Defining Qualities Rock College Application Essays!

Defining Qualities Rock College Application Essays!

Defining Qualities Rock College Application Essays!

Some of my tutoring students skim through the college application essay prompt ( for instance the five alternatives for the typical Application essay requirement), plus in a flash, find the one that speaks to them.

Other individuals come armed with a long variety of topic ideas they’ve been toying with for days.

But most, I would say significantly more than 80 %, concept of the place to start.

And it’s really a bad sensation.

‘There’s nothing special about myself,’ could be the common refrain from these glum and anxious rising seniors.

‘ I’m only typical and boring,’ they do say.

I listen for a bit. And try to assure them they’re going to find an awesome topic ( since they all do!).

After they calm down, I introduce them to my sure-fire topic finding bag of tricks.

I typically start with interested in the thing I call their ‘defining characteristics.’ Often I throw in their ‘defining qualities’ and ‘core values’ as well.

How does this work?

If you start brainstorming your topic ideas around one of your defining qualities, you instantly direct your essay writing process into the right direction, on many levels.

Along with your essay will be focused and help you stick out from the competition!

Listed below Are 5 Reasoned Explanations Why Defining Qualitiesare The Best Place to start out

If you focus on ONE defining quality, your college application will…

  1. Possess a sharp FOCUS!By directing your brainstorming around ONE of your defining qualities, you effectively focus your topic. In place of wanting to come up with many parts of your wonderful self, and risking an overly broad and dull essay, you pick anyone to concentrate every little thing around.With this 1 move, you catapult your essay topic over and beyond the 1000s of boring essays where students try to pack in too many ideas and information about on their own.
  2. Feature appealing STORIES!Once you pick ONE defining quality to publish about, you have a kick off point to brainstorm real-life experiences and min-stories you can make use of to illustrate that quality. Stories will be the simplest way to power narrative style personal essays.If you create these real-life examples from ONE defining quality, you will be making yes you share only stories, experiences and moments that assistance your overarching point, in place of random ones that are all over the place.
  3. Are going to be about yourself! If you showcase only 1 defining quality in your essay, you are making sure your essay is going to be about yourself, even although you include or mention people from you life in that essay. a common blunder students make with these essays is to use a real-life story about someone else, and their essay ultimately ends up being a lot of about that other person instead of themselves.The whole point of a private statement essay is for the faculty to get to know YOU, rather than your grandma or teacher or tutoring student. Stay with your ONE defining quality, and you also will never have to worry excessively about this pitfall.
  4. Your stories is going to be RELEVANT!If you start brainstorming real-life stories around your ONE defining quality, you will be 100 percent guaranteed to find good ones. Contemplate it: If you picked ONE defining quality that is clearly a big section of what make you unique and special, then can’t help but experienced experiences and moments in your past that took place for your requirements that have been somehow linked to that quality.So trust that choosing only 1 quality will yield plenty of great ideas and experiences you can use in your essay to generally share, describe, analyze and reflect upon.
  5. Your essay is supposed to be PERSONAL!If you talk about a defining quality, yous essay gets the most readily useful possibility possible of being very private. I believe private essays are most reliable since they engage and connect with readers, and generally are the most memorable. This is certainly everything you desire within a college application essay.Writing about ONE defining quality makes an essay private because that quality is one that will help define you meaning it plays a huge role in making you . In addition to this private than that? As well as the little moments and experiences you employ to illustrate that quality is going to be equally private. Hurrah!!

research paper topics on racism

So that should be a good sufficient situation to convince one to start with uncovering a variety of your defining characteristics or qualities.

This entire blog features helpful posts to instruct you how to spin that quality into a killer essay! So does my writing guide, Escape Essay Hell!, and my online essay writing training course.

Even virtually all the sample essays written by former students in my collection, called Heavenly Essays, started with regards to defining qualities.

Just what exactly are you waiting for? Stop all your worrying and get started!

Find Your Defining characteristics and qualities in this post!

Still perplexed or have a questions? Ask away in the comments part. I love to know from you!

No doubt about any of it.

Supplemental essays are the nasty little vexation of this college application process. ( And you also thought the Common App essay had been a pain!)

It is suggested students first tackle writing their key essay for The Common Application, or other applications that require a lengthier, personal-statement form of essay.

Get that out of the method initially. Oahu is the toughest & most essential.

But it’s never too early to start out knocking off those pesky shorter essays, referred to as supplemental essays.

Many universities and colleges have previously introduced the prompts for their necessary supplemental essays for 2016-17.

Initially, collect a list of all the supplemental essays you ought to answer in one place ( discover the prompts for the supplemental essays required by every one of your target schools to their the web sites or on The Common Application.).

Try to find ones that require common topics or themes, even though the actual questions might vary.

Generally, supplemental essays get into three categories:

  1. The prompts that are asked more usually by many schools. These generally include those who ask:a. What makes you a fit for our college or university?b. Tell us regarding your intended major or area of study.c. Write about one of your extracurricular interests, or a scholastic interest, or even a talent/accomplishment/passion/goal, etc.d. Tell us about your ‘world,’ or cultural back ground, family members, community, neighborhood, etc.
  2. The other common type of supps ask more specific questions, and often supply a famous quote or statement and ask one to answer it.Here’s an illustration from Tufts University 2016-17 supps:’There is a Quaker saying: ‘Let your life speak.’ Describe the environment in which you were raised your family, residence, neighborhood, or community and just how it influenced anyone you will be today. (200 250 words)
  3. The brand-new kid on the supp block will be the prompts that are ‘out-of-the-box’ and generally are hoping to get students to showcase their imagination, personality and creativity.Some examples: a. Where’s Waldo? b. Develop a class c. What exactly is your chosen word? d. What exactly is square one?

