For your probably terrified reference, this paragraph already has been 75 words, or half your limit. You can brainstorm using a chart:. Prioritize your beginning. Here are some ideas to get started:. Start with your lowest point. These things became my world as my face crushed down onto the mat.
I struggled to break loose, but it was useless — I was pinned. This writing is immersive and leaves us nowhere to go but up. Start with your highest point. When we get really into our hobbies, most of us attain a state of flow, or even euphoria. This would be a tremendous lead-off for an exhilarating sport, like snowboarding or dancing, or a pastime that soothes you and makes you blissful.
It perfectly conveys the natural high of doing what you love, and it unites us with the characters by involving us in their happiness. Describe a snapshot. Your vignette could be a real picture of you doing your activity, or you could imagine one.
For example:. The camera flash illuminates those hands — wrinkled, but strong from years of wrestling with clay. The girl smiles, with all five of her teeth. This approach works well if you have a unique photo, or a photo with a beloved mentor. It also might work well in describing a piece of your own art, or a historical image. Deconstruct a stereotype of your pastime.
This is a good way to come out swinging, and with a chip on your shoulder. Bonus points if you revisit this stereotype at the end just to drive home the point that you know better. Explain a shibboleth. A bold way to open your essay is by starting with a phrase or statement that your reader will not understand without your ensuing guidance. Shibbolim take many forms: jargon, quotes, terms, or references. Maybe your team had a phrase or inside joke that made sense to you, but would be impenetrable to an outsider.
This can be a great introduction if your pastime involves an influential mentor who used a signature phrase or maxim: teachers, coaches, authors, parents, etc. Maybe your teacher invented a useful or funny mnemonic or nickname. These can be great personal gems around which to discuss your sport, club, or community. Bonus points if you repeat your shibboleth, in its illuminated glory, at the end. Use a bit of poetry. This is great for a topic that might seem technical or bewildering to outsiders.
But does The Right Stuff use those words? Absolutely not. They said whoever challenged him would die. By this, we just mean that your pastime should convey a sense of personal development and maturation. But doing so unthinkingly is a fatal mistake that you should never make. Can you imagine? Instead, you need to focus on the emotional meaning behind the achievements you mention.
For example, how much work, how many early mornings, how many rainy practices, did it take you to go from a freshman on the bench to making it to state your senior year? These details will make your nominal awards seem like tangible payoff rather than text. Call it the Lord of the Rings rule: colleges would rather admit the Frodo Baggins who spends three books walking on foot across Middle-earth than the Frodo who simply rides the Eagles into Mordor in a day. There are a few hacks you can use to make the words you have seem a lot longer and more developed.
That way, if you want to write about a longer time span, your final product will seem less rushed. Now, onto the next prompts, where you have a little bit more space…. While it can be tempting to simply retell the events of the story, remember that it is equally as important to talk in detail about the specific insight that you gained. We can break down this prompt into three key elements:. For instance, you can approach your essay using any one of these elements as an entry point. You can think of your future intentions, then backtrack and identify an event that catalyzed your current understanding.
Alternatively, you can think of a vivid event, and then discuss your acquired insight and goals. Make sure you choose drama. We disagree with others all the time, but not all of these conversations have high stakes or dynamism. You should choose an event that was challenging and emotional for you, and most of all, transformative to you. Consider scenarios with more situational drama:. A conversation that disillusioned you about the world or challenged your innocence.
A debate in which you had to argue a different side than you usually do. A conversation with someone close to you who revealed a belief, in which case you could no longer dismiss people who held said beliefs as faraway enemies. A time you stood up to someone more powerful, or a time in which someone less powerful stood up to you. A conversation where you had to defuse anger and conflict.
A debate that actually turned into a productive discussion. A conversation that taught you about good techniques for engaging others. So your father has decided to do away with it. In addition to being a perfect opening to a book, this would also make a great introduction for an essay in which Fern describes a conversation that challenged her apathy towards animal rights and set her in opposition to her father.
