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How do you make a decent essay when applying to colleges?

I'm a 12th grade student in high school who is planning to go to college for veterinary technology. I have no experience into writing personal essays about myself or what I should include in them.

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PwC’s Answer

Hi Bryana, there is no one right college essay to get into the university you want to attend. The most important thing is that your essay explains who you are and what is important to you. Most universities also have specific prompts with these it is import to ensure you answer the questions asked. Lastly, for every essay you write you should review it with someone that you trust.
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Jacob’s Answer

Writing a strong college essay is an essential part of your application, and I'm here to offer advice on how to craft a compelling essay for your veterinary technology program.

1. Identify Your Story: Start by reflecting on your experiences, values, and aspirations. What makes you unique as a candidate for the program? Identify a personal story or moment that showcases your passion for veterinary technology or any other significant aspect of your journey.

2. Showcase Your Motivation: Share why you are passionate about veterinary technology. Discuss any experiences, challenges, or encounters that have driven you towards this career path. Admissions officers want to see your genuine enthusiasm and dedication.

3. Be Authentic: Be yourself in your writing. Your essay should reflect your personality and voice. Avoid trying to sound overly formal or using language that doesn't feel natural to you.

4. Stay Focused: Be clear and concise in your essay. Stick to the main points and avoid going off on tangents. Admissions officers read many essays, so it's crucial to capture their attention and make a strong impression.

5. Provide Specific Examples: Use concrete examples to support your claims and demonstrate your skills and qualities. Show how your experiences have prepared you for the challenges of veterinary technology.

6. Connect to the Program: Explain why you believe the veterinary technology program at the college is the right fit for your educational and career goals. Highlight specific aspects of the program that align with your interests.

7. Edit and Revise: After writing your first draft, take the time to edit and revise your essay. Check for grammar and spelling errors, and ensure your essay flows logically and coherently.

8. Seek Feedback: Ask trusted teachers, counselors, or family members to review your essay and provide feedback. Their insights can help you improve the clarity and impact of your writing.

9. Avoid Cliches: Try to avoid common cliches and overused phrases in your essay. Aim for originality and find creative ways to express your thoughts and experiences.

10. Be Positive: Maintain a positive tone throughout your essay. Highlight your strengths and the opportunities you are looking forward to in the veterinary technology program.

Remember, the college essay is an opportunity to showcase your personality, passion, and potential. Be honest, passionate, and thoughtful in your writing. Most importantly, believe in yourself and your abilities as you embark on this exciting new chapter in your academic journey. Good luck with your college applications!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! This really helps! Bryanna
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Ekerma’s Answer

Creating a compelling and robust college essay is a vital step in your application journey. Here are some useful tips to help you compose an outstanding essay that leaves a lasting impression on the admissions officers:

Grasp the Prompt:
Thoroughly read and understand the essay prompt given by the college. Ensure you grasp the essence of what they're asking you to convey.

Select an Appropriate Topic:
Pick a topic that reflects your personality, principles, experiences, and ambitions. Your essay should provide the admissions committee a glimpse into your world beyond your scholastic accomplishments.

Brainstorm Creatively:
Reflect on your life's experiences, challenges, passions, and defining moments. Scribble down potential essay themes or stories that could form the foundation of your essay.

Craft an Engaging Introduction:
Your introduction should captivate the reader's attention and set a clear roadmap for your essay. Consider starting with an interesting story, a thought-stirring question, or a vivid depiction.

Illustrate, Don't Just State:
Rather than merely listing facts, use stories, descriptions, and examples to bring your qualities and experiences to life. This approach will allow the reader to connect with your narrative on a more profound level.

Emphasize Your Unique Voice:
Write in a style that reflects you. Stay away from excessively formal language or trying to sound overly intellectual. Let your authentic voice resonate.

Maintain Focus:
Each paragraph should contribute to your essay's overall theme or message. Steer clear of straying off-topic or incorporating irrelevant information.

Share Insights and Reflections:
After narrating an experience or story, expound on its importance. Reflect on how it influenced you, what it taught you, or how it shaped your viewpoint.

Be Detailed:
Use specific details to make your essay vibrant and unforgettable. Detailed examples and information make your essay more captivating and believable.

Avoid Common Phrases and Generalizations:
Admissions officers read countless essays, so try to steer clear of overused phrases and generic statements. Be original and genuine in your approach.

End with Impact:
Your conclusion should encapsulate your essay by summarizing the key points and reinforcing your central message. It's also a chance to leave a lasting impression.

Revise and Refine:
Writing is a journey. After drafting your essay, take time to review and refine it. Check for clarity, coherence, grammar, and spelling mistakes.

Invite Feedback:
Share your essay with trusted teachers, mentors, or peers. Their input can offer valuable perspectives and help you enhance your work.

Proofread Thoroughly:
Before submitting your essay, proofread it meticulously to catch any remaining errors. Typos and mistakes can undermine the professionalism of your application.

Be Authentic:
The essay's objective is to present an honest and genuine image of yourself. Be truthful and heartfelt in your writing.

