<p>Just out of curiosity... Is lying a no-no? I'm not talking about huge lies like surviving cancer or anything, but small lies to spice up an essay like saying you made your mom a sweater (bad example... But whatever). Maybe it's more of a morality question... But what is your take on this? I know in middle school/ high school my teachers have said its ok to make things up on our standardized state exam essays to make them more interesting :)</p>

<p>It doesn't really matter what you write about, but how you write it. Sure, I guess you can make something up, but the purpose of the essay is the demonstrate who you are. Something that hasn't really occurred in your life might very well come across that way. But of couse, that's just me :).</p>

<p>Edit: Although, I do this all the time on the SAT lol :p.</p>

<p>There is a difference between "exaggerating" and "lying." But then again, life is way too random for every great essay-worthy moment to be conveniently organized and profound. As long as it doesn't change the point of the essay it's probably alright.</p>

<p>I'll get flamed for this, but I think it's OK to... not lie, not exaggerate, not make things up... but to simplify your story and perhaps include some things out of time order. A good example might be this... suppose you want to talk about some people in your life and talk about some of their characteristics. You might bring in the traits of several people and combine them into a single "character" in your story, ESPECIALLY if it will make your point much more quickly without the complications of describing multiple people.</p>

<p>Here's another example of what some might consider "cheating" but I think is acceptable: Suppose you've just written a great personal statement for the common app prompt. You are very happy with it. But another school asks you to "Think of a quote that describes you and tell us why." What the heck...? That is actually a hard essay to write - to think of a quote and try to write a whole essay about it. But there is a very easy way around this one (and many like it): Take the personal essay you are using for another school that you've put all that effort into and choose some key words from it. For example, suppose you have just written an essay about your love for acting and the theater. Google the words "acting" and "theater" with the word "quote" and see what you get... Hold on, I will do that..... You get HUNDREDS of EXCELLENT ones to choose from. You open the essay with that quote, and then use the essay you've already written.... Here are some good ones, just from the first website I clicked on:</p>

<p>"Growth as an actor and as a human being are synonymous." ~Stella Adler</p>

<p>"The Play is the Master and I am it's Whore! ~Charles Jeffries</p>

<p>"I love acting. It is so much more real than life." ~Oscar Wilde</p>

<p>"Theater takes place all the time -- wherever one is -- and art simply facilitates persuading one this is the case." ~John Cage, 1961 </p>

<p>Anyway, you get the idea. So you "cheated." It's a great essay.</p>

<p>---Robert Cronk, author of Concise Advice: Jump-Starting Your College Admissions Essays [Second Edition]</p>

<p>If you don't lie, you will be passed over in favor of someone who does. And be sure to mention "diversity."</p>