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To test what values are coming through…. Read your essay aloud to someone who knows you and ask:. Which values are kind of there but could be coming through more clearly? Which values could be coming through and were opportunities missed? Are you making common or uncommon connections? The uncommon connections are often made up of insights that are unusual or unexpected. Craft is the sense that you know the purpose of each paragraph, each sentence, each word. How do you test this? For each paragraph, each sentence, each word, ask: Do I need this?

Read these and try freewriting on a few.

6 Samples of College Application Essay Format

See where they lead. To see how the Narrative Essay structure works, check out the essay below, which was written for the Common App "Topic of your choice" prompt. You might try reading it here first before reading the paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown below. They covered the precious mahogany coffin with a brown amalgam of rocks, decomposed organisms, and weeds.

It was my turn to take the shovel, but I felt too ashamed to dutifully send her off when I had not properly said goodbye. I refused to throw dirt on her. I refused to let go of my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that an illness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life. The author begins with the Inciting Incident.

She also sets up an objective correlative the shovel that will come back later. When my parents finally revealed to me that my grandmother had been battling liver cancer, I was twelve and I was angry--mostly with myself. They had wanted to protect me--only six years old at the time--from the complex and morose concept of death. Hurt that my parents had deceived me and resentful of my own oblivion, I committed myself to preventing such blindness from resurfacing.

In the second paragraph she flashes back to give us some context i. I became desperately devoted to my education because I saw knowledge as the key to freeing myself from the chains of ignorance. While learning about cancer in school I promised myself that I would memorize every fact and absorb every detail in textbooks and online medical journals.

And as I began to consider my future, I realized that what I learned in school would allow me to silence that which had silenced my grandmother. However, I was focused not with learning itself, but with good grades and high test scores.


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I started to believe that academic perfection would be the only way to redeem myself in her eyes--to make up for what I had not done as a granddaughter. In the third paragraph she takes off a hundred miles an hour… in the wrong direction. What does that mean?


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  7. She pursues her want instead of her need. However, a simple walk on a hiking trail behind my house made me open my own eyes to the truth. Over the years, everything--even honoring my grandmother--had become second to school and grades. As my shoes humbly tapped against the Earth, the towering trees blackened by the forest fire a few years ago, the faintly colorful pebbles embedded in the sidewalk, and the wispy white clouds hanging in the sky reminded me of my small though nonetheless significant part in a larger whole that is humankind and this Earth. Before I could resolve my guilt, I had to broaden my perspective of the world as well as my responsibilities to my fellow humans.

    She realizes she needs perspective.

    But how? See next paragraph Volunteering at a cancer treatment center has helped me discover my path. When I see patients trapped in not only the hospital but also a moment in time by their diseases, I talk to them. For six hours a day, three times a week, Ivana is surrounded by IV stands, empty walls, and busy nurses that quietly yet constantly remind her of her breast cancer.

    I need only to smile and say hello to see her brighten up as life returns to her face. Upon our first meeting, she opened up about her two sons, her hometown, and her knitting group--no mention of her disease. Without even standing up, the three of us—Ivana, me, and my grandmother--had taken a walk together.

    In the second to last paragraph we see how the results of her moment of truth which, admittedly, is somewhat ambiguous led her to take action: volunteering at the local hospital helps her see her larger place in the world. While I physically treat their cancer, I want to lend patients emotional support and mental strength to escape the interruption and continue living.

    Hopefully you now have a better sense of how to make that happen. Online Courses. Graduate School. School Partnerships. Free Resources. Personal Statement. University of California. Supplemental Essays. College Admissions. For Counselors.

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    How do you format the college application essay? — College Confidential

    Email Me. Learn to structure your essay. Use the narrative structure for writing about challenges Use the montage structure for writing about multiple parts of your life. Decide on a structure that works. Write that essay. Add plenty of details and color. Test and revise your essay.

    Step 1: How to Brainstorm a Topic. Lol yes 3. No cover page. It gets scanned and electronically uploaded and then shredded. Make it easier on the reader -- everything standard -- no fancy flourishes. I've seen a few college essays use italics, but specifically to highlight the importance of a phrase or for bolstering the effect of a foreign word and they used it VERY sparingly. Other than that, simply and clean cut! Ditto salsapenguin.

    Why do you need to use MLA? You're not citing anything hopefully!! In paragraph form. Definitely Times New Roman or some other similar, professional font. No cover page, header except if you wanted to put your name and date of birth Since you're writing your essay, I'd suggest you read this article for some great advice on writing great essays: Applying to College — Step 4: The Application and Essays- Nerld Blog Good luck!!! Would getting a worse SAT Subject test score affect my college chances. Moved: Importance of Subject Tests.