Essay Writing and Application Essays...


education directory
Ed Share

 Education Resources:
Homepage | Web Search
Education Resources
Art | Film | Dance | Bands
Countries of the World
Digs UK | US | Canada
Finance | Economics/Biz
Homework Helpers | Exams
Kiddies Korner | Tots | Pets
Jobs UK/EU | US | Canada
Bartending Work
Medicine and Health
Museums and Galleries
Mystery Shopping
PE | Sports | Sporting Events
Power & Politics | Civil Rights
Print Media, TV and Radio
Problems and Advice
Shops | Fashion | Books
Subjects | Religion | Language
Technology Education & ICT
Teens | Just for Fun
Schools UK | US | Canada
Unis/Colls UK | US | Canada

 Special Features:
Essays - Full Writing Course
What is Bullying?
Stress in Teaching
Online Education

 Guest Contributors:
The best Dad?
You're an Idiot!
Slave Caster of Freedom
Out of the mouths of babes
The Right to Life?
The Nostradamus Hoaxes
Explaining terrorism to a child
Internet 2 a scam?
Break a Rule, Bad Girl
Britannica near extinction?
The 1st time I really lied
Nigerian Scam Letters
Singular turns plural
English Writing
In debt?
The Secret Shopper
Too busy at work?
Bullying... Our Stories
Start to live your dreams
Recognize your potential
Stop worrying, please!
Public speaking
Elegant resumes
In praise of black sheep
Ritalin - Straight-jacketing?

 Webmasters' Education:
Start here - Why me?
Slow pages equal more traffic

 Finance Partners:
Cover Base Life Insurance
Finding Life Insurance Cover
Annuity Comparisons
Aviva Annuities
Buy To Let Mortgages
Commercial Insurance
Inheritance Tax
Pension Misselling
Annuities Comparison
Enhanced Annuities
Pension Annuity Answers
Annuity Office
Annuity Plan
Annuities Plan
Annuities Central
Open Market Option
Capped Drawdown
Mortgage Comparisons
Hidden Mortgages
Barclaycard PPI Claims
PPI Claims
PPI Complaints
PPI Refunds
Barclays PPI Claim
Lloyds PPI Claim
RBS PPI Claims
Wrongly Sold PPI
PPI Justice's full list of pages

The Mystery Shopping Club

(Operated by's sister site)

Do you need some extra income? Do you want to pick your own hours?

To find out about casual employment opportunities in the "Secret Shopper" industry, please choose one of the following links:

Click here for the Mystery Shopping Club UK

The Transatlantic Education Mega-Site...

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ppi Have you taken out a credit card, mortgage, secured loan, unsecured loan or hire purchase agreement in the last ten years? If you have (or have had) a mortgage, loan or credit card with providers such as Abbey, Barclaycard, MBNA, Halifax, HSBC, HBOS, Lloyds TSB, Natwest, RBS or in fact any other credit provider, you may be able to reclaim up to £15,000 if you were sold PPI insurance - in most cases even if you've lost the paperwork. Learn more about PPI Claims now!

BECOME A MYSTERY SHOPPER Are you a student over 18? Part-time teacher? Or maybe a parent or just someone that needs some extra income? Some free food and drinks perhaps? Would you like to pick your own hours? Casual work is available now.

The Mystery Shopping Club provides you with an EXCEPTIONAL collation of intelligence that is crucial for anyone with an interest in Mystery Shopping. Become a Mystery Shopper now!

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITY It is simple to get your site listed on! You simply pay a small one-time-only administration charge for a PERMANENT lifetime advert! Learn more about advertising on now!


Click Here for UK Mystery Shopping

By our guest writers EssayEdge. The Harvard educated admissions essay editors.

Please click here for the full list of essay help pages

Lesson Two: Selecting a Topic

Exercise #2: Selecting A Topic

In this exercise, you will find a list of Do’s and Don’ts for selecting a topic, along with comments from long-time admissions officers. For each of your five to seven potential topics, fill in this checklist. If you find yourself repeatedly answering “no” to these questions for any given topic, you should drop it and move on to another.