Remember, your college essay is a golden opportunity to highlight your personality, values, and experiences in a way that distinguishes you from other applicants. Invest time and effort into crafting an essay that not only fulfills the requirements but also offers insights into who you are as an individual.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Bryanna
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Yassine’s Answer

The key to writing a great essay is to be as authentic and genuine as possible. You can start by brainstorming and identifying your motivations, experiences, and achievements that make you the perfect addition to the veterinary tech program. I suggest you to use simple and clear language, and focus on your unique perspectives throughout the essay. be sure to proofread your work multiple times as well before turning it in.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Yassine! Bryanna
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Raymond’s Answer

As a past educator what we really loved to see above and beyond, editing, lengthy objectivity etc is color and creativity. This means to elaborate as often as possible. If you are discussing a hobby expand on it with an experience or example. If discussing your favorite car, elaborate on color, features, the feeling it gave you. When an essay feels alive utilizing as many adjectives as possible they would indeed score high. It becomes alive if you will like a good story or good movie, as opposed to technically correct or format, or even high vocabulary or words to sound more sophisticated. Apply this and your ded on your way to a standout essay regardless of writers block or what you decide to write or discuss. Best!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Bryanna
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Alan’s Answer

Start with something that will capture the attention of the reader. Confine yourself to a few key things you want to emphasize about yourself and why you would be desirable to them. Scrupulously edit your essay to make sure it's grammatically perfect, and then have someone else with more writing knowledge do so as well. Don't follow formulas; make it uniquely you, showing passion, introspection, principles, style and purpose. Avoid clichés. And don't include anything that you're not prepared to answer.

P.S. When the time comes and you might want someone to look over your essay, I'd be happy to.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Bryanna
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Sarah’s Answer

Here are tips that will help you craft the perfect college essay:
1) Precisely follow a prompt
2) The prompts are designed so that you can play with various topics. The topic you pick is so important, and it should be unique, engaging, and appropriate and give the admissions counselor positive insight into your personality. You cannot write a phenomenal essay if you do not have a great topic. (I will discuss toward the end of this post what kind of topics to avoid)
3) Despite having to follow one of the prompts provided, you should play with structure. Even though you are technically writing an "essay," it is more like a creative story that elucidates your growth (more on that later), and your structure should be unique and fit you and your topic.
4) Be vulnerable and authentic in your essay. Your essay should have your personal, unique voice, not a voice that other people have in their writing. Your voice should reveal your personality. Illustrate something that is not on your transcript.
5) Use and balance the narrative toolbox (description, dialogue, details, and action) to show, not tell, and to cause readers to connect with your story and find it more engaging. By "balance," I mean that you should not, for example, use a ton of details with almost no action, dialogue, or description. To be descriptive and detailed, use sensory details, replace adverbs and adjectives with verbs, cause the reader to visualize the scene and empathize with your feelings, and use a slow pace so the reader can feel, hear, and see everything you are experiencing in your essay.
6) Feel free to play with time in your essay. You might want to write about the future, make your essay chronological, or use flashbacks.
7) The first line of your essay should be engaging and clear and cause the reader to want to read your essay. Begin in the moment; that is even better than having a hook.
8) Your essay should illuminate your positive qualities and significant growth or value about your character. You can write about facing an obstacle or failure but don't share your bad qualities. Convince the admissions counselor to accept you.
9) End your essay with a glow (a memorable last line that feels satisfying and conclusive). Your last paragraph typically shows the significance of your topic, and it might be a realization, epiphany, or a strong statement about what you believe.
10) You should vary your sentence lengths and structures. Some sentences should be longer and have a mixture of punctuation, while others should be shorter and more direct with periods.
11) Even though your vocabulary should be sophisticated, vivid, and appropriate for the audience of your essay (the admissions counselor), you should not simply copy and paste vocabulary from the thesaurus.
12) Your grammar, spelling, and formatting matter! Study and follow the grammar rules as precisely as possible, indent all your paragraphs, format dialogue and inner thought correctly, double-space your essay, justify your margins, and use commas and other punctuation correctly. Always spell the names of places and people correctly. Proofread your essay to ensure there are no typos and that your verbs always agree with your subjects in quantity. Your essay should be in only one tense (present tense or past tense) and do not mix tenses. Capitalize names of places and people (essentially capitalize proper nouns), the beginning of new sentences, and the letter "I" when referring to self.
13) You should have an exciting title that fits the content of your essay and grabs the reader's attention.
14) Your essay should be 650 words or less. If your essay is less than 650 words and is perfect, don't feel compelled to make it longer (your essay has to be at least 250 words, or else you cannot paste it into the Common App prompt). Be concise. No words or sentences should be unnecessary. Even though you should include background information when needed to contextualize, do not put too much background information because that would be unnecessary.
15) Ask your teachers, peers, family members, and people who got into elite schools to read your college essay and give you constructive feedback. Start your college essay early so you will have time to perfect it. Outline your essay before writing a draft, and write many drafts.
16) Read sample essays to understand what makes a college essay excellent or poor

Tips regarding picking a topic for your essay:
1) Avoid cliche or overly personal topics. Topics you should avoid include:
a) Working hard for a sports game or a class
b) A person who has inspired you (you may write too much about the person and not enough about you)
c) Death of a friend or a family member (you may write too much about the event and not enough about you)
d) Personal events we would not share with someone we do not know well
e) Any cliche topic where you do not share a unique personal growth or gain. Even if you write about a common topic, such as a hobby, habit, or ritual, you should describe the moment personally.

