Just when the four appplicants are denied an interview with the ''Adviser of Odds'' (the Wizard), the ''Good Babe of the West Coast'' (the Good Witch of the West) appears.
'' 'Chill out,' she said. 'Scarecrow, you won't need brains if you take an S.A.T. prep course. Sterling, don't worry; hearts hardly count. Dandelion, you are unlikely to work no matter where you go, but you would not be alone at Harvard. And now you Dorothy. All along you have had the ivy slippers. Nothing can stand in your way. You are going to Brown.' '' And Dorothy (Mr. Cooper) did. A One-Act Musical
Among the ''Offbeat Essays,'' Matt Weingarden, a Yale applicant, wrote a one-act musical in which he plays himself. His best friend is named Sponge and a chorus comments on Matt's description of why he wants Yale and why Yale should want him. To the tune of ''When Johnny Comes Marching Home,'' the chorus sings: ''Oh, Matt is applying to Yale on his knees, Accept! Accept! Academically, socially, artistically, he's Adept! Adept! With his sharp sense of humor he knocks us all out, He is the candidate we highly tout And our song may be stale But Matt ought to get into Yale.
One admissions officer, Dan Lundquist of the University of Pennsylvania, cautions that ''witty'' essays often fall flat and that admissions officers view them as ''inappropriate or even obnoxious.''
Besides giving words of caution and examples of what worked, the book also offers concrete suggestions about writing admissions essays: Give yourself time to think of your essay; write a time-line of your life, noting important events; discuss essay topics with friends, parents, teachers; make sure you answer the question appropriately; let your essay sit for a while; check the spelling, grammar and punctuation, and check it for wordiness.
What essay works best? ''Honesty, brevity, risk-taking, self-revelation, imaginativeness and fine writing,'' says one admissions officer. ''If a student reads his application before mailing it and can say 'this sounds like me,' then he's probably written the best essay possible.''Continue reading the main story
A few examples of how to answer this prompt:
Example 1: Again, mentioning your research here isn’t a bad approach (unless you’ve done so in a previous answer!). Research isn’t constrained to scientific research either. If you’ve been involved in some academic pursuit outside of school, this is also a great place to talk about your impact.
Example 2: Have you been involved in your school? Clubs, sports, student council — these are all common places for visionary leadership. Talk about how you’ve engaged with the community, grown as an individual, and left your mark. Make sure the essay focuses on you, with the engagement providing the necessary stories and insights to write compellingly.
Example 3: Involved in your community? Common groups include churches, hospitals, activism, and non-profits. If your political activism or volunteering has made a difference you’re proud of, this is the perfect essay for you! Again, focus on your role and your impact, rather than that of the organization. For example, if you volunteered at a hospital, don’t tell Yale about how hospitals are important; tell them how you rearranged the bookshelf to make the books easily accessible.