1. Have I selected a topic that describes something of personal importance to my life?

Admissions Officer Says: “Personalize your essays as much as possible-generic essays are not only boring to read, they’re a waste of time because they don’t tell you anything to help you get to know the applicant any better.”

2. Am I avoiding a gimmicky topic? You should be very, very careful of trying to write your essay in iambic pentameter or with lots of jokes. Almost always, this is done poorly and is not appreciated by the admissions committee. Nothing is worse than not laughing at something that was written to be funny.

Admissions Officer Says: “Gimmicks are a big mistake, and a sarcastic or flippant tone will often offend.”

3. Does my topic stay away from information listed elsewhere on my application? Don’t mention GPAs or standardized test scores in your essay. That’s what the resume and other parts of the application are for.

Admissions Officer Says: “Listings of anything are dull, no matter how impressive.” “Essays should be about more than just a running tally of accomplishments.”

4. Will I be able to offer vivid supporting paragraphs to my essay topic? Don't choose a topic if you cannot provide concrete examples for the body of the essay.

Admissions Officer Says: “Details provide the color, the spice, and the life of the essays.” “As the saying goes, if you’re going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk.”

5. Can I fully answer the question asked of me? Can you address and elaborate on all points within the specified word limit, or will you end up writing a poor summary of something that might be interesting as a report or research paper? If you plan on writing something technical for an application, make sure you can back up your interest in a topic and not merely throw around big scientific words. Unless you convince the reader that you actually have the life experiences to back up your interest in neurobiology, the reader will assume that you are trying to impress him or her with shallow tactics. Also, be sure that you can write to admissions officers and that you are not writing over their heads.

Admissions Officer Says: “Actually answer the question they ask. Many people just list off their accomplishments and never relate it to the theme of the question.”

6. Will my topic keep the reader's interest from the first word? The entire essay must be interesting, considering admissions officers will probably spend only a few minutes reading each essay.

Admissions Officer Says: “If the first paragraph doesn’t fix my attention, like anyone I’m prone to skimming.”

7. Is my topic unique? Some students are so concerned about making the correct impression that they edit out anything that would help their essay stand out. They submit a “safe” essay that is, in reality, sterile, monotonous, and deadly boring. Most topics are in fact overdone, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, but a unique and convincing answer to a classic topic can pay off big. Furthermore, when applying to a competitive program that might be out of your reach, taking a risk in the essay may help your chances by standing out.

Admissions Officer Says: “Applicants should not be afraid to go out on a limb and be themselves-even when that means incorporating humor or being a little bit controversial.”

8. Am I being myself? Admissions officers want to learn about you and your writing ability. You must develop your own voice and tell YOUR story, not the story you think the reader wants to hear. Write about something meaningful and describe what you did and felt, and your essay will be unique. Many people travel to foreign countries or win competitions, but your feelings during these events are unique to you. Unless a philosophy or societal problem has interested you intensely for years, stay away from grand themes that you have little personal experience with.

Admissions Officer Says: “It is through the essay that the admissions officers reading the application will feel that they have truly gotten to know you.”

9. Does my topic avoid hot-button issues that may offend the reader? If you write on how everyone should worship your God, how wrong or right abortion is, or how you think the Republican Party is evil, you will not get into the college of your choice. The only thing worse than not writing a memorable essay is writing an essay that will be remembered negatively. Stay away from specific religions, political doctrines, or controversial opinions. You can still write an essay about Nietzsche's influence on your life, but express understanding that not all intelligent people will agree with Nietzsche's claims. Emphasize instead Nietzsche's influence on YOUR life, and not why you think he was wrong or right in his beliefs.

Admissions Officer Says: “It is dangerous for a non-professional (especially a high school student) to attempt writing as though the essay will be presented at a professional conference. You may be writing to someone who knows much more than you and will be irritated by your hackneyed proclamations.”

