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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Your Admission Essay-A Summer Blockbuster?
You know the saying, there's more than one way to skin a cat. I've always found it a rather grotesque reference. If English isn't your first language, it may just sound gross and nonsensical. Still, the phrase sticks with you. There's more than one way to peel a banana or tie your shoe, but those phrases don't exactly stop you in your tracks. You might be wondering where this plot is going...

If you're a student and you're finding it hard to strike literary gold with your personal statement, you're not alone. For every hundred of you, there is a college coach/guidance counselor/tutor or other concerned adult trying to bottle some sage advice to guide you. Write from the heart. Show, don't tell. Keep it simple. (I've offered all these nuggets myself). I recently came across an article promoting the idea that the best essay should read like-you guessed it-a Hollywood blockbuster. Or, maybe you didn't see that one coming. The college coach pushing this idea is a former screenwriter, and while my gut said "tacky", he has a point. Above all, your admission essay has to be interesting. If it's not, your reader will tune out by paragraph two.

There is, of course, more than one way to approach an essay. Educators are likely to guide you more gently towards compelling prose, but there is more than one way to get there. Writing a gripping essay isn't easy. Even young students who aren't writing a screenplay tend to overshoot the dramatic mark.

However, in the same way that a good trial lawyer has to put on a show in order to woo her jury, a student-writer cannot expect to persuade her audience without crafting something creative and engaging. Hollywood certainly has that formula down.

This recipe may not be for everyone. But if it helps you get your essay off the ground...why not?


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