Notice how the tension and drama make it almost impossible to stop reading? A good, reliable format would be to open in medias res with the action of the conversation, then broaden your focus to include your ideas and goals. However, you can also open with your goals, then take your reader back in time to explain how the conversation affected them.
For a while, I considered my interest in urban engineering as aesthetic: I liked to tinker and make beautiful towns, like the omniscient player of a game. How did it happen? While I was eating my meals, in the lab, or during the lectures, I began to ask myself some questions.
Was it worth continuing to strictly observe my customs in such an environment? I thought. Could I afford to take time away from the lab to walk to the kosher restaurant to pick up lunch? Was continuing to dress in a long skirt, on hot summer days and with additional lab dress codes, worth the discomfort? Was it worth standing out from most other people? My lab partner and I researched the current issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria strains, which left certain bacterial infections without an effective cure; this was our observation.
We then hypothesized that an alternative mechanism of destruction, by physically slicing the bacterial membrane, would be more efficient. Wearing our purple nitrite gloves, our safety goggles pressing against our faces, my partner and I began to prepare our tiny metal chips, containing a thin coating of polymer blends, which would prick the membranes of the bacteria cells.
My experiment eventually went beyond the scientific approach, as I questioned in my thoughts. I had to determine what my beliefs meant to me, to find my own answer. I could not simply interpret results of an experiment, but needed to find my own interpretations. I found from my experiment and questioning within my mind that my practices distinguished me from others, thereby allowing me to form relationships on the basis of common interest or personality, rather than cultural similarities, that summer.
I valued the relationships more, and formed a deep connection with my lab partner, whom I had found was similar to me in many ways. That summer showed me that the questions themselves proved my practices were valuable to me, and left me with a stronger commitment to my religious faith than I had before.
Simply put, my place of inner peace is the seat of that 50 foot sliver of carbon and kevlar called a rowing shell, cutting through the water in the middle of a race. There is something special about a rowing race; that 6 minute, meter tour de force that many who have truly experienced one and all who have emerged victorious will describe as the most painful, and yet the most thrilling activity they have ever been a part of.
The pain of rowing meters is like nothing else I have ever experienced. By the end, the lungs scream out for oxygen, and the legs, chest, and arms all burn as if boiling water has been injected into every pore. The mental toughness required to drag oneself through this ordeal, from the moment it starts to hurt 30 seconds in to the moment you cross the finish line, is immense.
The psychological state that is entered into during a race is one of unparalleled focus, drive, and will to win. The race begins with six boats lined up side by side, tensed and ready to pounce. What was moments before an atmosphere of complete silence is transformed into a world of noise.
I always find it funny though, that while the tense silence of the pre-race moments dissolves so quickly into noise from every direction, a rower can only actually hear any of it for a surprisingly short period of time. This is because at about two minutes into a race, a rower begins to lose his senses.
Scent disappears completely, touch is negligible, hearing dissolves into nothing but the calls of the cox, and sight reduces itself to a portrait of the back of the rower in front of you. The pain is intense, yes, but I have felt it before. I feel it quite regularly, actually. The training a rower goes through to prepare for a race begins months in advance and consists of pushing oneself to the limit; repeatedly putting oneself in positions of pain and discomfort so that when crunch time comes, a rower is truly without fear of what lies ahead of him.
This is how I feel when the going gets tough at around two minutes in: fearless. In these moments I feel invincible; I feel like I was born to do exactly what I am doing right then and there. In these moments I am completely and totally content. Joey was a sweet, ten-year-old boy who could derive pleasure even in the most prosaic of activities: catching a balloon, listening to music, watching other children run, jump, and play. But Joey himself was confined to a wheelchair — he would never be able to participate in the same way that his friends without physical disabilities could.
Joey was the first child assigned to me when I began volunteering for the Friendship Circle, an organization that pairs teenage volunteers with special-needs children. Right from the start, I was grateful for being matched up with this sweet, easy-going child; I felt immense relief at how effortless my volunteering commitment with Joey could be.
