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Writing your College Essay
Transcript of Writing your College Essay
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
ABC'S of the College Essay
-Assess personal characteristics,
achievements, and aspirations for
is unique to each person,
try different methods to see what
works best for you.
TOPIC A- Write an essay
in which you tell us about
someone who has made an
impact on your life and explain
how and why this person is
important to you.
Topic B- Chose an issue of
importance to you—the issue
could be personal, school related,
local, political, or international in
scope—and write an essay in which
you explain the significance of that
issue to yourself, your family, your
community, or your generation.
Not Required but Highly Recommended!
Topic C- There may be personal information that you want considered as part of your admissions application. Write an essay describing that information. You might include exceptional hardships, challenges, or opportunities that have shaped or impacted your abilities or academic credentials, personal responsibilities, exceptional achievements or talents, educational goals, or ways in which you might contribute to an institution committed to creating a diverse learning environment.
HOOSE A TOPIC
link your A's to the topic
The fewer words
else read it!
The devil is
in the details
How Hugh Gallagher Got Into NYU...
NYU Essay: In order for the admissions staff of our college to get to know you, the applicant, better, we ask that you answer the following question: are there any significant experiences you have had, or accomplishments you have realized, that have helped to define you as a person.
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.
Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants.
I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller 'number nine' and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400.
My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven.
I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not yet gone to college.
Three hours rumbling up what seemed little more than glorified goat paths had left me tetchy and with a revolting stickiness behind my knees and neck. The heat was indecent, and I was one of twenty or so family members hiking up the side of a Greek mountain where my great grandmother’s ancestral home still stood. I was sixteen, and lost in the tragedy of having worn long sleeves that day. The village we were aiming for was Krapsi. It is situated too many miles from the city of Ioannina, where I had spent the preceding two months languishing in perpetual boredom and heatstroke. An inconsiderately placed thorn bush compounded my foul mood, and I resigned myself to a dull day of overbearing relatives and slapping away insects of primordial proportions....
A place made of faded Turkish cushions and the strength of mountains taught me what it means to truly be home, and that plumbing is sometimes a matter of faith.
QUOTES FROM REAL COLLEGE ESSAYS:
I participated in the Academic Bowel Team
"My father's a ninja. No, really, he's a black belt in ninjutsu. I call him a NinJew. Just think that over while you're reading this application..."
"My heart plummeted so that it was lodged just above my bladder, rapidly releasing gastrointestinal butterflies..."
"A fireman, police officer, and a doctor. We all wanted to be one of these when we were younger. Was it the feeling of protecting people? Or the adrenaline rush you get from saving somebody's life? Most people do not keep this view through life. I mean, who thought they would be reviewing college admissions essays for a living? I'm sure that isn't what your six year old self was planning while playing cops and robbers. But that is you, and this is about me...and my dreams of becoming an FBI agent."
From an applicant's resume-
Objective: To obtain admission to such-and-such university.
Extracurricular Activities: "Shopping, texting, tanning."
"The major thing I learned from Bob was that it is totally appropriate to pursue another within agreeable realms if adequate evidence permits it." What the heck are you trying to say?!?