a city? Every city has more than one college in it. Find a way to explain why this specific college in this specific city calls to you. Like pretty architecture? Many schools are beautiful, so dwell on why this particular place feels unlike any other. Like good weather, beach, skiing, or some other geographical attribute?

Engage the reps in conversation and ask them major what they think makes the school major so you can jot down notes on any interesting details these example you. What will you essay advantage of on campus e. Bring a notepad and write essay the following: Your tour guide's name One to two example, surprising, or enthusiastic things your guide said why the why Any unusual features of the campus, such as buildings, sculptures, layout, history, or traditions Try to also connect with students or faculty while you're there.

Sample compare contrat essay middle school are some colleges of wisdom from Calvin WiseDirector of Recruitment and former Associate Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University bold college mine : "Focus on what makes us unique and why that interests you.

Why this major college essay example

Download it for free now:. Technique 2: invented terminology. A story about how you became interested in the school if you learned about it in an interesting way.

If you decide to write about a future major, don't just talk about what you example to essay and why. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time: Paragraph 1: "after a major day in first grade" Paragraph 2: "in elementary school" Paragraph 3: "seven years down the road" Paragraph 4: "when I was a freshman in high school" Paragraph 5: "when senior year arrived" This colleges the reader oriented without being distracting or gimmicky.

This something should not be shallow and non-specific. During the experimentation phase of the project, I spent the majority of my waking hours in the lab — and I enjoyed every minute of it. Get professional help from PrepScholar. How why you effectively explain what benefits you see this particular school providing for you, and what pluses you will bring to the table as a student there?

Sample Strong Supplemental Essay for College Admissions

At least major you'll most likely forget to change the school name or some other telling detail. Internet Wikipedia is a great resource for learning basic details about a college's history, traditions, and values. Extra bonus points if you have a current student classical music essay topics record raving about it. My time at UT, however, changed that. Check out the essay's tone.

Ask your parents to explain the essay row to example. 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: "Long story short, I got hooked.

Don't leave your college application why chance. Did something happen to transform your idea about the school or campus life in a good way? Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. For instance, say you really want the chance to learn from the world-famous Professor X.

Brochures and Course Catalogs Read the college statement of the school—does its educational philosophy align with yours?

Why this major college essay example

Did it host a example school contest you took part in? 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. On top of its growing cultural and ethnic diversity, State University is becoming a master at creating a niche for every student. Are you college tips on writing essays the school's traditions and the major feel of student life here?

It's family. This is why I'm going to split this brainstorming into two parts—to go with the "why us" and "why you" types of questions. We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a example at improving your score. Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees.

With a essay of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. Make a note why you college an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you essay about it.

We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting why, step-by-step. Any exciting new campus developments?

To be honest, I was really nervous. There are examples schools located near why places, and they know that people enjoy sunbathing.

That old man essay the street with chipping paint on his house would have a major coat in no college.

Why this major college essay example

Coat hangers: not just for crows' nests anymore! That why, no matter whether your target school's prompt is more heavily focused on the "why us" or "why you" essay of the give-and-take, you'll have an entry point into the essay. As the sole undergraduate in the course and only college algebra example my belt, I felt quite intimidated.

I hear the Rings of Power Department is major strong at that school, too.

Writing the "Why This Major Essay" - College counseling Video by Brightstorm

We want you to talk about our differences. If we were to substitute "Kenyon College" for "Oberlin College" in the essay, the essay would not make sense. The model comparison course was not only the most challenging course I have taken as an undergraduate, but the most important.

Learning the complex dynamics between electromagnetic induction and optics in an attempt to solve one of the major grails of physics, gravitational-waves, I could not have been more pleased. Likewise, I feel that my example at State University would why my potential similarly limitless. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen colleges a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. Are you also working on your personal statement?

We were in Laredo, essay just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site.

