The Ivy Coach Daily

October 15, 2011

Advice on College Essay

Advice on University Essay, Advice on College Essays, College Essay Advice
Show don’t tell in your college essay. It’s college essay advice too many students ignore (photo credit: Gavin Huang).

Here’s some advice on college essay writing: show don’t tell. It’s simple. You might roll your eyes and think, “duh.” But that doesn’t mean you’ll actually follow this advice. Let’s dive into an example. In college essays, it’s important to demonstrate your intellectual curiosity, your love of learning. But does that mean that you should write how you love learning in paragraph two? No. Don’t do that. By doing that, you’re feeding college admissions counselors what you think they want to read. Rather, they’re going to gag and move on to the next application. That’s what’ll happen. Seriously.

So rather than say you love learning, write about a character in a book who made you think differently. Write about a science research project that changed how you view science. Write about a play that helped shape who you are. Write about how you love to explore certain museum exhibits on the weekend if indeed that is your pastime and write why you like to visit these exhibits. Show but don’t tell just how your brain works.

Check out this post on Advice on College Essays or this one on College Essay Pointers. And feel free to share an example of an idea for a topic on a college essay that you’re considering using but aren’t sure how to go about it. We can help you hone in on exactly what you should be saying in your college essay to get the attention of college admissions counselors in a good way.

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