Greetings from Prompt!
We had a scary thought this morning. It is only 17 days until November 1st, the early application deadline for many schools. Are you ready?
If you haven’t started writing your essays and activity descriptions, start doing it this week. As mentioned in the timeline provided in last week’s newsletter, complete your drafts by October 22nd to give yourself plenty of time to revise your work prior to the deadline.
This week, we’re talking about the two biggest mistakes we see applicants make in their essays: (1) not answering the prompt and (2) writing a narrative. Read on to learn more and get 25% off professor quality feedback from Prompt!
We know how intense this time of the year can be. That’s why we’re providing our newsletter readers 25% off professor quality feedback on your application essays and activity descriptions. Get your common app essay feedback in 48 hours for only $21 instead of $28 or 6 hours for $28 instead of $37. Just submit your essay within the next 48 hours and use the promo code NEWSLETTER1015!
Haven’t applied to the Prompt $10,000 Scholarship Essay Contest yet? Make sure you do before the January 15th deadline; you don’t even need to have your essay written to get started.
The two biggest essay mistakes we see are (1) not answering the prompt and (2) writing a narrative. Think these are obvious? You may not even know you are doing it. We see top-notch students applying to Ivy League universities make these mistakes all of the time. Having a knowledgeable second pair of eyes read over and provide feedback on your essays is a must. Let’s break down these mistakes.
1) Not answering the prompt
Make sure you read the prompt carefully and answer every element of it. This is difficult as you need to understand the subtext: the question behind the question. What are colleges looking for? They want successful alumni, active students, team players, leaders, good people, and people who fit with their culture.
It is important that your essay clearly displays that you will fall into one of these categories. This is hard, but fortunately, we have some help:
- Take a look at how to decode the prompt
- Learn how to select your essay prompt for the Common Application
- Answer the prompt in one or two sentences by writing a killer thesis statement
2) Writing a narrative
Writing an essay is different than writing a novel or autobiography. Your admissions officers do not want to read a narrative (i.e., using the essay to retell a story from your past). A narrative does a poor job of answering the prompt and makes it very difficult for the admissions officer to obtain the information he or she needs. Instead, focus on incorporating elements of your story throughout an essay structure that focuses on introspection and answering the prompt.
The best way to do this is by writing a one or two-sentence thesis statement that answers the prompt and then developing an outline of your essay before writing it. Thankfully we have some help:
- Focus on introspection instead of storytelling
- Develop your thesis statement, the single most important part of your essay
- Write an outline and use it to develop your essay
- Use your life story as supporting evidence, not the main platter
We know you have a lot of work ahead of you over the next 17 days. Let us help you succeed. Take an hour to write your outline and draft tonight and then use the codeNEWSLETTER1015 to get 25% off professor quality feedback. Don’t spend hours writing your draft; get some quick feedback and we’ll tell you if you are headed in the right direction.
Good luck. We’re pulling for you!
The Prompt Team