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College Essays Some advice
For Each Introduction • Label each example as being “Great”, “Good”, “Decent”, “Poor.”
Example 1 • I am completely blind and live to fill the void it creates. I want only to touch upon what I'm missing, to poke a pinpoint through my darkness, so I can see red, and green, and periwinkle, and the night sky, and the sun. All I want is a speck of vision.
Example 1 Answer • Good • Had the writer not have given away that they were blind, my curiosity would have been peaked more than it is. I still believe it is good because the writing still exhibits qualities of a good writer. Plus, I feel there may be a slight possibility that they are metaphorically blind, so I still am curious.
Example 2 • I'm a tomato and the problem is, everyone else is an onion.
Example 2 Answer • Great • It’s an original metaphor, and I have no clue what they mean. I know that the basics will probably include being an outcast to some extent, but why the author chose tomatoes and onions has sparked my curiosity.
Example 3 • Ms. Kanfer was the reason why I liked fifth grade. Some mornings she would march into the classroom with a stern look on her face and sit quietly down at her desk. We all knew what this meant: we were in trouble. Everyone would scramble to get to their seats, fold their hands in their laps, and get busy on some kind of work. After about a minute of silence, just when the tension in the air was palpable, she would move just a little. Kids would fidget and shake their knees, preparing themselves for a scolding. And then, out of nowhere, she’d cross her eyes, put her hands up at her ears, and make the funniest fish face we had ever seen. The classroom would erupt with laughter.
Example 3 Answer • Poor • Yes, there was humor. However, it did not capture my attention quickly enough. By the time I got to the punch line, I was too bored to care. It could have worked if the writer had a talent for creative writing, but the narrative was bland.
Example 4 • I tighten my fists and narrow my eyes at the invisible enemy in front of me.
Example 4 Answer • Decent • I feel like it was quick and ambiguous, which can be good, but it feels very superficial. It’s a metaphor that is not nearly as original as the produce metaphor in example 2.
Example 5 • My mama always says, “If the good Lord gives you lemons, cut ‘em in half and put ‘em in your bra where they’ll do you some good.”
Example 5 Answer • Great • It has all the qualities you could ever desire: quick, original and funny. I’ve never been more curious to find out how that matches the admissions topic.
Example 6 • The biggest shelf in my living room is stocked with upwards of two hundred boxes of band aids. Not just standard issue beige Johnson & Johnson, either - we’ve got silver glittery ones, glow in the dark ones, neon pink spongy ones, ones, and waterproof ones, in every imaginable shape and size.
Example 6 Answer • Great • It’s a little longer than some may like, but it gets to the point. Unlike Example 3, I do not have to wait long for the punch line. Also, I am very curious to know how band aids relate to the prompt.
Example 7 • Eating an apple is political.
Example 7 Answer • Great • Short, sweet, witty, and original metaphor. What else could one hope to see?
Example 8 • The first wedding that I planned was in no way a traditional wedding.
Example 8 Answer • Great • Short and ambiguous. Was it their wedding? Did they plan someone else’s wedding? I sort of want to know.
Example 9 • My most important experience sought me out. It happened to me; I didn't cause it.
Example 9 Answer • Good • I just find it to be clichéd. Yes, it is short, but I do not see anything spectacularly original here.
Example 10 • It was a dark and stormy afternoon with a howling wind and rain that stung like lemon juice in a paper cut. A beast roared, spat and clicked beneath the hood of our yellow 2003 Ford Ecoline Van (School Bus Edition). Things were turning from bad to worse, but the engine was not turning at all. We were stranded.
Example 10 Answer • Decent • It is funny, but still too long. I need the punch line more quickly. It is better than Example 3 since it is shorter and funnier (in my opinion), but it’s length is its downfall. I also feel like their plight is original only because of their vehicle. Nothing else makes it very special.