If you would like me to take a look at your essays, make sure that you have followed the steps in the PPT below FIRST. Print it out and bring to my eagle hour :)
Resume & Cover Letter Writing:
Tips from Harvard (Includes GREAT verbs for Resumes)
College Essay Writing:
My PowerPoint on Admissions Writing
What to Avoid in general (topic, and writing style)
Cliche Topics to avoid
What you must do in your essay - 4 Straightforward pieces of advice
35 Tips -- Some of these are really good but there is a lot here
Try to limit repetition, so no need to include info that is in your essay, on your resume, or in a rec letter.
Be direct and don't feel like you have to use all the space. They will not appreciate you wasting their time.
Try to create a "theme" through the essay and your answers. Mission- and goal-driven students are likely to be successful.
They know how great they are -- Even if the question says "tell us why you want to come HERE," your response should be about yourself.
Colleges know you revise the essay over and over again. They use these questions to evaluate your writing skill becuase they know people write these off the cuff. It matters just as much in these that you write well.