Writing College Admissions Essays

Topics: University of California, Writing, Essay Pages: 27 (2260 words) Published: December 5, 2014
Writing College Admissions
UC Personal Statements
Information, Strategies, & Tips

Workshop Topics
• Understanding the Role of the College Admission
• Examples of Essay Questions
• UC Personal Statement
• Preparation Before You Write the Essay
• Tips
• Mechanics of Writing the Essay
• Helpful Websites

Role of the Admission Essay
• As a transfer student, the essay is an important part of your admission application for the University of California and
most private and out-of-state universities.
• The essay is not read in isolation but with all the
information you provide in your application.
• It's your one chance to explain to college admissions readers why you are a good fit for their school.
• This is where you become more than just another name — it's where you become an individual, and where you can
share your personality, your goals, your experiences, and
where you can explain any opportunities or obstacles that
have affected your academic record.

Role of the Admission Essay
• Is an opportunity to provide information that gives
readers a context for your accomplishments.
• Offers you a chance to contribute your voice to the
admission process.
• The readers are looking for insight into you as a
• As a writer; the reader will also evaluate your writing
style, language usage, organization, and content.

Role of the Admission Essay

• Allows you to add information that you
couldn't work into the other parts of the
• Adds clarity, depth, and meaning to
information collected in other parts of
your college application.
• Enables you to make the best possible
case for admission.

USC - Examples of Essay Questions
• Students must complete the Essay, Short Answers, and Quick Takes. • Essay Question - Please write an essay of approximately 500–700 words (typically about two double-spaced pages) on one of following topics:

– The 18th-century French philosopher Denis Diderot said, “Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.” Describe one of your passions and discuss its contribution to your personal growth.

– Thomas Edison failed many times before successfully inventing the modern electric light bulb. He said, “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” Reflect on an accomplishment you achieved in an unlikely way. – Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion in the same direction unless acted upon by an external force. Tell us about an external influence (a person, an event, etc.) that affected you and how it caused you to change direction.

USC - Examples of Essay Questions
• Short Answers - Please answer questions 1 through 3. Question 4 is optional.
– 1. Tell us about an activity that is important to you, and why. – 2. Describe your academic interests and how you plan to
pursue them at USC. (Transfers only: Please be sure to address your first- and second-choice major selections.)
– 3. Why are you planning to transfer to USC?
– 4. If there is any information you believe is relevant to our consideration of you as an applicant that is not already
contained in your application, feel free to explain on an
additional sheet.

USC - Examples of Essay Questions
• Quick Takes - On a separate sheet, please respond to each of the following in one sentence or less. (A single word may
suffice.) These questions have no right or wrong answers.

– Three words that describe you

Favorite leisure activity
Favorite food
Last book you read for pleasure
Role model
Best movie of all time
Favorite musical performer/band/composer
Favorite quote
Most prized possession
Dream job

• Essay Questions (2 required). Each essay
should contain 300-600 words.
– #1. Westmont encourages students to learn more
about the Christian faith...
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