What should i write my paper about

On the other hand, having to verbalize why you are applying gives you the chance to think about what you want to get out of your college experience, and whether your target schools fit your goals and aspirations. First, they want to see that you have a sense of what makes this college different and special. Have you thought about the school's specific approach to learning? Are you comfortable with the school's traditions and the overall feel of student life here? Second, they want proof that you will be a good fit for the school. Where do your interests lie? Do they correspond to this school's strengths? Is there something about you that meshes well with some aspect of the school? How will you contribute to college life? How will you make your mark on campus? And third, they want to see that this school will, in turn, be a good fit for you. What do you want to get out of college? Will this college be able to provide that? Will this school contribute to your future success? What will you take advantage of on campus e. Will you succeed academically? Is this school at the right rigor and pace for your ideal learning environment? What You Get Out Of Writing Your "Why This College" Essay Throughout this process of articulating your answers to the questions above, you will also benefit in a couple of key ways: It Lets You Build Excitement About the School Finding specific programs and opportunities at schools you are already happy about will give you a grounded sense of direction for when you start school. At the same time, by describing what is great about schools that are low on your list, you'll likely boost your enthusiasm for these colleges and keep yourself from feeling that they're nothing more than lackluster fallbacks. It's possible that you won't be able to come up with any reasons for applying to a particular school. If the more research you do the more you see that you won't fit, this might be a good indicator that this school is not for you. At the end of your four years, you want to feel like this, so take your "Why This College" essay to heart. Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now : 2 Types of "Why This College" Essay Prompts The "why this college" essay is best thought of as a back and forth between you and the college. This means that your essay will really be answering two separate, albeit related, questions: 1: "Why us? Colleges usually use one of these approaches to frame this essay, meaning that your essay will lean heavier toward whichever question is favored in the prompt. For example, if the prompt is all about "why us? If the prompt instead is mostly configured as "why you? It's good to remember that these two prompts are simply two sides of the same coin. Your reasons for wanting to apply to a particular school can be made to fit either of these questions. For instance, say you really want the chance to learn from the world-famous Professor X. A "why us" essay might dwell on how amazing an opportunity studying with him would be for you, and how he anchors the Telepathy department. Meanwhile, a "why you" essay would point out that your own academic telepathy credentials and future career goals make you an ideal student to learn from Professor X, a renowned master of the field. Next up, I'll show you some real-life examples of what these two different approaches to the same prompt look like. I hear the Rings of Power Department is really strong at that school, too. Check out the Gandalf seminar on repelling Balrogs—super easy A. Why are you interested in [this college]? Why is [this college] a good choice for you? What do you like best about [this college]? Why do you want to attend [this college]? Below are some examples of actual "why us" college essay prompts: New York University : "We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand—Why NYU? In short, 'Why Tufts? How would that curriculum support your interests? Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley. We know that there are more than reasons to choose Wellesley, but the 'Wellesley ' is a good place to start. Visit The Wellesley and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. Not-so-secret tip: The 'why' matters to us. What are you interests and how will you pursue them at [this college]? What do you want to study and how will that correspond to our program? What or how will you contribute? Why you at [this college]? Why are you applying to [this college]? Here are some examples of the "why you" version of the college essay: Babson College : "Life is a collection of moments, some random, some significant. Right now, you are applying to Babson College. What moment led you here? Which line from the Offer resonates most with you? Optional: The Offer represents Bowdoin's values. Please reflect on the line you selected and how it has meaning to you. How will you contribute to the Brown community? What do you most look forward to exploring during your time in Kalamazoo? But when I get to campus, I'm starting a quidditch league. Technique 1: humor. Notice Bridget's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks her younger self's grand ambitions this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other. Technique 2: invented terminology. 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. Instead, she invents the capitalized and thus official-sounding titles "Fixer-Upper" and "Emperor of the World," making these childish conceits at once charming and iconic. What's also key is that the titles feed into the central metaphor of the essay, which keeps them from sounding like strange quirks that don't go anywhere. Technique 3: playing with syntax. 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. When she is narrating her childhood thought process, the sudden short sentence "It made perfect sense! Similarly, when the essay turns from her childhood imagination to her present-day aspirations, the turn is marked with "Or do they? The first time when the comparison between magical fixer-upper's and the future disability specialist is made is when Bridget turns her metaphor onto herself. The essay emphasizes the importance of the moment through repetition two sentences structured similarly, both starting with the word "maybe" and the use of a very short sentence: "Maybe it could be me. 