A Few Essays That Worked (And a Few That Didn't) - …

Hamilton College provides access to some of their favorite application essays.

Johns Hopkins University - Essays that Worked

After that experience, my daughter put together her essays easily with my son’s input. She ran them by her college English and History instructors (she went entirely the community college route in lieu of high school). She got into Berkeley – that was her first choice.

A college application essay, though—that will do all the talking for you.

Read selected examples of essays that worked, ..

Even though the essay is written by the student and in the student’s voice, these professionals pointed out flaws that needed correction and reinforced the prompt questions.

Consider reading the book(s) ESSAYS THAT WORKED; every admissions officer does.

Gloria Cordes Larson, the president of Bentley University, suggests questions that prospective students might ask to determine if they have found a college that is worth the investment.

Before I say a word or two about the groom, what about that dress Jeanie is wearing.


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The essay actually does say a lot about him. It shows he is witty, cynical, funny, and creative. It also shows that he is brave, because he is not afraid to break the conventions of a typical college essay. The rest of his application would have said what clubs he was in, his grades, and the rest of the things most people talk about in their essays. I agree that it would likely be obvious if a student were to emulate this style exactly, but claiming the essay “says little about the applicant” is rather naive.

Read College Essays That Worked - SparkNotes

What worked here? I’m told the admissions officers appreciated how the writer conveyed her love of words — and in the process told them much about herself. As a writer, I admired the way she built a sense of mystery at the outset, one that served to draw the reader in.

A bland admission essay can put an overworked college rep to sleep

Other than the most competitive schools is anyone reading the essays?? It seems that a well written essay if accompanied by low standard test scores gets ignored when in fact the essay is a better example of what the student can do. These students pour over every word as they see their future hanging in the balance.
Does the admissions committee at University of Maryland actually read the answers to the short answer questions? Do they read the essays?

11 Offbeat College Essay Topics | Mental Floss

Rowling and “Real Freedom?” by David Wallace, and an article titled “The 4-Stage Response to Low Student Achievement” by John Lemuel, all have several aspects of education in common and provide knowledge and inspiration about the real idea and necessity for education.

College Application and Essay Help | SUSAN G. WOLF

I find these examples and the ensuing comments to be an example of just how subjective college admissions officers are when making their decisions. Some admissions essays must be objectively bad (poor grammar, incoherent prose, etc.) and I imagine that some must be objectively good, however, it seems to me that the great bulk lie in the middle. In that middle ground then isn’t the merit of one’s essay inextricably tied to the taste’s of the admissions officers reviewing that essay? Would a brilliant essay by Hunter S. Thompson be tossed out because the reader hated drug use and non-conformity? Would an essay by Tom Wolfe be rejected because the reader hated exclamations? Oh my! Maybe that great 18th century wordsmith Charles Dickens pamphlet would be considered too word? Or Hemingway’s to sparse?