The Lighter Side of the Moon Guide to College Essays

25 Jun

As school ends and summer begins, the cold shackles of academia are finally loosened as students are released into eight weeks of pure fun in the sun. Except for juniors. For the most industrious eleventh graders, summer means the time to start working on college essays in advance of application deadlines in the fall. As a service to you, the readers, I am happy to offer my advice on this process for the low, low price of absolutely free. Tips are always encouraged.

Picking a Topic

A great topic is the foundation for a great essay. Make sure to pick an experience that was of immense importance to you and is unique to your life. Did you suffer through a debilitating illness? Milk it. Have you endured a significant emotional trauma? That’s a goldmine. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have no such tragic experiences, I personally recommend writing about your own birth. You’d be hard pressed to find something that affected your life more than being born.

Openers

Everybody knows you have to kick off an essay with an exciting and inviting hook. You need to start your essay with something unique that gets your point across: Admit me. Consider using statistics like how many days you have been alive or the percentage of your soul you sold during this process. Some people have found success with the Merriam-Webster opener, in which you give the dictionary definition of important words like “admitted” or “college”. However, I would caution against using a quote from an important author or celebrity as it sends the message that you don’t have enough original ides of your own. Putting your own name on the quote is a really quick fix.

Writing the Essay 

Writing the college essay is actually quite simple once you sit down to do it. First, figure out what language you’re going to write in. If you write in something other than English, odds are nobody will be able to read it. But if your essay sucks, this may not be the worst thing. Next, write down some nouns. Almost every college essay has nouns in it and those in the know will tell you that an essay without nouns is very rarely successful. But, you won’t get by on just nouns alone. If you really want a standout piece of writing, toss in some adjectives. But don’t go overboard with the words. Many students often try to include verbs in their essays, but that’s a very risky move as verbs are one of the most challenging types of words. Sprinkle some punctuation throughout all of these other words, and you’ve got a great essay.

Fonts

The font you choose is probably more important than whatever you write. Think about the best books ever written and their typefaces. Huckleberry Finn?  That’s Times New Roman. To Kill a Mockingbird? Times New Roman. The Bible?  Times New Roman probably. If that’s not a great tip, I don’t know what is.

Phrases to Avoid

There are some words and phrases that, no matter what, you shouldn’t use in your essay. Here’s some examples:

  • I’m not racist, but…
  • I don’t really believe in college.
  • I’m not a huge fan of diversity on campus
  • My haters are my motivators.
  • 😉
  • I hope your college has a white rights club.
  • Ask not what your college can teach me, but what I can teach you.
  • My best feature is my body.

Example

I’ve suffered a lot in my life. My dog has canine diabetes. My dad is not very smart. I have mild night terrors. The moral of the story is this: Admit me. I remember my own birth very vividly. In many ways, birth is a lot like learning. It’s a long, dark road that leads to a bright end. Your mom is hopefully there to support you the whole way. There are well-educated people whose job it is to help you through the process. In fact, just by being born, I’ve already learned everything there is to know.

Here are some nouns that describe me: Excellence. Science. Skills.

Here are some adjectives: Superb. Academic. Skilled.

Here’s a verb and some punctuation: Succeed..,*//

If I could, I would make this essay in Times New Roman. I’m not racist, but it’s a great font.

 

One Response to “The Lighter Side of the Moon Guide to College Essays”

  1. List of X June 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    So, what’s your position on LOLs, TTYLs, WTFs? I assume FML is ok, since it refers to a tragic life experience.

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