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The committee, however, decided to eliminate the best essay question available – Option No. This option prompts applicants to write on: “.” The son of a friend of mine used Option No. 6, one of my nephews wrote a college essay that shared the simple joy he experienced during the many weekends that he spent volunteering at a ranch for abandoned farm animals. The first thing Ben wants to do when he returns home from his study abroad in Budapest this week is to buy lumber for the Christmas presents that he is going to make.6 when he wrote about how he would love to create a superior pickle. This animal lover, who is a freshman at Westminster College in Missouri, started his essay with a vivid description of one of his main jobs — dumping wheelbarrows full of horse manure into a huge, steaming mountain of dung near the stable. Coincidentally, the Common Application announced it was ditching this valuable option on the day I talked with a friend whose daughter had attended a summer camp at Cal Tech.
(The Common Application will reveal the new essay topics, sans Option No. ) In an op-ed in the this fall, Doris Davis, a former board president of the Common Application, diplomatically backed into her concerns about the admission essay change: So why did the Common Application folks make this boneheaded move?
I suspect in part it’s because the people behind the decision weren’t writers.
Many of you probably aren’t aware of the changes that are in store next year for the main essay in the Common Application. After conferring for 1 1/2 years, a committee of counselors decided to strike a blow against teenage creativity.
If you’ve seen the Common Application, you can appreciate that there isn’t a lot of room for creativity in the college application except for the main essay. It’s rare for a day to go by without Ben making something with his cache of wood, dowels, wire, solder, duct tape, paint, magnets, and other stuff.
It’s the sort of question that’s going to prompt a lot of kids to just make stuff up.
And colleges are probably going to be flooded with cliched essays that deviate little from one another.Eliminating Option No 6 might have forced teenagers, who wrote winning college essays to Stanford University, to change their topics.I wrote the following blog post about the creative opening lines of some of these Stanford essays: Do the censors, who put the kibosh on Option No.“Matt,” I said, “your guinea pig isn’t going to college, you are. I know how much you loved Bucky, but this isn’t going to work.” Matt and I talked about ways that he could write an essay that would reflect his love of animals and he settled on writing about his experience at the rescue ranch.He wrote a tightly focused essay that was stuffed with delightful details.I’ll give you one example of what I’m talking about.Like a lot of high school seniors, my nephew Matt originally wrote his college essay in his English class. Louis.) Matt wrote about his pet guinea pig who had recently died.The Common App essay is 650 words, and contains 7 prompts to pick from. In fact, The reader should get a clear picture of what you value and how you’ll put that into action. I’ve got so much to say about this it would make your head spin. As I enter the double doors, the smell of freshly rolled biscuits hits me almost instantly. After spending several weeks attempting to synthesize platinum nanoparticles with a diameter between 10 and 16 nm, I finally achieve nanoparticles with a diameter of 14.6 nm after carefully monitoring the sulfuric acid bath.I trace the fan blades as they swing above me, emitting a low, repetitive hum resembling a faint melody. That unmistakable tingling sensation dances up my arm as I scribble into my notebook: I am overcome with a feeling of unbridled joy.Matt described how sick Bucky was, how brave he was and how he had used his last energy to crawl to Matt’s side.The English teacher signed off on this essay and Matt was going to use it in his applications until he talked to me.