V) never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday english equivalent.
Excerpt from george orwell, "politics and the english language", once upon a time, i wrote a blog comparing the college essay to froyo.
Since then, the application has been revised, and although i still believe in the merits of the first blog in regards to a long college admissions essay (500-1000 words), it definitely doesn't apply completely to the new short-answer system that mit adopted.Few months ago, i created a bogus account on so i can actually catch a glimpse at what the new application looks like (it really doesn't look that different, ha) and i've been thinking about how i would approach these essays.
Although nothing here is the product of intense cognition, i thought i'd share some of my views on these small ially, you have 5 "mini-essays" - what you do for pleasure ("pleasure" - 100 words), department at mit ("department" - 100 words), what you do that's creative ("creativity" - 250 words), world you come from ("world" - 250 words), significant challenge ("challenge" - 250 words), and that's it!Less than 1000 words easy things first - the "pleasure" and the "department" prompts are not really "essays," but short answers, so they can be easily answered.
My advice is just to go ahead and be honest with them (well, you should be honest in your entire application ;p), especially with the "pleasure" essay. People stress out about the "department" essay, but i can tell you that mit does not admit on a quota, and you will not be penalized by which department you put down on that blank (i don't know how many emails i've gotten on this subject already - seriously, the adcoms are not lying at you, and no - there is no conspiracy either).
So don't worry too the "creativity" essay, i would encourage you to look at the connotation of "creativity" from a new angle (in a sense, be creative about exploring creativity :p).
Ok, now we come to the challenging 250-word back in the day, we had a choice between these two essays to write a long essay on, but i guess now they're requiring you write on both of them, but as shorter ly, i really enjoyed the "world" essay - and i thought it was the one of the best prompts out of the prompts for the 15 colleges that i applied to (number one was still stanford's "photograph" prompt - i loved it.
The challenge now, however, is how to condense all the things you want to convey into mere 250 order for me to see what a 250 word word limit is really like, i wrote a 250 word essay.
A disclaimer: i want to stay that this is not intended to be a "model essay" (i think the ending can use some more work, among other things), but i thought this would be easier in illustrating a you look at the essay, i like going narrative -> point -> how it connects to me.
In fact, this is what i use for most of my essays :'s the same essay, deliberately made worse (but to illustrate a very common problem in college application essays):Last summer, i worked in an asian clinic in oakland, california.
These patients cannot afford to passively wait for language-accessible care and continue to sacrifice their right to 250 words, but this essay is riddled with problems, many of which orwell pointed out in the blurb above.The essay lacks a personal voice - it's very passive ("these scenes are played," "immigrants are often overlooked," "the problem is exacerbated").
This essay points out many problems of the health care system, but doesn't offer any examples of the problems.
I think after mit made the switch from the long essay to short essays, this point is even more pertinent.
You just can't afford to waste words speaking in vague terms that doesn't convey much in terms of adcoms read thousands of essays on end, you need to stand out.
Ideally, your essay should pack enough punch (that's a cliche :p) so that your readers have a "take-home message" (another cliche :p).If you feel bored writing your essay, chances are that the person reading your essay will be bored too. Make it vivid - let your story y, the other point i want to convey:I narrowed down the first essay from over 400 words to just 250.
The second essay is plagued with extraneous words, and actually it can be narrowed down to just this without loss of meaning:Last summer, i worked in an asian clinic, where i realized the struggle of immigrants in obtaining equitable health care because of the language barrier.
These patients cannot afford to passively wait for language-accessible care and continue to sacrifice their right to new essay is only 154 words.Although it definitely sounds stilted and shouldn't be submitted as a complete essay, it still goes to show how much excess fat one can usually trim from a typical to reiterate myself too much from the previous blog that i wrote, but the effective essay, imo, is the essay that really shows who you are, where you're coming from, and what your loves are - in your own voice.