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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What makes a college essay outstanding?

Hi everyone, I'm working on my college essays and I want to make sure they're really impressive. Can anyone explain what elements make a college essay stand out? Any tips or advice appreciated!

7 months ago

An outstanding college essay typically combines several key elements, making it engaging, memorable, and reflective of your unique personality and experiences.

1. Authenticity: Admissions officers can tell when an essay is genuine and written from the heart. Be yourself and share something that truly resonates with you, rather than what you think they want to hear.

2. Strong storytelling: A captivating narrative structure helps keep readers engaged. You can apply techniques like starting in medias res (in the middle of the action), varying sentence length, and incorporating vivid, sensory details to make your essay more interesting.

3. Personal growth or self-discovery: A compelling essay often highlights a moment or experience that led to personal growth or self-discovery, demonstrating your ability to learn and adapt. This could be about overcoming a challenge, addressing a weakness, or gaining a new perspective.

4. Unique perspective or experience: Do not be afraid to explore a topic that might be unconventional or specific to your life. These essays can showcase your distinctive perspective and background.

5. Reflection and introspection: The best essays dive beneath the surface to explore the emotional and intellectual depth behind your experiences. Show how these experiences have shaped your values, outlook, or goals, and discuss the impact they've had on your life.

6. Precision and clarity: Make sure your essay is well written and free of errors. Use clear language, avoid clichés, and stay focused on your main idea. Make every word count and ensure that your essay flows smoothly from one point to the next.

7. A strong closing: End your essay on a powerful note by summarizing your main points, reinforcing your thesis, and leaving a lasting impression on your reader.

To improve your essay, seek feedback from others, such as teachers, friends, or family members, and revise as necessary. Remember to give yourself ample time to brainstorm, draft, and revise, so you can create an essay that showcases your unique voice and character. Good luck!

7 months ago

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