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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What makes a college essay unique?

I'm struggling to brainstorm ideas for my college essays. How do I come up with unique stories or experiences that stand out to admissions officers? Any tips or advice on how to present these experiences in a captivating manner?

6 months ago

A unique college essay typically:

1. Avoids cliché topics or puts a new spin on them: Common clichés include sports injuries, moving to a new school, or adjusting to life as an immigrant. Instead, think about your personal experiences that are meaningful and distinctive to you.

2. Showcases your character, voice, and perspective: Colleges want to get to know you through your writing. Ensure that your essay reflects who you are and what makes you unique. Your voice and perspective on a topic can be captivating even if the subject itself is common.

3. Tells a focused, specific story: Rather than attempting to cover several aspects of your life, choose one story or event that demonstrates your growth, values, or passions. Provide specific details and paint a vivid picture for the reader.

4. Emphasizes your self-reflection and personal growth: Admissions officers are interested in seeing how your experiences have shaped you and contributed to your personal development. Reflect on your experiences and highlight what you've learned or how you've grown from them.

To present your experiences in a captivating manner:

1. Start with a hook: Begin your essay with an engaging sentence, anecdote, or dialogue that will grab the reader's attention.

2. Show, don't tell: Use descriptive language and vivid details to illustrate your experiences. Instead of stating how you felt or what you learned, provide specific examples that allow the reader to draw their own conclusions.

3. Use narrative techniques: Employ techniques such as dialogue, pacing, and flashbacks to create a compelling narrative. This can make your essay more engaging and easier to follow.

4. Be authentic: Write in a tone and style that represents your true self. Don't try to impress the reader with big words or elaborate writing techniques; instead, focus on expressing your thoughts and experiences in an honest, relatable manner.

5. Edit for clarity and conciseness: Once you have written your essay, review it several times to ensure that it's clear, concise, and well-organized. Eliminate any unnecessary words or phrases, and focus on making your writing as efficient and impactful as possible.

By following these tips and advice, you'll increase the chances of crafting a unique and captivating college essay that stands out to admissions officers. Good luck!

6 months ago

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