To that end, as a service to our applicants (and for those who might not even be considering Hamilton), our Director of Admission Lora Schilder has been offering College Essay Writing Workshops for more than 30 years. Feel free to invite Lora to join your AP English class with this goal in mind, and she’ll check her calendar to see if she or one of our associate deans can join you. But knowing that Lora can’t be everywhere, we're sharing Lora’s writing tips here.
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After marinating in the wisdom you got from your trusted advisors, rewrite your essay in your own voice. Write as you would talk: with dignity, with confidence, with a bit of humor, and a bit of swagger. Show the reader who you really are. At this stage, let the ideas flow and don't hold anything back. Imagine that you're writing a letter to a friend sharing your experience. Remember that you're telling the admissions committee a story about you. How would you tell a friend the same story to make them feel like they were there? You definitely want to draw the reader in with an engaging anecdote and with concrete examples to support your claims, but the key is to make sure that your voice is represented throughout the essay. The admissions committee wants to get to know you. Not your parents, not your teachers, not your college counselors, but you. So be yourself and let your passion and excitement for whatever you're writing about shine through. Be honest. Your college essay should not merely repeat what's already on your resume or in your application, but it should not contradict the rest of your application either. Also remember that college admissions committees do background checks and will look at your social media accounts, and you don't want to give them any reason to believe that anything in your statement of purpose is untrue. Whatever experiences and interests you have are valuable, so don't feel like you have to fabricate or embellish your story to make yourself sound more interesting. This defeats the purpose of the personal statement.
Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay
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It may be only 500 words — or sometimes only 100-250 words — but the admissions essay(s) portion of a college application can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. How you write your personal essay shows the admissions committee why you are different from other applicants. It provides information about you that test scores, grades, and extracurricular pursuits just cannot.