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MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS The Truth About College Essays Recommendations and Suggestions for Writing a Strong College Essay
MYTH: Admission Counselors will not read your college application essay. FACT: Not only will an Admission Counselors read your essay, he/she will use it to help evaluate your readiness for college. MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATION ADMISSIONS Myth vs. Fact
A college essay is a statement that is used by colleges and universities to evaluate your readiness for college and learn more about you as an individual. In general, there are 3 types of essays The “Why Us” question The “You” question (otherwise knows as a personal statement) The Creative question MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS So what is a college essay?
The “Why Us” question asks for an essay about your goals and how serious your commitment is to this particular school. The focus for this this essay is given to you: Why did you choose this school or path? Make sure you’ve done your research. For example, if you say you want to attend Marquette University to major in architecture, the school will be able to tell how carefully you've chosen (Marquette does not offer architecture as a major). Example Questions: What do you want to attend Marquette? How will your presence enrich our Community? MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS The “Why Us” Question
Many colleges will ask you to “Tell us about yourself.” The school just wants to know you better and see how you'll introduce yourself. This question offers a chance to reveal your personality, insight, and individuality. The danger is that it's open-ended, so you need to focus on one or two things that will reveal your best qualities. Example Questions: Complete a one-page personal statement to tell us about yourself. What contributions would you add to our university? MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS The “You” Question (also known as a personal statement)
The creative question allows you to “show yourself” through your choice of some tangential item: a historical event, a famous person, a photograph, etc. Make sure you write an informed essay. For example, don't write about anything or anyone you’ve never heard of or researched. Use common sense. Being creative to the point of wacky is a risk you may not want to take. Example Questions: Indicate a person who has had significant influence on you. Why? If you had to choose 5 items to put in a time capsule, what would they be? MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS The Creative Question
MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS Things to consider before you begin… What do you want a college admission counselor to know about you? • Your special talents and interests • Any unique challenges you may have • Extra responsibilities at home or work • You’re the first in your family to attend college
MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS Do’s and Don’ts of College Essay Writing Do • Stay within the word limit • Be honest and be yourself • Use formal English • Check punctuation and grammar • Cut out unnecessary words and phrases • Type your essay on a computer Don’t • Write what you think the admissions counselor wants to read about • Write using text language or slang • Overuse the thesaurus or use words if you’re unsure of their meaning • Use clichés • Turn in anything that is handwritten or smeared
MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS • Essay Timeline • Determine the essays deadline • Read the instructions carefully • Brainstorm examples for each topic • Write the first draft of your essay • Let it sit for a few days, go back and revise • Share your draft with a teacher/counselor • Proofread, and proofread again • Submit your essay along with your application before the deadline