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Here’s that part of the opening: You are an admissions officer at Harvard, Duke, or Stanford. I have participated in a broad range of activities, and I have endeavored to become ever more versatile and tolerant while at the same time solidifying my own ideals… But you must, because the deadline for notifying applicants is just a few days away.You’re facing yet another long night of reading vague, boring, pompous essays. cranberries …Not only is the following an overview of my personality but also a delicious recipe.
Bluestone’s “respectable” – but otherwise unremarkable – application in the “Admit” box.
So, here are the two important lessons to be learned: First, an effective essay hooks the readers immediately and makes them want to read the rest of the essay.
This is from Eva Ostrum, former Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University (in an interview in “50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays”): “The essays that grab me give me some kind of hook in the beginning to reel me in.” That hook gets the readers to willingly follow your story from beginning to end instead of getting dragged along behind you out of a sense of obligation to read your entire essay, which — if they’re doing it solely out of a sense of obligation — they might well not do.
Another of the opening sections of “Essays That Worked…” is titled “AN INTERVIEW WITH AN ADMISSIONS OFFICER,” in which we find this: He still had a hundred essays to read before 6 p.m., and he was beginning to grow tired…."On a Wednesday in the middle of March this job gets tough.
The student that's able to cut through that, an interesting essay, an unusual topic, someone who makes us laugh, that's someone that stands out for us.
If you’re inclined to believe that we’ve opened by saying that there’s no a magic formula for writing a perfect college application essay and then proceeded to give you one, you’re wrong: What we’ve done is the equivalent of telling you to give the meal you’re cooking an enticing aroma – one that’s sure to draw diners to the table – and then use interesting combinations of herbs and spices to complement the flavor of the dish.
There is no perfect college admission essay that’s going to appeal to all college admissions officers, because they have differing tastes, just like you and the various members of our staff do.
Still, there are reasons that one of the essays in “Essays That Worked…” was featured in the book’s opening, and we’re absolutely convinced that there are valuable lessons to be learned from that. Your desk is somewhere beneath a huge stack of papers. Mechanically, you open the next application folder, and again you force yourself to read: I am constantly striving to expose myself to every opportunity to become a person with a deep understanding of my own values and of the environment in which I find myself.
And then there’s this fantastic essay, evidence of an inventive and independent mind. You put her folder into a box marked “Admit,” and you look forward to discussing her with the Admission Committee tomorrow.
The Cranberry Bread essay was written by Barbara Bluestone, and she did these two things that were so effective that her essay was part of the “Essays That Worked…” opening: And those two things — by themselves — made the admissions officer smile and made it an easy decision to put Ms.