We’re reblahgging this because a fairly recent NY Times article, How to Spot and Overcome Your Hidden Weaknesses , mentioned the Dunning-Kruger effect and reminded us of the importance of this stuff on learning to write essays!
Whenever anybody sends in material for review by EssaySnark, we know that they think that it’s good.
Err well waitaminit… Sometimes people just phone it in. No idea why anyone would do that. After all if you’re paying for our help on your apps, we’d think that you’d put in the most effort possible to do as well as you can on everything before asking for feedback. You send in sloppy illogical typo-ridden crap to us, we’re going to get stuck on critiquing that. (Plus it may prove a little irksome, given all the resources available to you to do a better job the first time out.)
There’s a difference between a sucky first draft that’s sucky because all first drafts are sucky, and the phone-it-in type who just half-@ssed their way through, slapping some words together and calling it a day.
Today we’re talking about the sucky first draft phenomenon.
This is just how it works in any kind of writing.
Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of everything is shit.”
Yup, he said that, he really did. And he would know!!!
The difference when you’re not A Writer is that you may not realize that your first draft is shit. Or maybe you do and you don’t know how else to change things to make it better. Which is of course why you’ve enlisted our help in the process.
There’s also this thing called the Dunning-Kruger Effect which is a cognitive bias whereby absolute beginners – the unskilled – produce some work which they believe is much better than it actually is.
Now, despite the fact that your first draft will suck, and that when you send it in to us for review it will come back fully decimated (which is in fact why we named our review service that) you may still have trouble dealing with the fact that your precious essay-baby was obliterated by the ‘Snark’s critique. When you get your first draft critiques back, then you should take a deep breath, and recognize that everybody goes through this, acknowledge that perhaps you too fell victim to that cognitive bias thing we mentioned that everyone falls victim to, and then turn to this post on how to deal with the feedback you’ll receive. It’s very likely to be overwhelming.
Or, if you’re not yet at the point where you’re ready to submit any first drafts – ‘cuz like they haven’t been written yet – then we STRONGLY suggest you look into our Complete Essay Package, which is designed to help you identify and develop the building blocks of your pitch, in a step-by-step process. The Complete Essay Package is the best way to ensure that the essay reviews you receive back on those first drafts are not all full of “Nope, no, not gonna work” but are instead full of “Good to see you opening with this, this is important” and “OK, this has potential, but…” and “Maybe if you switched this around with that…” and even here or there a “Yes!!”
The fact that all first drafts are crap is the other reason why we always harp on BSers to get started early. (Translation: NOW.) Good essays come through revision. Revision takes time. This is not an overnight process – not if you expect things to hold together in a logical progression of thoughts that are targeted and specific, and that answer the question with the appropriate levels of insight and depth.
Sitting here right exactly at this point on the calendar is an IDEAL time to get started on those Round 1 applications.
We’re here to help when you’re ready for it!