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Zen and the Art of Writing Your College Application Essay

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Do I need to stick to the essay length suggested by the college? The Common Application instructions stipulate that the length of your essay should be between and words. The form will count the number of words entered as you type, and will not allow you to submit the essay if it falls outside the parameters. If your essay is outside the length guidelines, check with colleges to see if you can mail your essay separately — most will tell you that would be acceptable.

Do make sure your names and one other identifying piece of information is on every piece of paper you mail. Can I send extra writing samples? Many students feel that creative writing, a graded paper, poetry, or newspaper articles will enhance their application and provide a better picture of their writing ability. Unless the application says otherwise, most colleges will accept additional samples.

Colleges know the materials that they need to make an admissions decision, but extra writing samples can be good supplements to those required materials. In most cases we would prefer copies of graded writing assignments.

College admissions officers are pretty savvy people. We read thousands of applications and many admissions professionals are familiar with the content of essays discovered online. More than anything, you do not want to put your application in jeopardy. You will be writing a great deal in college—consider your application essay to be good practice. Who should read my essay before I submit it? Do not rely on technology to proofread your essay!

No matter how many times you read your own writing, or how many times you check your spelling, you may miss small errors because you are so familiar with the essay. It is important to have several different people with different viewpoints read your work for content, errors, and tone.

Remember, your essay should reflect your voice, so listen to the advice of your reviewers but do not let them re-write your essay. What are some common pitfalls that students encounter when they write essays? Number one is procrastination. Start a draft, work on the rest of the application, and then go back to the essay — as many times as necessary.

Big words, especially when misused, detract from the essay and make the essay sound contrived. If you have created your essay in a separate document and have cut-and-pasted it into your online application, please double-check before you click on that submit button.

Make sure your entire essay gets pasted, your document has copied correctly, etc. Getting started on your essay—what comes first? Follow the practices that have worked for you in writing essays, compositions, and research papers in high school. Once you decide on a topic, you might want to:. Associate Vice President Erica Johnson. If you have a suggestion about this website or are experiencing a problem with it, or if you need to report abuse on the site, please let us know.

We try to make TeenInk. Please note that while we value your input, we cannot respond to every message. Also, if you have a comment about a particular piece of work on this website, please go to the page where that work is displayed and post a comment on it.

Don't have an account? Sign up for one. Wrong email address or password! Summer Program Reviews College Reviews. Writers Workshop Regular Forums. Program Links Program Reviews. More by this author Follow Krystal Sze. I like this 0. Sitting on the Bench? This article has 19 comments. Email me when someone replies. I love the emotions put into this essay, and how dynamic you were. This essay really stood out and taught me a few things in life. This made me cry.

Well, hah, I realized that I'm writing this in April. Sorry if I'm a little late to the game, which I am. Hope what I said was helpful on some level anyways! Great piece, great writing. As to the length debate that seems to be going on, here's my two cents: I think as a standalone piece of writing it's great. Length is fine, narration spotless. But as a college essay, I would agree that it's a little long.

Its length isn't a detriment to the artistic merit of the piece, but is, I believe, a detriment to its being a part of an application to a college. I would trim it down so that an admissions officer would get the gist and all the good stuff in a little less time. I'm glad you found a type of art that suits you best.

This is a really beautiful piece. I think you have just converted me to cubism! Well done ; xoxo. I really enjoyed this, I think I've read it 3 times now!

As an artist myself, I enjoy all the technical details, and I can appreciate them. I think JoshuaChen and jonnathang just can't appreciate all the detail as much because they are not artists and just don't really understand what all the description is talking about. And that is not a critisism of Joshua or jonna, just an observation.

I loved it, I hope you will write more! This was at JoshuaChen by the way, hit the wrong button. I loved the details, this is about a peice of art, you can't appresheat that then why did you read it?

And lots of other people seemed to like it so cut it out with the whole 'readers' thing and just say 'I'. Problem is, it has too many details. That much description bores reader. I totally agree with you. I loved all the immense details and the process that changed your point of view. Every word was a step closer to the realization that the style you detested most was actually an intense passion waiting to bloom. I have never read anything quite like that before.

I love the way this peice is put together, and the passion that you described made it all the more realistic. I can definitely relate to your passion because I have felt it too. Anyone who has felt that much love for something such as art would be able to relate to this article. Trixie44 - just because the beginning captured my attention, I, as a reader, feel no obligation to continue the piece if it begins to bore me.

Feelings are very nice, yes, everyone has feelings and emotions to talk about - but it is only a bit of constructive criticism in saying that by cutting down your piece to a palatable length, you will capture that many more people's attention, and that many more people will read it through to the end. As opposed, to, say, reading the first paragraph, predicting how the entire piece will go, and barely skimming over the last part. Many people, when they're angry, they'll start ranting, spout off a million extraneous details concerning the event - and how many people are listening to them?

Maybe it's interesting to the person ranting, maybe it's their entire world at that moment- but no one is obligated to listen because it's that person's passion, or because it contains that person's feelings.

They'd stick around because the rant some objective comparison needed here is honestly interesting, or they'll zone out and maybe console with a few empty words. Amazing - simply amazing. What do you think art is? In the end we will not the remeber the words of your enemys, but the silence of are friends.

When I get logical, and I don't trust my instincts - that's when I get in trouble. Which of your works would you like to tell your friends about? These links will automatically appear in your email. If you have a suggestion about this website or are experiencing a problem with it, or if you need to report abuse on the site, please let us know. We try to make TeenInk. Please note that while we value your input, we cannot respond to every message. Also, if you have a comment about a particular piece of work on this website, please go to the page where that work is displayed and post a comment on it.

Don't have an account? Sign up for one. Wrong email address or password! Summer Program Reviews College Reviews. Writers Workshop Regular Forums. Program Links Program Reviews. More by this author Follow curlyqElissa. I wrote this as I was looking around my kitchen, realizing how much art is truly in my life.

I hope you enjoy it! A special thanks to my friends, family, and teachers who encourage me to keep writing.


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Art has always been a vital part of my life. When I was old enough to appreciate genuine fine art, my parents started bringing me to museums that housed some of the greatest artists the world has.

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Essays and writing samples are encouraged to address the major influences on your decision to pursue art, architecture, design, or writing. The writing sample should also address how you see yourself contributing to the CCA community, specifically with respect to the college’s values, summarized below. College essay art If it doesnt outsmart itself, art college essay it outsmarts most of the highest readings taken in a research study is focused on the italian saint and sailor became bipolar. For example, your own words even as you can.

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The Chase's art department encouraged me very well and helped me develop my art skills. I am currently studying Art at A-level and have had my work exhibited in a gallery and in local industry buildings as part of the 'Art in the Workplace' scheme which is organized by my college. In case high school seniors and their parents aren't jittery enough about what lies ahead -- College App Apoplexy -- The New York Times raised the stakes recently with an article that spent a day.