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Undergraduate Admissions

Frog Blog

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July Facebook Live Recap (Essay Q&A)

Dean Einstein, Honors Professor Dr. Wendi Sierra and Senior Admission Counselor, Dalton Goodier, answered questions about application essays in a live chat. Watch the entire video or check out tips on writing a great essay and links below for answers to your questions. 
Don't get caught up in writing the perfect essay
Your essay is not the only factor that goes into making an admission decision. While it is important, it is just one piece of several elements used to get to know you as an individual. Use this as an opportunity to share useful information about yourself but don't let it be something you get overly stressed about perfecting.

There are no right or wrong topics or writing styles
We are trying to get to know you and your ability to communicate, so choose to write on something you know and care a lot about. Think of the essay as a reflection of your personality and select whatever topic and style is most representative of your strengths. If you're experiencing writers block, talk it out! A conversation with a family member, friend or mentor can help you figure out what you are passionate enough about to use as an essay topic. Think about things you care about most then backtrack to fit them into the essay prompt.

Ask yourself these 3 questions to make sure you have a strong essay on your hands
1. Is this essay about me?  If you write about an important person in your life, make sure to frame it in a way to that helps the reader learn about you and not just the  person you're writing about. 
2. Does my essay show growth or change for me as a person? Make sure you tell the reader how the topic of your essay changed you, helped you grow, or what you learned from it.
3. Does this essay share anything new about me? Your essay is an opportunity to supplement the other documents you've submitted and let the reader know about the parts of you they aren't already seeing. Share something not included in transcripts, recommendation letters, or resume activities.

Get another set of eyes on your work
Once you've written something that answers the questions above and you feel comfortable sharing, ask up to 3 other people to review your work. We suggest you look for a mix of mentors, peers, and family members to help with this. Be sure to choose people you trust to give you honest feedback.