10. Is my essay honest? Unless you are a truly excellent writer, your best, most passionate writing will be about events that actually occurred. While you might be tempted to invent hardship, it is completely unnecessary. Write an essay about your life that demonstrates your personality.

Admissions Officer Says: “After 15 years of reading hundreds of essays a year, you develop an amazing ability to see straight through the bull.”

11. Will an admissions officer remember my topic after a day of reading hundreds of essays? What will the officer remember about your topic? What will the officer remember about you? What will your lasting impression be?

12. If you are writing about something unfortunate that has happened to you, ask: Am I able to highlight my impressive qualities under difficult circumstances without sounding pathetic? Unless you only use the experience as a lens with which to magnify your own personal characteristics, you will not write a good essay. Graduate and professional school applicants should generally steer clear of this topic altogether unless the experience can arguably help one become a better businessman, doctor, lawyer, or scholar.

13. Does my essay fit in well with the rest of my application? Does it explain the unexplained and steer clear of what is already obvious? For example, if you have a 4.0 GPA and a 1500 SAT, no one doubts your ability to do the academic work; addressing this topic would be ridiculous. However, if you have an 850 SAT and a 3.9 GPA or a 1450 SAT and a 2.5 GPA, you would be wise to incorporate into your essay an explanation for the apparent contradiction. For example, perhaps you were hospitalized or family concerns prevented your dedication to academics; you would want to mention this in your essay. However, do not make your essay one giant excuse. Simply give a quick, convincing explanation within the framework of your larger essay.

14. Does my topic avoid mentioning my weaknesses? You want to make a positive first impression, and telling an admissions officer anything about drinking, drugs, or partying undermines your goal. EssayEdge editors have read more essays on ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) than we would hope. Why admit to weakness when you can instead showcase your strengths?

15. If you think you can add diversity to the school to which you are applying, ask: Does my essay specifically demonstrate how my uniqueness will contribute to the realm of campus opinion, the academic environment, or the social life? Every college, professional school, or graduate school wants to increase diversity. For this reason, so many applicants are tempted to declare what makes them different. However, simply saying that you are a black, lesbian female will not impress admissions officers in the least. While an essay incorporating this information would probably be your best topic idea, you must subtly handle the issue by addressing your own personal qualities and how you overcame stigma or dealt with social ostracism. If you are a rich student from Beverly Hills whose father is an engineer and whose mother is a lawyer, but you happen to be a minority, an essay about how you dealt with adversity would be unwise.

Once you have used this checklist for each of the five to seven topics you came up with in Lesson One, narrow the list down to the three topics that most easily pass all of the suggestions above.

a. If more than three topics pass the test above, then simply choose the three that you are most excited about.

b. If fewer than three topics pass the test, go back to your long list in Lesson One and run a few more potential topics through our checklist.

At this point, you might have a topic so inspiring that the essay writes itself. However, even seemingly boring topics can be made into exceptional admissions essays with an innovative approach. In writing the essay you must bear in mind your two goals: to persuade the admissions officer that you are extremely worthy of admission and to make the admissions officer aware that you are more than a GPA and a standardized score, that you are a real-life, intriguing personality.

Unfortunately, there is no surefire step-by-step method to writing a good essay. EssayEdge editors will recast your essay into a beautifully sculpted masterpiece, but every topic requires a different treatment since no two essays are alike. Lessons 3 to 6 will guide you through the various stages of writing a first-rate essay.

Move on to Lesson Three: Structure and Outline

From Essays that will get you into College, by Amy Burnham, Daniel Kaufman, and Chris Dowhan. Copyright 1998 by Dan Kaufman.  Reprinted by arrangement with Barron's Educational Series, Inc.


education directory

An Ed-U-Kate production. This page was produced 16 February 2001 and last edited 9th June 2015., its characters, names & related indicia ©
Add URL | Link to us | Shop | Safe Shopping Help | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Information | ArtFair | Home