Also, if you choose to write about a conflict, the conflict can be internal or external.

Sarah recommends the following next steps:

Follow a prompt
Write about an appropriate, engaging, and unique topic (see my list of topics to avoid)
Outline your essay
After choosing a topic and outlining your essay, write drafts of your essay while following the tips
Ask for constructive feedback on your essay and proofread
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Sarah’s Answer

Here are tips that will help you craft the perfect college essay:
1) Precisely follow a prompt
2) The prompts are designed so that you can play with various topics. The topic you pick is so important, and it should be unique, engaging, and appropriate and give the admissions counselor positive insight into your personality. You cannot write a phenomenal essay if you do not have a great topic. (I will discuss toward the end of this post what kind of topics to avoid)
3) Despite having to follow one of the prompts provided, you should play with structure. Even though you are technically writing an "essay," it is more like a creative story that elucidates your growth (more on that later), and your structure should be unique and fit you and your topic.
4) Be vulnerable and authentic in your essay. Your essay should have your personal, unique voice, not a voice that other people have in their writing. Your voice should reveal your personality. Illustrate something that is not on your transcript.
5) Use and balance the narrative toolbox (description, dialogue, details, and action) to show, not tell, and to cause readers to connect with your story and find it more engaging. By "balance," I mean that you should not, for example, use a ton of details with almost no action, dialogue, or description. To be descriptive and detailed, use sensory details, replace adverbs and adjectives with verbs, cause the reader to visualize the scene and empathize with your feelings, and use a slow pace so the reader can feel, hear, and see everything you are experiencing in your essay.
6) Feel free to play with time in your essay. You might want to write about the future, make your essay chronological, or use flashbacks.
7) The first line of your essay should be engaging and clear and cause the reader to want to read your essay. Begin in the moment; that is even better than having a hook.
8) Your essay should illuminate your positive qualities and significant growth or value about your character. You can write about facing an obstacle or failure but don't share your bad qualities. Convince the admissions counselor to accept you.
9) End your essay with a glow (a memorable last line that feels satisfying and conclusive). Your last paragraph typically shows the significance of your topic, and it might be a realization, epiphany, or a strong statement about what you believe.
10) You should vary your sentence lengths and structures. Some sentences should be longer and have a mixture of punctuation, while others should be shorter and more direct with periods.
11) Even though your vocabulary should be sophisticated, vivid, and appropriate for the audience of your essay (the admissions counselor), you should not simply copy and paste vocabulary from the thesaurus.
12) Your grammar, spelling, and formatting matter! Study and follow the grammar rules as precisely as possible, indent all your paragraphs, format dialogue and inner thought correctly, double-space your essay, justify your margins, and use commas and other punctuation correctly. Always spell the names of places and people correctly. Proofread your essay to ensure there are no typos and that your verbs always agree with your subjects in quantity. Your essay should be in only one tense (present tense or past tense) and do not mix tenses. Capitalize names of places and people (essentially capitalize proper nouns), the beginning of new sentences, and the letter "I" when referring to self.
13) You should have an exciting title that fits the content of your essay and grabs the reader's attention.
14) Your essay should be 650 words or less. If your essay is less than 650 words and is perfect, don't feel compelled to make it longer (your essay has to be at least 250 words, or else you cannot paste it into the Common App prompt). Be concise. No words or sentences should be unnecessary. Even though you should include background information when needed to contextualize, do not put too much background information because that would be unnecessary.
15) Ask your teachers, peers, family members, and people who got into elite schools to read your college essay and give you constructive feedback. Start your college essay early so you will have time to perfect it. Outline your essay before writing a draft, and write many drafts.
16) Read sample essays to understand what makes a college essay excellent or poor
Tips regarding picking a topic for your essay:
1) Avoid cliche or overly personal topics. Topics you should avoid include:
a) Working hard for a sports game or a class
b) A person who has inspired you (you may write too much about the person and not enough about you)
c) Death of a friend or a family member (you may write too much about the event and not enough about you)
d) Personal events we would not share with someone we do not know well
e) Any cliche topic where you do not share a unique personal growth or gain. Even if you write about a common topic, such as a hobby, habit, or ritual, you should describe the moment personally.

Also, if you choose to write about a conflict, the conflict can be internal or external.

Sarah recommends the following next steps:

Precisely follow a prompt
Choose an appropriate, engaging, and unique topic (see my list of topics to avoid)
Outline your essay
After choosing a topic and
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