Simply by wheeling my friend through tiled halls and breezy gardens, I simultaneously entertained him and inspired others with my acts of kindness. Truthfully, though, during my time with Joey, I felt more than a little virtuous and pleased with myself. There I was, able to impress everyone with my dedication to Joey, with only minimal effort on my part. I was complacent in my comfort zone, confident that I understood what compassion was all about.
Prone to anger, aggressive, sometimes violent I have the scar to prove it. Every Sunday with Robyn was a challenge. Yoga, dancing, cooking, art, tennis — none of these activities held her interest for long before she would inevitably throw a tantrum or stalk over to a corner to sulk or fight with the other children. She alternated between wrapping her arms around my neck, declaring to anyone who passed by that she loved me, and clawing at my arms, screaming at me to leave her alone.
I was near my breaking point, ready to quit. Tired eyes. Weary, but appreciative smiles. A realization then struck me: I was only with Robyn for one day a week. During the rest of the week, Robyn was the sole responsibility of her parents. The same parents who once confided in me that Robyn behaved no differently at home than she did at the Friendship Circle with me.
There were even moments when Robyn transformed into one of the sweetest children I had ever met. But she was no Joey. Sweet, easygoing Joey. Joey who I thought had taught me true empathy. How could I not provide them a brief respite every week, from the labors of caring for her? Was I sincerely an empathetic person if I could only be so when it was easy?
Was I truly compassionate because others thought I was? Progress exists in steps. The first steps were the ones I took with Joey, my earliest experience in volunteering. You can read 19 additional college essays that earned students acceptance into top-tier colleges. Grab these essays below. I believe every person is molded by their experiences whether they be positive or negative.
I have been impacted by many events and challenges, both personally and socially, that have made me who I am today. My dad did not always live with us and worked doing manual labor in the United States every three months to provide income for us transitioning between the United States and Mexico when he could. When I was six, my Spanish-speaking family immigrated to the United States. Once here in the United States, I found English difficult to learn at school since it was brand new to me.
English-speaking students always had to translate for me which motivated me to become fluently proficient by third grade. In addition to the language barrier at school, my family would constantly move due to apartment rent increase, so I never grew accustomed to a group of friends. Because of this, I had social difficulties in elementary school. I remember hardly speaking in class and not playing any recess games unless invited. I recall playing tetherball mostly by myself and observing the children with longing eyes.
In the sixth grade, my social life began to change; I met my best friend, Luz. We fostered a tight-knit bond immediately, and my confidence developed little by little each day. As each year passed, I acquired more confidence to become more sociable, but my awkwardness did not completely go away. My earlier language barrier, my soft-hearted and quiet personality, and my social self-consciousness found me drawn to playing with girls and not sports with the other boys.
I soon began to feel excluded by boys asking me why I played with girls; it made me feel small and different from the rest. However, I also have become more comfortable with myself, and I see my growth firsthand throughout high school. In my freshman year I began to come out of my shell and develop self-confidence, largely due to my participation in choir and drama class. In these classes I could be myself and found my real voice. Here I felt a connection to a family not connected by blood but by a unifying passion in the creative arts.
That connection allowed me to confide in my friend Luz my struggle with my personal identity. From that moment my best friend thanked me and said our friendship was now stronger as a result. I felt so relieved to get that secret off my chest; it was a cathartic moment in my life and a significant turning point! Throughout high school, I have become more open about who I am, and my confidence and acceptance in myself has grown tremendously.
Although I still have not told my parents about my sexuality, I will when I am ready. I am who I am today as a result of these experiences and personal challenges. In my short life so far, I have developed my soft-hearted and quiet personality to become more open, creative, and self-assured while preserving my identity.
I know more challenges lie ahead, but I am open to those opportunities. Of those three, Survival was definitely my biggest challenge and marked my transition from childhood to adulthood. It signifies completion of survival training, the most rigorous and difficult training course within the CACC.
