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Thread: How to write a good college app?

  1. #1

    Default How to write a good college app?

    Any suggestions to make on how I am to write a good app. for a university? Does the thesis AP college Board "Rule of Three" work well for writing an essay? Any other tips and hits would be useful as well, thanks.

  2. #2

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    can't help ya there. i got in based on my marks, which were pretty darn good. :P

  3. #3

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    Try to build yourself up to show them if you have good grades, if you work, if you do any extra curricular activities, etc, but at the same time, be honest with them.

    I'm not sure how you can "write a good college app" though. Isn't most of it just filling out forms showing them stuff you've already done? If it requires an essay of some sorts, just make sure you blow them away with that.

    EDIT: 10 more threads until the big 300!

  4. #4

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    Make sure to write it in your own blood to show how serious you are.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    can't help ya there. i got in based on my marks, which were pretty darn good. :P
    You bragger D:

    I'm in community college, so no need for one of those...

  6. #6

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    First thing's first - look at each university's website you are considering, and search for the essay topics. They can be as broad as "collecting and organizing your thoughts about your success and interests" or as defined as "explain your career you want to pursue and why you think you would be a good student at our university to enhance your interest/success in this major/field". These are just example questions.

    Consider paragraph format as well. I know my teachers always drilled MLA-format into my head, but look carefully to see if the college requires something different. Also, watch word count. Hope this helps.

  7. #7

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    I was proud of my college essays - and I feel like I absolutely nailed my main one.

    The golden rule of college admissions essays is this:

    Whatever the nominal topic, the actual topic is YOU.

    Ad-coms have to read through large stacks of very similar sounding words on paper, attempting to gleam the personalities of the writers in a 2-minute period. Your goal is to stand out in 500 words (or less) from the rest of their stack words on paper.

    This leads to some general rules of thumb:

    -If you haven't connected the nominal topic to yourself in a brief intro, and aren't writing about your unique life experiences everywhere else, then you're doing it wrong.
    -If your essay is more than 110-120% of the word limit, then it better be brilliantly interesting stuff or else you're going to annoy whoever you're holding up from getting to his next piece of words on paper.
    -If your essay is less than 80-90% of the word limit, then you're most likely missing opportunities to make yourself stand out.
    -Don't talk about experiences that everyone else has (my inspiring week at camp, the big sports game) unless you're taking it in a really unconventional manner. Feel free to use anecdotes of trivial importance (one of my small essays recounted a time I cleaned up snow with my siblings).
    -Don't talk about something that's going to freak out the reader. You want to be interesting, not shocking.
    -For the love of God, don't submit an essay with grammar or spelling mistakes.


    If you'd like me to review any essays, drop me a PM. I'd imagine there are other members who'd be willing to do the same.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by diaperedteenager View Post
    Any suggestions to make on how I am to write a good app. for a university? Does the thesis AP college Board "Rule of Three" work well for writing an essay? Any other tips and hits would be useful as well, thanks.
    Proof whatever you do; run it by someone NOT in your age group, but a trusted adult who knows their way around the English language.

    You are effectively writing a cover letter. It should answer--succinctly--the question, "why in the hell do we want to admit this guy over someone else?" Don't bullshit, don't complain, just get to it and tell them why they should consider your application.



    Quote Originally Posted by Pojo View Post
    You bragger D:

    I'm in community college, so no need for one of those...
    A college application letter, or good marks? :p



    Quote Originally Posted by Shu View Post
    First thing's first - look at each university's website you are considering, and search for the essay topics. They can be as broad as "collecting and organizing your thoughts about your success and interests" or as defined as "explain your career you want to pursue and why you think you would be a good student at our university to enhance your interest/success in this major/field". These are just example questions.

    Consider paragraph format as well. I know my teachers always drilled MLA-format into my head, but look carefully to see if the college requires something different. Also, watch word count. Hope this helps.
    I think is helpful. It also points out the importance of proofing something you commit to writing.



    Quote Originally Posted by NutFreeFruitcake View Post
    -For the love of God, don't submit an essay with grammar or spelling mistakes.
    This--coupled with efficient, tight writing--is the most important thing. Many of the people working this kind of job are going to loosely resemble yours truly, but with vastly less education (B.A. or B.Sc.). This means that they probably will care much less that you've not visited all continents--you're a kid, after all--but would take notice if you constructed an essay comprised of grammatically correct elements, themselves composed of correctly spelled words.

  9. #9

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    Well I'm doing mine at the moment so I'll try and help.

    The most important thing is to sell yourself. No matter how modest you are this will really help, list your good qualities and expand on them. Link these to examples in real life.
    Also don't lie, seems obvious but you never know if they might call you up on it.
    Constantly proof read.
    Finally show an interest in the subject, show that know what the course involves and maybe read up in advance just to display that knowledge, remember they'll only want you if seem like you want to be there.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #10

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    So a few pieces of advice (and I am going to try to stick with what I remember from college applications, but a few other school applications are a bit more recent, but the advice should apply regardless):
    1) Probably not quite as essential in college, but I think still important, be yourself, most people have enough to write about on their own experiences and you don't need to embellish or lie, remember these people read a lot of applications and they know when people are just feeding them information. The same goes for interviews if you do one, I know most colleges don't but every now and then one of them might if you visit, don't over think the questions, and don't try to give the "Right" answer.

    2) Other's have said it but this is probably one of the most important things, do not, whatever you do, do not make any spelling or grammar errors. Proofread the hell out of the thing, give it to people you trust, teachers, parents, whoever, the more the better. You don't need to listen to everyone's advice on content, but it will allow you to catch your mistakes. (As an aside, there are other ways to do this, they tend to be more time intensive and only work if you just have one major essay, I went back and looked at my med school essay and I have something like 30 drafts of the thing, I wouldn’t suggest that for college essays though)

    3) Also important and you will be amazed how many people miss this one, make sure you answer the question they ask, it’s not the most important part of the essay, but if you don't answer it they will probably notice.

    4) Also, as others mentioned it is a chance to sell yourself, say why you want to go there, make it clear what you have done that sets you apart, and why they should accept you. Also, make it interesting, they have to read a lot of these, and if you lose them early on the essay won't help you as much as it could.

    5) Also, while hopefully you wouldn't have to at some schools the essay could serve to explain some bad marks or some other thing that happened, don't just list excuses, but if you did very poorly one semester and your grandmother died that might be worth mentioning if you have the space.

    6) Proofread (It deserves to be mentioned twice)

    As far as the other parts of the application, can't remember if there is a limit to activities you can mention, but no harm there in putting everything you have done if there is space, if not keep the things that meant the most to you, or you feel are your strongest points. (Proofread this section too)

    With the rest of the application just make sure everything else that you enter is, to the best of your knowledge, the truth.

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