Tips on Writing the Effective Essay

There are two basic types of essays: personal and academic. They are different kinds of pleasure. The aesthetic pleasures or daydreaming and the pleasures of learning. But in some way, the reader realizes that the pleasures are undifferentiated. The reason is simple: each essay is a small story. The personal essay is imaginative writing: it tells a story and is written in the memoir style. In relation to the academic essay, it is mainly objective and impersonal. The reader looks for a mentor in whose authority he believes. Both types of essay, of course, answer questions. Both types can present ideas to the world. The same basic structural design underlies both types of writing, to know: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

The opening of the essay should be unexpected and refreshing. You should immediately introduce the tone of language that permeates the entire essay. The essay should contain a consistent tone. If you start writing in a formal tone, continue in this way from beginning to end. That is to say, do not use street slang, if you are writing a logical argument.

You can structure your essay into two or three separate parts. Each part serves a distinct function in the essay. The basic building block of essay structure is the sentence. Vary your sentence structure by alternating short and long sentences and dependent and independent clauses. Vary also the transition sentences between paragraphs.

Your essay will be convincing only when you provide the reader with new insight about the theme. The essay should exhibit a consistent theme. The piece’s unity is more important than anything else about it. It is important to have an innovative viewpoint, an original perspective in its own right. A good essay reassures the vision of life the writer believes.

The best writers use clear language (but never redundant) and vivid language that allows the reader to see, taste, and hear the evidence. Remember the old rule: telling instead of showing. Use specific, vivid physical details instead of vague generality. The choice of details will set you apart. Brevity is paramount. You must to know what to leave out. Leave something to the reader’s imagination.

The conclusion should clearly tie together the entire essay. One simple way to do this is reviving images from the introduction. You can bring the essay together by wrapping it up with references to earlier parts of the piece. We use to say that the piece comes full circle when it responds to her initial question.

Survival Tips – Grading Essays

Maybe it is just me – Ha, yeah right! – but grading is one of the most difficult parts of this whole teaching thing.

I know I am not the only teacher who feels this way. In fact I had a student tell me that he was thinking of being a teacher until he realized all his teachers complained about the grading. I actually felt bad that I contributed to his negative thinking and apologized to him for complaining about my job. I gave him honest reasons why teaching is amazing and why it can be a challenge.

I then decided to not say a word about grading to my students and simply keep my thoughts to myself, a few close friends, and you.

My aversion to grading is rather new. I never used to mind grading. I actually used to like it. I enjoyed seeing what my students learned and reading their thoughts.

It all changed this year. I know that there are ebbs and flows with everything and that teaching is one of those things. I know there are good years and OK years and years that make you think “Good gracious, when will it all end?” This year is no exception. Overall this has been an OK year for many different reasons. However, when it comes to grading it has been a “Good gracious, when will it all end?”

I have had many times where I question my ability to teach, where I consider going back to school and getting my MBA, or becoming a PE teacher – why didn’t I do this to begin with? I could wear yoga pants every day!

In many ways this year I have adapted some survival tactics so that I can enjoy make it through my piles of essays that I will share with you now.

– Carry stacks of papers from desk to car to home to car to desk to home to car to desk to…

– Grade two papers a day for a month, you might eventually finish.

– Before you grade think of the top 3-5 things you want the essay to do, only read those parts and grade accordingly.

– Take a break every 10 papers or so, but don’t snack, you will gain 10 pounds in a week!

– Stop grading when comments start to become “Did you listen to any of the directions I gave you?!?!”

– Remember that it is their paper, not your paper.

– Stack the deck – I like to student’s who usually produce good work and place their papers strategically though the pile. It is a needed boost when I am considering walking off the job.

– Find the funniest simile, metaphor, personification etc. One of my favorites was “Love is like a pot of wine, just one drink and you are passed out drunk.” So much about this is beautiful. Who drinks wine from a pot? What kinds of wine renders a person drunk after one sip? How did an 18 year old senior know about this wine?