After basic instruction, we were transported to arid Camp Roberts to begin field training. Upon arrival, we were separated into groups of four with one leader each I was designated as team leader. We then emptied our canteens, received minimal tools, and set off. Our immediate priority was finding areas to build our shelter and latrine. Then, we needed to locate a clean source of water. After, we had to find food. It was truly a situation that required making everything from scratch.
As the day drew to a close and night advanced, I felt seclusion and apprehension envelop me. As the days drew on, constant stress and heat along with lack of food took a toll on my sanity and drove me almost to my breaking-point. I was going to overcome this challenge and show myself that I have what it takes to survive for five days using nothing but my wits.
On the morning of the sixth day, my team and I reported to headquarters to complete training. With pride, I received the honor of wearing that glorious Red Beret on my head. Through Survival, I learned many things about myself and the way I approach the world. I realized that I take for granted innumerable small privileges and conveniences and that I undervalue what I do have. Now that I had experienced true and sustained hunger, I felt regret for times when I threw away food and behaved with unconscious waste.
Additionally, being isolated from mass civilization and relying heavily on my companions gave me an appreciation for my friends and for the absolute necessity of teamwork. Being the leader of my team meant that they all looked to me for motivation, inspiration, and a will to survive; I got first-hand experience on how important a leader can be in a situation of literal life and death. Most importantly, however, I gained priceless insight into the amount of effort and work my parents put in for me every day.
As demonstrated, survival training taught me essential lessons to survive successfully as an adult. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? The squeaks of whiteboard markers have now replaced the scritch-scratch of chalk, but the hubbub of voices is always the same. For millennia, the great thinkers of their day would gather and discuss. In ancient Greece, it was Socrates debating about philosophy; centuries later it was Newton lecturing at Cambridge on fluxions and physics.
This summer Paul Steinhardt and his eminent colleagues sat down for a panel about inflationary theory at the World Science festival- though there was neither chalk nor markers there. Though we make no claim to be the greatest thinkers of our day and our school in no way resembles the hallowed edifices of science, my friends and I have staked out a corner of our AP Calculus room where we can have our own discussions.
We even have a whiteboard. His solution is fairly simple, perhaps overly simple, which prompted me to ask Avery what he thought. Since we were slightly bored and faced with an empty hour ahead of us, we started to modify the equation. We had learned in Chemistry that both the surroundings and the actual cooling object both change temperature, which Newton had ignored. We wrote up a first attempt on the infamous whiteboard, paused a second, and then started laughing as we realized that our inchoate equation meant a hot cup of coffee could plummet Earth into another Ice Age.
This disturbance in an otherwise fairly quiet classroom drew the attention of Sam. He too was amused with our attempt and together we began to fix the poor thing. Huddled around the back of the classroom, we all pondered. But we loved it. The three of us had been friends since middle school, which in many ways seems astounding.
Avery, a track runner, Sam, a Morris dancer, and myself, a fencer. Our interests could not be more diverse. Avery was an avid programmer while Sam was fascinated by the evolution of language. I always had a soft spot for physics. Luckily for us, we had found each other early on in middle school and our discussions started soon after. As we learned more math, read more books, and culled more esoteric facts from our varied experiences, the quality of our rebuttals has dramatically improved.
The laughter is immutable. In the back of algebra class in eighth grade, Avery taught me how to program calculators in TIBasic while I traded theories with him about the Big Bang. From Sam I learned the phonetic alphabet and more recently the physics of bell ringing. Since then our dynamic has always stayed playful no matter how heated the discussion; only our arguments have changed. I may have learned as much in the back of classes with my friends as I learned from my teachers.
In the myriad hours Avery, Sam, and I spent together, the neuron-firing was palpable, the exuberance impossible to miss. But not only did I learn linguistics, Python, and philosophy with Avery and Sam, I learned a little more about myself.
I never want to lose what we had in that corner. Our interplay of guessing and discovering and laughing seemed like paradise to me. I looked for other opportunities in my life to meet brilliant and vivacious people, to learn from them, and to teach them what I loved. I co-founded a tutoring program, participated in original research, and taught lessons in Physics and Chemistry as a substitute. I expected to be nervous, I expected to embarrass myself.
