Description: College applicants too often use quotes in college essays when their own words would be much better. College admissions counselors want to hear what you have to say, not what Albert Einstein had to say.

Transcription: Queen Elizabeth: Why Albert Einstein, what are you doing here?

Albert Einstein: Hello, Queen Elizabeth! I’m here because we’re historical figures and college applicants often write about historical figures in their Common App personal statement.

Queen Elizabeth: Speak for yourself, Al. I’m still alive.

Albert Einstein: Yes, well anyway, when college applicants write about historical figures in their college essays, it’s important that they don’t just write about what we did. They shouldn’t just list our accomplishments.

Queen Elizabeth: While I am rather accomplished, you’re right. They should show how they can relate to historical figures. They should show their own analysis. Too often, applicants only list the analyses of historians.

Albert Einstein: College admissions counselors want to hear a student’s point of view – not a professional historian’s point of view! They trust you can understand an argument. They want to see how you think. They want to see what makes you, well, you. And this applies to all college essays. Not just the Common App personal statement.

Queen Elizabeth: That’s right, Al. It isn’t just about personal statements that focus on historical figures. Applicants too often choose to list, cite, and quote from books. It would be better if they put all of this in their own words! They shouldn’t just insert quotesfrom famous people in the hope of sounding more intellectual. It doesn’t work like that! Even if they are quoting me — the Queen of England! Abigail Adams used to tell John Adams all the time that he would appeal to more people if he stopped using fancy quotes!

Albert Einstein: I agree, Queen Elizabeth.