Essays and "Show and Tell" Piece

Though it's still early, start thinking about (and yes, begin writing) your essays (four of 'em!). They should be 500 - 650 words each; don't forget to follow my "Altoids Theory of Essay Writing" - they should be CURIOUSLY STRONG! Make sure they're well-written and INTERESTING!

I suggest that you write an essay to fit each of these topic areas:

  • an experience you've had (tell a good story with a moral or conclusion)
  • an activity (something you do with passion and energy)
  • your career interest (remember this one can be the 'focused' or the 'clueless' version)
  • pick a 'wild card' topic - what else do you wanna tell them?

Remember that the best essays address the question: "What do I want them to know about me?"; NOT the question "What do they want to know about me?" Get the difference?

And while you're thinking about essays, cogitate on putting together a "show and tell" piece: a creative, inexpensive, easily reproducible and relatively simple project to showcase an aspect of yourself you'd like colleges to see in addition to your essays and the rest of your application proper. Write or come see me if you want to brainstorm ideas for such a thing.

Listen - I know that for most of you writing an essay - let alone four of 'em like I'm suggesting - is the toughest thing to get going on. Try. I'm going to send out "Part II" of this rant next week and I'll include a longer version of "How to Write an Essay", so stay tuned for that.