In my friends I see Socrates, Newton, and Steinhardt. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? School Acceptances: Princeton University.
We have ourselves written extensively about the 11 distinct criteria colleges use to evaluate applicants, but the fact remains that when so many students have great grades and test scores, your college essays are clearly an important opportunity to stand out.
But if you read in the right spirit, I believe a few examples can be both instructive and inspiring. I have tried to explain some of what I find compelling about the Costco Essay. Prompt 1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.
If this sounds like you, then please share your story. So have no illusions that grades and test scores make one applicant more qualified or deserving of admission to college than another. We are not looking at the whole application, but in addition to being well written, this essay demonstrates of the kind of character that Ivy League and all colleges want on their campus. Ready to write your personal statement with Peter and I as your coach?
To learn about our comprehensive packages click here. Download it right now for free by entering your email and year of graduation. By weaving in their own experiences and ideas with those present in the quote, the author is able to maintain an authentic and personal tone. This is accentuated by the genuine and casual humor in the essay.
While jokes—if forced—can actually be detrimental to an essay, this is an example of jokes well-used. Here are a couple instances in which the author maintains an authentic tone through humor and other devices. In this section, the author creates a humorous atmosphere around a subject that might otherwise seem technical and cold.
From our vantage point in the 21st century, quotations like these are quite humorous. Which famous historical figure could possibly have been so shortsighted? That person, it turns out, was none other than Lord Kelvin, the eminent nineteenth-century physicist who was instrumental in formulating the laws of thermodynamics.
Here, the applicant leverages the power of the personal by discussing their subjective relationship with the quote rather than assessing it in a detached and objective way. My passion for science — and beyond that, my love of dreaming about future technologies, from superconducting roadways to space elevators — was sparked the first time I cracked open Physics of the Impossible. Finally, the applicant sums up their essay with this pithy, well-timed joke about why they want to attend Princeton.
Not even Verne could have predicted that! Still, even with plenty of examples, voice can be tricky. One way to hone your supplement to be sure of your voice is to take a break from your writing for about a day. Try to write down a verbal portrait of the person who wrote the essay.
Do they resemble you? Do they resemble what you want to communicate? This essay is a great example of what we mean when we say that you need to demonstrate an ability to read into your quote. Beginning with the quote, the author goes on to do several important things.
Firstly, they address the contemporary perception of the quote as shortsighted and ignorant. Next, they address the historical origin of the quote, relating it to Lord Kelvin and giving us context as to who that was and why the quote seems so ironic.
Reading the quote onto science, the author manages to make sound and lucid claims regarding the role of imagination in science. The applicant then goes on to explain how this quote and their subsequent reading of it represents the crux of their own scientific aspirations. Through their understanding of how the quote applies to situations beyond its immediate context, the author demonstrates the critical thinking skills that are crucial to a successful undergraduate career.
In this early section, the author explicitly contrasts the two perspectives in the essay, demonstrating an understanding of the implicit irony, as well as the socio-historical norms that surround these figures. Kelvin, the most respected scientist of his day, failed to envision the technological revolution that would take root in just a few years; yet Verne, a lay writer, uncannily presaged a world a century away in his writings.
Later in the essay — after establishing their original perspective and accurately reading the irony of the situation — the author reads the quote onto the state of contemporary science. This is the analytical crux of the essay and is written with power and concision. Science is not all details and numbers on a spreadsheet. These are undoubtedly important, the skeleton of research and invention; discoveries would be impossible without painstaking observation and experimentation.
Yet science is also imagination. These are the vital organs that fill out the skeleton, that make progress possible. Without imagination, the details and data could never coalesce into a clear picture. Beyond the three core aptitudes that we discussed above, what makes this essay so special? One important component of this piece is its texture. A supplemental essay like this one gains texture through an effective balance of sources, analysis, and personal writing.
The author never lingers too long on any one thought or example and focuses a lot on the connective tissue between their ideas. The specificity of their examples is paramount to their role in giving this essay texture. Mentioning Princeton is also a nice touch in this piece.
