words to use in college essays

Words to use in college essays

My first college admissions meetings with students, i ask parents to identify nouns, adjectives, phrases, and short stories that will help me know something about their son or daughter.

Usually, one parent takes the lead, calling out a rapid-fire list of words: “brilliant, tough as nails in sports, hard-working, a team player.

I like to hear from both parents because moms and dads often have unique perspectives on their kids.

After the meeting, i email the list of the words to the student and parents, so they can keep adding exercise is the beginning of a process to come up with word messages students want colleges to “get” about them as they fill-out applications, write essays and have interviews.

Just so you know, research suggests that knowing who you are is a first step in becoming a confident, effective i always encourage students to develop word lists, many ask me to provide examples of words that other applicant families have come up with.

To give you some idea, here is a list of descriptive words and phrases i have collected over the years:A: academic, adventurous, an advocate, analytical, animal-lover, animated, articulate, artistic, assertive, astute, athletic, autonomous.

Words to use in a college essay

Fearless, a finisher, fitness-oriented, flexible, focused, a foodie, friendly, doesn’t suffer fools, fun, funny.

Encourage you to take a look at the words above and circle any that apply to you.

Keep the list in an accessible place so that you can refer back to them summer/fall of your senior year, when you begin working on college application marjorie hansen shaevitz on twitter:This blogger’s books and other items from...

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Now moore’s supporters hate noah: trump backs roy moore because ‘birds of a feather molest together’. Kimmel makes another emotional plea for children’s health isementadvertisementby elizabeth segran5 minute readgetting into an elite college has never been more cutthroat.

Experts say that a stellar essay is the linchpin that will win the admissions department over.

But what is less well known is that different colleges favor particular topics and even specific words used in is a key finding from admitsee, a startup that invites verified college students to share their application materials with potential applicants.

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High school students can pay to access admitsee’s repository of successful college essays, while college students who share their materials receive a small payment every time someone accesses their data.

The biggest differentiator for our site is that college students who share their information are compensated for their time,” stephanie shyu, cofounder of admitsee, tells fast company.

Terms “father” and “mother” appeared more frequently in successful harvard essays, while the term “mom” and “dad” appeared more frequently in successful stanford d likes downer essaysadmitsee found that negative words tended to show up more on essays accepted to harvard than essays accepted to stanford.

For example, shyu says that “cancer,” “difficult,” “hard,” and “tough” appeared more frequently on harvard essays, while “happy,” “passion,” “better,” and “improve” appeared more frequently in stanford isementstudents who take risks with the content and the structure of their college essays tend to be more successful across the also had to do with the content of the essays.

At harvard, admitted students tended to write about challenges they had overcome in their life or academic career, while stanford tended to prefer creative personal stories, or essays about family background or issues that the student cares about.

Extrapolating from this qualitative data, it seems like stanford is more interested in the student’s personality, while harvard appears to be more interested in the student’s track record of accomplishment,” shyu further linguistic analysis, admitsee found that the most common words on harvard essays were “experience,” “society,” “world,” “success,” “opportunity.


What the other ivies care aboutit turns out, brown favors essays about volunteer and public interest work, while these topics rank low among successful yale essays.

Essays about diversity—race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation—tend to be more popular at stanford, yale, and on the admitsee’s data, dartmouth and columbia don’t appear to have strong biases toward particular essay topics.

This means that essays on many subjects were seen favorably by the admissions departments at those schools.

College advice

However, shyu says that writing about a moment that changed the student’s life showed up frequently in essays of successful applicants to those -taking pays offone general insight is that students who take risks with the content and the structure of their college essays tend to be more successful across the board.

One student who was admitted to several top colleges wrote about his father’s addiction to pornography and another wrote about a grandparent who was incarcerated, forcing her mother to get food stamps illegally.

One successful student wrote an essay tracking how his credit card was stolen, making each point of the credit card’s journey a separate section on the essay and analyzing what each transaction meant.

Another’s essay was a list of her favorite books and focused on where each book was purchased. One of the big questions our users have is whether they should take a risk with their essay, writing about something that reveals very intimate details about themselves or that takes an unconventional format,” shyu says.

What we’re finding is that successful essays are not ones that talk about an accomplishment or regurgitate that student’s résumé .

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