What we’re going to cover today is what we cover over and over again on this here snarkolicious blahg – and it’s one of the slipperiest techniques to master. It’s also perhaps the most sophisticated, and while we cannot say that if you write your essays using this technique, that you’re guaranteed to be accepted, we can say that it’ll get you way further than almost anyone you know. You have the chance of truly standing out if you do this.
Will it be easy? Heck no. Will it be worth it if you struggle through the learning curve? Almost undoubtedly.
When an admissions person says that the essays don’t really matter that much, they mean, “The average-quality essay that we see from the majority of candidates.”
Time and again, we’ve watched candidates with very “average” stats pull in super impressive outcomes at the end of the process, when the essays they submitted were superlative.
So how do you write superlative essays?
First, you devote time to the process. Good essays are born through the rewrite.
Your first drafts will be crap. That’s why God designed first drafts. Make your first drafts as good as you can make them, but understand: THEY WILL BE CRAP.
For whatever reason, when you’re creating something, you need to go through the crappy first drafts process before you can get to anything good.
Pro Tip: The people who come up short write one draft and polish it and submit it.
Your first draft should never be submitted — not to the adcoms, and not even to EssaySnark.
If you’re using our Essay Decimator essay review service, then we exhort you to go back and rewrite and even possibly totally restructure and redo your essay before you send it in for first review. Your final product will be gobs better that way!
Next, regardless of what the essay question is, regardless of what topic you choose to write about: You need to DEMONSTRATE why the answer you’re giving is true. You can’t just make a bald assertion that it is.
This means, talking in SPECIFICS. Using EXAMPLES.
Not generic, generalized statements.
Pro Tip: If you’re new to this essay-writing stuff, then almost guaranteed, what you write in your first few drafts will be generic!
Here’s what we mean.
It’s the difference between:
“I like to travel to strange cities so that I can learn more about new places.”
“Last summer I went to Naples Italy by myself and left my map and phone in my hotel room. I got in a taxi and asked the driver to take me to the most interesting neighborhood he knew of, at least 25 miles from my hotel, and drop me off. I had to find my way back without knowing any Italian. Along the way, I did X, and met Y, and had ABC experiences. I learned from this that…..”
See the difference?
Finally, you need to ANSWER THE QUESTION.
“Ha,” you are now saying. “EssaySnark. Your advice is ridiculous. Of course I’m answering the question!! Gosh, you think I’m a dummy?”
Pro Tip: Almost everyone who writes a first draft thinks they’re answering the question!
You can see what we mean in this hopefully very clear example. 🙂
Wow. You got a three-fer today! We promised the most important technique, and we gave you three!
The tl;dr is, Show, don’t tell.
THAT is the most important technique.
You’ll need to study this, probably for way longer than you would like to, and work at it, probably way harder than you expect, for it to click in your wee little brain.