By bringing Princeton into focus after constructing a convincing and immersive essay, the reader is immediately prompted to imagine the applicant in the context of a science program at Princeton. Related to voice, this essay is also a good example of clean and clear writing. By using a variety of sentence lengths, the author creates rhythm in the piece—helping the audience to flow along in their reading. The author also varies their use of stylistic devices, making sure to limit their reliance on adjectives, imagery, etc.
The original version of this essay, along with our edits and higher-level notes, can be found in a download here. Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. Prompt: Choose a quote that is important to you and discuss it.
Core Components: Reading : extracting meaning from the quote. Voice: balancing personal, professional, and analytic writing. The Essay in question: The following quotes are taken from a real student essay responding to this prompt. How does the final product relate to and demonstrate… Originality: In this essay, the student focuses on the role of creativity in science by using a quote that helps to illustrate their point without just saying it outright.
Not only have our consultants successfully achieved admissions to top colleges themselves, but they also truly understand what colleges are looking for and are well-versed in our proprietary methodology. Furthermore, they have the unique ability to connect with students and make them comfortable. This is a critical factor during the brainstorming and introspection phases.
As a result, your essay will have more depth and be more engaging. Your grades, GPA, test scores, and extracurricular achievements are just numbers and facts on a page. The college essay, on the other hand, is a chance to showcase your personality and unique way of expressing yourself. There are different ways to improve your writing, but at the very least, make sure there are no spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.
When evaluating your draft, ask yourself whether your essay successfully showcases your voice, sheds light on your unique perspectives, and honestly conveys who you are. It feels surreal saying that. I just want to say my deepest thanks to you. I am truly so grateful for all the help you gave me. These essays require a different approach.
If possible, we recommend all of our families to start the process in the early summer with the goal of completing their personal statement by the end of the summer. This timeline allows you to focus on completing the actual college applications themselves, as well as to work on the other supplemental essays while also taking care of your other academic and extracurricular obligations.
The college essay is usually the last remaining part of the application that you can still impact. IF your grades and test scores are below average for your target school …consider spending more effort on your essay. Conversely, IF your grades and test scores are above average for your target school …you have a little more breathing room with regards to your essay. IF your target school has gone test optional … then every other part of the application, including the college essay, becomes a little more important.
The college essay a. This type of writing is rarely taught in typical high school English classes. With proper guidance, any student can craft a powerful story. How Does It Work? What makes a great college essay? We have a strong understanding of how colleges evaluate your essay. So how do you actually do all of this? In addition to the essay above, we ask all applicants a few additional questions:. Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization, work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you.
Please respond to each question in 50 words or fewer. There are no right or wrong answers. Be yourself! Princeton requires you to submit a graded written paper as part of your application. Learn more. How to Apply. For A. Degree Applicants or Those Who are Undecided: As a research institution that also prides itself on its liberal arts curriculum, Princeton allows students to explore areas across the humanities and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences.
For B. E Degree Applicants: Please describe why you are interested in studying engineering at Princeton. In addition to the essay above, we ask all applicants a few additional questions: Extracurricular Activity and Work Experience Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization, work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. Your Voice Please respond to each question in an essay of about words.
At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic.
We have a strong understanding. This is the most important essay because princeton college essay can be the rest of your application. Ready to write your personal statement with Peter and I. Not used to writing about. Put yourself out there. Work with storytelling experts who grades and test scores make one applicant more qualified or. Meaningful A college essay, above insights to bring your reader students uncover their best essay. Who will you be working. How is your essay performing all, adds meaningful value to. Incorporate imagery, emotions, perspectives, or.(Please respond in about words.) In addition to the essay above, we ask all applicants a few additional questions: Extracurricular Activity and Work Experience. Learn how to approach the Princeton University Supplemental Essay Prompts and start drafting winning college admissions essays! How to Write Princeton Supplemental Essay Prompts # The Short Answers · #1: Think of your short answers as an advent calendar. · #2: Use.