Before I go on, maybe I should just tell you the rules that I tell my students about college essays. They are pretty simple, and as I said in an earlier post, I will be showing some models to you soon. These are the five key rules. While you may not like what I say, do it, get into college, and hate me anyway.
- It is always about you. The focus of the essay should be something you want to show about yourself.
- The essay is most easily written in narrative form. Tell a story about a time that shows you doing something that shows you.
- Notice the shows—show you doing what you’re passionate about.
- Find the unique. See my earlier posts about seeking good topics and try the Lish exercise.
- No more than 1 typed, single-spaced, 1 inch margin word document. If you can’t get an idea onto a single page, don’t bother. College admissions officers read 1000s of these essays. If you haven’t gotten out our idea in 300 words, you’re in trouble. And, I don’t care if the application says you can write more or you can write as much as you want. Only the foolish wander down that path.