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What makes a good and unique essay?

Money151Money151 4 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
edited December 2012 in College Essays
What makes a good and unique essay. Can you tell me the answer?
edited December 2012
79 replies
Post edited by Money151 on
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Replies to: What makes a good and unique essay?

  • ptontiger16ptontiger16 568 replies12 posts- Member
    The writer makes a good and unique essay. Voice is everything. It has to characterize who you are. That's why good writers never have teachers or adults edit their essays - it becomes too formal and voice is lost.
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  • Lehigh2017Lehigh2017 802 replies22 postsRegistered User Member
    Varying your sentence structure - please don't start every sentence with 'I',

    Writing about something you're actually passionate about,

    Not trying to impress the adcoms (NO thesaurus!!),

    Avoiding cliched expressions and morals learned,

    Not repeating anything that doesn't have to be,

    Not taking influence from anyone else's essay,

    Not conforming to any set structure or format,

    Staying true to your own voice and tone,

    Staying on focus; focusing on yourself,

    SHOWING rather than TELLING,

    Writing a compelling story,

    Not being controversial,

    DON'T BE BORING!

    Best of luck,
    Mike
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  • Money151Money151 4 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks ptontiger16 and Mike. Mike, how surprised! We have met again. Your advice is always worth. Are you going to university? I guess your writing is very good. ^^
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  • knightrider323knightrider323 108 replies8 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I agree with Lehigh2017 and ptontiger16. People think its really difficult to write a unique essay-they want it to be really fantastic and AMAZING. But everyone has their own story. You are the only person to have lived your life and think your thoughts. Any experience that shows who you are would be great.
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  • Lehigh2017Lehigh2017 802 replies22 postsRegistered User Member
    Money151 -

    Well I am applying to schools now! And I don't remember how I know you! Sorry :(
    But the other two answers are also correct. Just take all this advise and you'll be fine!

    - Mike
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  • chasehollchaseholl 984 replies21 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    When looking over hundreds and thousands and occasionally tens of thousands applications each year, admissions officers can easily begin to think of you as a number rather than a person if everyone has similar test scores, grades, activities, etc.

    Essays are the only part of the application you control that show some sort of humanness. Everyone has a test score and a GPA and all that. Your grades give your application breadth; your essay gives it depth. Other than recommendations and interview reports, the contents of which are generally out of students' control, admissions offices don't get to know anything about you as a person. And when comparing applicants who are similar on paper, it often comes down to what kind of person the college wants.

    A good essay gives your character some depth. If reading your essay makes you more than just another card in a pile, then it's good.
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  • stresswavesstresswaves 56 replies21 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    does a good essay necessarily have to tell a story? I'm finding what I am writing is more generalized and is not really tied to a particular date, per say.
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  • harborcealharborceal 373 replies7 postsRegistered User Member
    Can anyone suggest some of the best ways/techniques to improve "showing not telling"?
    Thanks!
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  • Money151Money151 4 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
    This is a topic of a competition: “One of the characteristics of a good leader is their ability to influence others. If you could have a conversation with a well-known leader or famous person, who has influenced you, who would it be and what would you talk about?”. (Write an essay about 500 words). So you think how should I start with?
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  • chriswchrisw 1554 replies31 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Asking how to go about writing a good, unique essay is good - it shows prudence and maturity. Asking what to write is bad - it shows laziness.

    Being yourself is crucial - many people make the mistake of glamorizing their accomplishments when the vast, vast majority of people have done nothing truly earth-shattering during high school. All of my college essays (which I guess I wrote six years ago, so they might not be valid anymore haha) told a story and let my personality show through in a very obvious way. They were grammatically impeccable but structurally more colloquial. They talked about legitimately extraordinary lessons learned from ordinary things in life - leading a class retreat, working as a lifeguard, getting badgered by adults about what college to go to. I didn't try to be falsely clever or use big words that I didn't understand. And it worked out pretty well for me, I would say :)
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  • Money151Money151 4 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks u, Chrisw.
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  • Classof2015Classof2015 4177 replies188 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    harborceal:
    Can anyone suggest some of the best ways/techniques to improve "showing not telling"?

    Let me know if this helps:
    Laura opened her huge SAT prep book. She stared at the same page for 30 minutes. She brought her fingers, nails long since chewed off, to her temples and massaged them. She sighed heavily, then flipped to the answer section. Tears welled up in her eyes. She threw the book to the floor.

    vs. telling us: Laura was stressed out over the SATs
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  • SgtDonutSgtDonut 784 replies73 postsRegistered User Member
    Do you think it's important to take risks, large and small, in your essays if possible? Can that make them more effective?
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  • Lehigh2017Lehigh2017 802 replies22 postsRegistered User Member
    Risks, if pulled off, can be effective, yes. However, risks are, for lack of a better word, risky. They can substantially hurt you if they are offensive, controversial, or in poor taste. Be careful!
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  • chasehollchaseholl 984 replies21 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    It certainly depends what you mean by "risks." I don't know that it's important or necessary to choose a "risky" topic (in the sense that it could be really good or it could just be a total flop). Some people might take risks by choosing an unusual POV. Others may use mild profanity or slang, which could be "risky" if poorly thought out.
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  • glassesarechicglassesarechic 5471 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    In my opinion, trying to write a "risky" essay is generally a bad idea. Most people, in my experience, use "risky" to mean "gimmicky," and that's the last thing you want to be in a college essay.

    Put another way, you should never be able to deem your own essay risky before writing it. Don't start from any One Idea that you think will be unique or catchy--it almost never is.
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  • BrownEyesChickBrownEyesChick 6 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    an unique essay contains an exclusive story which can only be told by YOU!
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  • SgtDonutSgtDonut 784 replies73 postsRegistered User Member
    I wrote a draft of an essay about why I went to a town meeting to support the building of a shooting range in my town despite my anti-gun beliefs. Is that too controversial?
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  • ptontiger16ptontiger16 568 replies12 posts- Member
    Admissions officers are only human. It is best to not give them reason to find a flaw in your application. Second amendment issues are one of the most hotly contested in America today - controversial enough for you?
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  • kittyloverkittylover 17 replies24 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    You need a sob story about how pathetic your circumstances are and how you've overcome your difficulties.
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