If you’d like to get super organized, sort your list of supplemental essays into these 3 categories to greatly help determine commonalities and overlapping questions.

This would allow you to observe you can use similar ideas, experiences, details, topics and answers for your quick essay answers.

You’ll likely find the most crossover in supps in the category # 1 since those will be the common supp questions.

you might be surprised how you can reuse from all three categories. (Notice how the Tufts prompts about that Quaker quote happens to be requesting about your ‘world’ or community. This topic is one of the most common prompts for supplemental essays from the first No. 1 group. See how they overlap?)

The theory is that you will be making your daily life easier by recycling your absolute best a few ideas within these supps. It really is totally kosher to repeat answers and themes because each college or university features their separate supplemental essays and will not see or care about everything you send to the other individuals.

As an example, if you had a unique experience for which you learned something essential, you can mine that experience to greatly help answer more than one supplemental essay.

The key is to determine just what lessons you gleaned from that experience, and zero in on certain examples you could share in your supplemental essay about any of it.

It couldn’t hurt to brainstorm and collect ideas and experiences on a piece of paper or computer file you could develop and recommend back again to when taking care of these supplemental essays. Perhaps pull down your resume or just about any other variety of your activities and successes to spark ideas.

You will start to observe specific experiences and activities make with the different supplemental essay prompts.


Say, as an example, you are interested in science, as well as this point, think you should study marine biology.

Great! This self-knowledge should allow you to answer questions from # 1, such as everything you want to study and exactly why you are a fit at a specific school.

The key is always to determine details from past, relevant experiences that first impressed your fascination with this subject, as well as analysis details from your target schools that will help you develop that interest further.

Also, if you should be asked to publish about an extracurricular or scholastic activity or interest or talent or success, start with brainstorming any experiences linked to your interest in research and especially marine biology.


If you are a student who still has no clue truly what you want to major in or study in college, don’t worry! You are in the majority of college-bound young ones.

The thing I recommend for your needs is always to focus more on your own defining characteristics and core values and brainstorm relevant experiences to assist you get a hold of details to help answer those same prompts in # 1. (Find your defining characteristics HERE.)

In place of lining up your answers centered on a certain interest, you will use a quality or price to identify relevant moments or experiences that illustrate them.

As an example, if you should be telling a college why it really is perfect for you, talk about one certain core value you hold and explain exactly how and exactly why you developed it (using certain details from your past), and just how and exactly why (also using details) that target school features programs, training course, facilities, etc. that will allow you to continue to develop it.

An even more specific example of this?

Say one of your defining characteristics is being innovative. Think of ‘times’ and experiences from your past when you have made use of this quality, such as the time you helped run a fundraiser for orphaned iguanas at your school, or perhaps the time you interned at a hospital and helped adapt a wheelchair for a blind patient.

You may then mention these certain experiences to answer all sorts of prompts, like the Why You at Our School? ( because your target school also motivates innovation…) to share with you a success (recount one of these ‘times’ you did something innovative) to share with us about your ‘world’ (mention the wheelchair in that hospital ‘world’ or community).

I know it is a great deal to take in. (Keep breathing! This will make more sense once you get going.)

To simplify, brainstorm two lists to spur ideas for those supplemental essays:

1. variety of interesting activities/experiences/moments…2. shorts variety of core values and defining private characteristics

From there, start to dig up those KEY details and specific experiences that will give you something interesting and original relating to your supplemental essays other than the typical, over-general dribble.

All you need is one juicy detail to produce all the difference. Why? They are so quick!! (& most students don’t do this.)


Okay, We have yet another nifty tip for you on these supplemental essays.

For virtually any of these prompts, even most ‘crazy’ ones, this works magically:

  1. See the prompt and consider what you general response would be. Then think some more to locate something specific that happened to you which was related in certain way to your present response.
  2. Chances are that thing that took place involved some sort of problem (challenge, hurdle, change, failure, setback, accident, etc.). It generally does not have to be a huge crises. Any little, relevant problem will do.
  3. Considercarefully what you learned from dealing with that problem.

See if you can make use of that life lesson in your supplemental essay. Chances are that incident or experience can perhaps work as a certain example of a larger point you will be making about yourself in that essay. And it will make your essay more private, which you desire!

The big secret to bumping up a common supplemental essay is always to add details and certain examples. Of course, you will probably need certainly to add some broad, sweeping statements, but be sure to pop in those smaller details to prove or support your points.


The ‘Why Do you realy Fit?’ Supplemental Essay Prompt: never only say how you love the staff nature at your target school. Inform them exactly how you have a collection of over 30 over their recreations staff’s hats, including an antique the one that you merely lose at church.

The Extracurricular Supplemental Essay Prompt: Don’t inform them how you are really a gifted piano player while having obtained many honors. Speak about the time you slipped off the bench within a competition, but jumped straight back without losing a beat (and everything you learned from that experience.)

The ‘ What’s Your Major?’ Supplemental Essay Prompt: Don’t only inform them you want to study marine biology since you love dolphins and generally are focused on global warming. Describe the time through your summer time work in the community pool for which you practiced holding your air so you could earn your deep sea diving certificate and someday work for Green Peace.

I bet you have got even better real-life example and moments than those I shared here. And remember, be on alert for ways you can re-use these ‘times’ and details to answer different prompts.

You will be astonished exactly how this overwhelming task can be contained with this type of brainstorming for specific moments and experiences.

Not only will you can get your arms around these annoying little supplemental essays, you will nail them!

Only test it out for.

Good luck!

Still perplexed? Which is ok. Only let me know you questions in the comments. ( There aren’t any dumb questions!)

Listed here is another post on How to Write Short Essays which you might find helpful aswell!

Chia sẻ bài này