- REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Enin, now a junior at Yale, provided really detailed answers about when to start writing your essay and how to craft a story that will catch the attention of admissions officers.
Somewhat surprisingly, he suggested having an English teacher edit your essay before sending it in.
Below is what he shared.
On when to start writing your essay:
I took my summer, starting in July before senior year, to craft my essay. I wrote mini-essays based on the Common App prompts from previous years. I looked at what was worthwhile out of those essays, and transferred those snippets into the prompt for the 2013-2014 year as soon as possible.
Then I added all the prompts for the colleges I would apply to. I made separate word documents for all of them and started writing an essay a day in August. When the school year came, I had a whole lot of editing to do with my teachers. But it sure made the application process simple!
On what to put in your essay:
Apply EA (early action)! If you can write a compelling essay, I am sure your application will be reviewed in a positive light. I suggest picking an essay topic that takes a small idea or event which occurred in your life, and detailing it’s significance in a story that just screams “THIS IS WHO I AM!” Avoid cliches as much as possible, write it this month, and have it reviewed and worked by a close English teacher until you have to send it out!
I believe your essays (both your Common App one and the one in your choice college’s supplement, are the best way to inject your personality into your application. The essay questions are always designed to give you a chance to showcase your writing style and your persona.
Basically, by the end of your essays, your admissions officer reviewer should have a wonderful image of you in their mind. This is really important, because when I visited UPenn, my own admissions officer met me randomly in a bustling crowd of Prefrosh and cited a line out of my own essay to me. Beyond the coolness of the moment, it was that connection that you hope to develop through your essays.