The Berkeley Book Of College Essays

That is because three of them work well if you write your essay first and pick the prompt second. It makes it easier for your essay to make an impact on your admissions if you carefully pick a prompt, unlike the majority of applicants. It’s in every usable prompt: “recount,” “discuss,” “describe.” To do this, you need four types of words: descriptive adjectives, action verbs, quotations, proper nouns.Jargon also helps you establish authority, so don’t dumb your essay down.

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As I read, it is as if the tempest of my thoughts is spelled out on paper.

The overflowing sense of hyper-reality in Tim O’Brien’s words of warfare spills into my world.

Home is neither arrival nor departure, neither America nor China.

Home is the in-between, the cusp of transition – that is where I feel most content.

The key is to write for a purpose beyond self-expression, much like how you do all of your homework with the objective of getting a good grade. What will get you into college is writing an essay that will be distinguished from the rest. By the time someone is considering your essay, they have reviewed your grades, your scores, two teacher recommendations and a guidance report, and your activity list. Think outside of the box and say something different.

They know you in most ways that are relevant to admit you to a school. Don’t restate something in your resume and then just add “and everyone thanked me” at the end. Over 70 percent of students choose just three of the seven Common Application prompts (overcoming obstacles, discuss an accomplishment, topic of your choice). Choose one that focuses on a specific anecdote rather than the three asking for your whole life story.I feel like a speck of dust outside the train, floating, content and happy to be between destinations. I speak both English and Chinese: Chinese is for math, science, and process, but I prefer English for art, emotion, and description.America owns my childhood, filled with pine trees, blockbuster movies, and Lake Tahoe snow; China holds my adolescence, accompanied by industrial smog, expeditious mobility, and fast-paced social scenes. My reverie isn’t at an end, but I have the answer to my question.With moments to spare, I catch a glimpse of the boarding platform for my train. Like a compass with a broken magnetic strip, I can’t decide my true North.Like a captain frantically seeking port in a storm, I haul myself through the turbulent ocean of people, trying to avoid being stranded – or trampled – in the dustiest city in the world: Beijing, capital of both China and smog. It is the summer of 2012, and Shanghai isn’t to be home for much longer. Unsettled, I turn to my ever-present book for comfort.This essay is an example of how to tell the story of moving to America in a unique way.This student focused on a single question – where is home?Do not “write” seven paragraphs of conclusion and your thoughts; content is writer’s craft. When I am helping a student with an essay, there is little purpose in developing witty turns-of-phrase or glassy segues if you cannot tell what the student is trying to communicate in the essay through its content.I have discussed this all over at Yale, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Wesleyan, Vassar, Emory, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, the NYU Center for Family Life, Merrill Lynch, Ernst & Young, the Young Presidents Organization, often right in front of admission officers.Luckily, I board my train with seconds to spare, and without being turned into a pancake – always a plus. In another week I will cross the globe to start a new life in a foreign land called Charlotte. Today it is by Tim O’Brien, already worn and slightly crumpled.They say the best books tell you what you already know, resonating with your own thoughts and emotions.

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