Your essay is the toll you have to pay to cross the bridge to college!
We apologize right now because we are going to sound like your English teacher! But the truth is: your essay is critical!
From your essay, admissions officers will
get a feel for the real and interesting and unique person you are and
decide if you have the skills to perform well at their school.
You want to capture their interest and make it fun to read about you. Remember, they have to read a few hundred of these.
So, this is how you go about writing ANYTHING (beside ur txt msgs! LOL!)
1. Brainstorm: jot down all your ideas and do not judge or criticize any of them!
2. Outline: take your favorite ideas and organize them in a logical structure--the skeleton of your essay, so to speak.
3. Draft: here is where you begin to put meat on the bones--and do not worry about grammar and run-on sentences and paragraphs and length or number of words or if there are too many metaphors or if there are too few descriptions or misspellings, at least not yet because you are going to take care of that in the next step and for now you just want to get something down on paper--by the way, this is a run-on sentence! Also, we recommend that you not procure a thesaurus or dictionary to emboss your essay with that which you conceptualize as educated and intellectual vocabulary. We mean: don't use big fancy words. Even pidgin mobetta, brah! That's because the words that touch our hearts are from the plain old Anglo-Saxon, we mean: ordinary everyday words that everyone knows. And we want to touch that admission dean's heart!
4. Edit: okay, now worry about grammar! Plan to have at least 4-5 people read and comment on your essay. Again, we help our mentored kids find these readers. Plan to re-write your essay 5-6 times!
(We know it is tempting and seems a better use of your time to merge at least a few of these steps. Most of us try to do it all at once. DON'T! We promise that your essay will be better quicker if you go one step at a time.)
More hopefully helpful hints:
Your essay should tell a story about who you are, that unique and interesting and real person.
Sharing about something you really care or cared about--an experience, a cause, an activity, a person or an animal or a thing--can tell
someone a lot about who you are. (Figuring out what makes you unique can be hard! Talking with one of our mentors can really help clarify it!)
It can be useful to organize your essay around a significant story or image or quote.
It can be useful to refer back to your intro--yes, the topic sentence and beginning paragraph--in your conclusion.
It can be useful to make your essay come alive by describing things in terms of the five senses. How did it smell, taste, feel, sound, look?
You have to pay the toll if you want to cross the bridge!
The Bridge: Kaua’i to College, 7/2016