When putting pen to paper to craft their college essays, seniors often make this mistake: they do not invest enough time and brain power to come up with a truly unique thesis for each of their essay prompts.
What do they do instead? They just start writing. No brainstorm. No outline. Seniors just start banging away at their laptops a few weeks, or even worse, a few days before the deadline.
Good writing is an organic process. One of my upper division English professors at Cal emphatically stated that his colleagues do a least 15 rewrites for one single paragraph! Most seniors do at the most three to five rewrites. This is the reason we have our seniors start working on their essays as early as August prior to the senior year to give their essays time to “marinate”.
The essay below got a high-school senior into Harvard, Yale, MIT, and other top schools.
You will notice his brilliant thesis: he brilliantly merged two of his passions — music and math — to share how each has shaped his life.
There is another reason this essay is loved by admission officers. Also, such essays are not easy to pull off as they require two key pre-requisites. I will share the first one: stellar writing skills. Can you guess the second key prerequisite? Shoot me back a comment as to why you think this type of essay is so effective, and, what do you think is the second required skill to write such a strong essay?