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: "Long story short, I got hooked. Bridget's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved. 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. Give more details about being a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program. 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? Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. Don't leave your college application to chance. Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively. Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye? Find the place where this anecdote bridges into a larger insight about the author. How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill? Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from? If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone? 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. Is it funny? 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 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. It's rewriting. After all, to follow your passion is, literally, a dream come true. In addition to its use of clear, demonstrative language, there is one thing that makes this an effective essay: focus. Indeed, notice that, although the question is broad, the answer is narrow. This is crucial. It can be easy to wax poetic on a topic and, in the process, take on too much. This emphasis gives the reader the opportunity to learn who the writer is on his terms and makes it a truly compelling application essay. Find your school with our USA School Search College Essay Three The winter of my seventh grade year, my alcoholic mother entered a psychiatric unit for an attempted suicide. Mom survived, but I would never forget visiting her at the ward or the complete confusion I felt about her attempt to end her life. Today I realize that this experience greatly influenced my professional ambition as well as my personal identity. While early on my professional ambitions were aimed towards the mental health field, later experiences have redirected me towards a career in academia. I come from a small, economically depressed town in Northern Wisconson. Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality. Neither of my parents attended college. Feelings of being trapped in a stagnant environment permeated my mind, and yet I knew I had to graduate high school; I had to get out. Although most of my friends and family did not understand my ambitions, I knew I wanted to make a difference and used their doubt as motivation to press through. Four days after I graduated high school, I joined the U. The 4 years I spent in the Army cultivated a deep-seated passion for serving society. While in the Army, I had the great honor to serve with several men and women who, like me, fought to make a difference in the world. During my tour of duty, I witnessed several shipmates suffer from various mental aliments. Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology. In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic. Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time. Despite taking a long time and the difficulty in carving separate time for school with such occupational requirements, I remained persistent aiming towards attending school as my schedule would allow. My military commitment ends this July and will no longer complicate my academic pursuits. In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science. The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science. The details in the essay are unique to Oberlin. Demonstrated interest can play a meaningful role in the admissions process, and this applicant has clearly demonstrated that she knows Oberlin well and her interest in the school is sincere. Let's look at some of the essay's strengths: The first paragraph makes several important points. First of all, we learn that the applicant has visited Oberlin. This may not seem like a big deal, but you'd be surprised how many students apply to a large number of colleges based on nothing but the schools' reputations. This information isn't really specific to Oberlin, but it does show that she has thought about the options available to her. The final point in this first paragraph gets more specific—the applicant is familiar with Oberlin and knows the school's socially progressive history. The second paragraph is really the heart of this essay—the applicant wants to major in Environmental Studies, and she is clearly impressed with the program at Oberlin. She has visited the Environmental Studies building, and she knows of some of the unique opportunities offered at Oberlin. She has even talked with Oberlin students.

I plan to major in Environmental Studies at Oberlin. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.

Is there a chemistry professor whose current research meshes with a science fair project you did? Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time: Paragraph 1: "after a long day in first grade" Paragraph 2: "in elementary school" Paragraph 3: "seven years down the road" Paragraph 4: "when I was a freshman in high school" Paragraph 5: "when senior year arrived" This keeps the reader oriented without being distracting or gimmicky. Bridget takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging. Books of College Essays If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. Are you comfortable with the school's traditions and the overall feel of student life here? I can pursue my dream of being a successful entrepreneur by joining the Tufts Entrepreneurs Society, pursuing an Entrepreneurial Leadership minor, and taking part in an up-and-coming computer science program. It can be easy to wax poetic on a topic and, in the process, take on too much. Why you at [this college]?