“Your Essay Game Plan” by Alan Gelb, author of the bestselling book Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps


  • 篇五百字的通用申请文书
  • 篇简短文书,其中主要涉及你的课余活动,包括一些个人参加的社团活动或者工作经验


English version:

One of the things that is important to keep in mind as you approach the essays you’ll need to write for your college admissions application is that you’re going to have a whole lot of essays to write. Colleges and universities in the United States do not make this process easy. Not only does the process require stamina, a good attitude, and a sense of focus, but it will also require some organizational effort. Keep in mind the big picture of what lies ahead and you’ll see that you’ll have to write at least the following:

  • The 500 word common application main essay.
  • A shorter common application essay about your most significant extracurricular, personal, or work activity/experience.

You should also be prepared to write an essay of about 2,000 characters on your academic interests; this will be required by most schools you apply to. Many of the schools are also asking students to write significant essays on how they will contribute to the college’s diversity–a natural for anyone coming from China–or on an ethical dilemma you may have confronted. Another kind of essay–required by Stanford University, for instance–has you telling your future roommate something about yourself. This one is particularly important for international students, as the schools want to make sure that you will be able to make valuable contributions to the social community.
So, again, you have to plan all this out. If you are a serious violinist, then your main common app 500-word essay shouldn’t be about being a violinist if you’re then planning to write your shorter common app essay (extracurricular activity) on being a violinist.
If you have tons of experiences and activities to choose from, then you won’t find this kind of strategizing too taxing. If, however, you haven’t been that active beyond your studies, then you’ll really have to pay attention to what’s going where in order to avoid repeating yourself.