- Rather than rely on adverbs, choose more apt, active, and descriptive verbs/adjectives.
- Go beyond how the books piqued your passion and curiosity. Focus more on the outcomes — on your realizations and points of growth — so that you address the prompt throughout the essay.
- Lean into the strengths of this piece, which is your voice and the personal narrative.
- Make the resolution clearer, and give it room to breath.
- Restructure some of your sentences to be more direct and concise.
- Build toward the resolution throughout. Leave a bread-crumb trail.
- You make clear connections between events and the parts of the story, but I didn’t anticipate them. It’s good to have surprises, but make sure that the reader knows how you got there.
- This piece has a great narrative structure.
- It’s personal, which is important for an application; the reader wants to get to know you.
- You have a consistent voice, which is rare for young writers. It’s clear from these few hundred words that you’re an experienced writer and reader.
- There are too many adverbs. Qualifiers can distract the reader from your message and make for overly (adverb intended haha) complicated sentences.
- As a reader, I want to hear more about how your reading changed you, how you grew because of it.
- The weighting seems off. For about 2/3 of the piece, you focus on your curiosities, and your take-aways are scrunched into the final 1/3.
- I know it’s hard to hit all the points you want to in just 500 words, so look for opportunities at the sentence-level to be more concise.
What piqued my interest most in these war stories was not the events themselves, though they were often
When I make these connections, and
furthermore intentionallyuse them to better empathize with others, I have felt a great positive impact on my relationships with my peers, and my connections with people have grown deeper
I am certain that this sequence of events, though
slightly peculiarin correlation…
Construct a reverse-outline to clarify desired take-aways
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of others.
- Be direct, concise, and clear, but don’t sacrifice your style
- Look for words to cut without diluting the message.
- How one event sparks change in an unlikely way.
- Be more explicit about how this fits with your story.
- Close with the butterfly effect.
- Focus on the scale/scope, not just on the unrelatedness.
- One book —> RELATIONSHIPS PAST AND PRESENT
- Open with a hook that references the effect, identifies the butterfly.
Example of Empathy
- Deliver a short vignette (even as short as 2 sentences) to ground the concept of empathy.