– Run a mile after every 20 papers. It keeps you awake and fresh. Works well when you are stuck grading at home and can run around your neighborhood or have a treadmill.

– Remember that these kids, even though they are not your kids, are some one’s kids. They are daughters and sons and should be treated with worth.

– Assign grades based on how much I like them, how much they gave me in a Starbucks card for Christmas, how many excuses they gave when they turned the paper in, or blindly make piles of papers in a stack for As, Bs, Cs, Ds and Fs. Obviously, I do none of these, but it is fun to think of new ways to grade.

– Instead of getting mad, sad, depressed I now laugh. Just laugh it off and move on. The kids who do care will continue to do well and the ones who do not will change one day or not. You cant fix everyone.

– Pray. I honestly have to pray before I sit down and grade these days, it helps me remember to be kind.

No matter how much you want to throw the paper away or just give them all As there are plenty of ways to make it through that mountain staring you down. Do not get discouraged and do not feel like you are alone. This too shall pass.

SSAT Essay: No Sweat Essay Writing Tips

The SSAT essay is just one more thing to worry about. You’re thinking what on earth can they be asking to write on and let alone will my child be able to put their thoughts down on paper all coherent and of course grammatically correct.

Calm down, it’s not that bad since there are some encouraging guide lines to talk about with your child before everyone gets all worked up. First it is important to know what weight the essay really has in the admissions process, you will be surprised! Read on to get the right head start for the SSAT essay.

SSAT Essay: no sweat tips

What is the test day procedure? Write A Short Essay

Private schools use the essay that your child writes to evaluate their writing ability. The essay writing will be done individually. Your child will be given a quiet room to sit back and write the essay without any disturbance. This gives your child full concentration and the private school can ensure that it is the work of your child.

The essay is a short essay with 150-250 words. The subject will be announced right before the essay exam.

What about style? Just Be Yourself

The private school admissions review the essay on content. They try to get an overall picture of the candidate, their personality, character, values or beliefs. There is no wrong way to approach the writing style; just be yourself.

Is grammar important? It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

If your child doesn’t have serious problems with grammar, then don’t worry about it. More important is that your child shows that they can express themselves, their ideas, beliefs and show creativity. The school will be looking for unique and original essays that show the child can think.

By the way if you are wondering what is the SSAT all about, the exam does test grammar. Don’t worry though, grammar can be taught!

How much practice? Practice Makes Perfect but make if fun

This is tough to answer. The fact is the more you write the better you become in writing coherent, interesting and original essays.

Now don’t panic on this one! There are ways to get your child to practice. Find fun ways to get your child to do this. Try fun learning software on essay writing, or have your child write short essay emails to someone who will send them back a few helpful tips. Be creative.

Does Reading help? Read as much as possible

Some children love reading, so don’t worry about them. It is those that don’t like to read that need motivation in finding something to read that interests them. This is a challenge that parents have. Most likely you will need to take time to read something together and talk about what you have read, even if it is only a short article.

Can’t seem to make this work! Go ahead and get Help

If you have realize that nothing seems to work for you and your child then don’t hesitate to get external help. Make sure you recognize this early enough so that your child has a good head start.

5 Tips to Wow the Admission Officer With Your College Application Essay

It’s time in your life that you search the internet for essay help to use for that dreaded college application, right? Now calm down, pay attention, and read along to find out just how you can impress whoever will be reading your college application essay.

First, Get to Know Yourself

Before you can start drafting your essay, it would greatly help to list down your strengths and anything that comes up to mind when you hear the words “What makes you, you?” When it comes to college application, the best essay help to remember would be this one. Why? College application essays exist mainly for one thing; to let the admission officers get to know you like no numbers on your test scores or bulleted facts on your resume could.

Honesty Catches the Eye

Fact is that you would like to impress those admission officers in all ways possible. With this in mind, you might be tempted to answer the essay thinking about what are the likely answers that would make such effect. But another fact is this; those college admission officers already know what you’re thinking. They can already spot the formulaic, insincere answers that usually come up from applicants who think first on how to impress instead of what I believe or what matters to me. If there’s another essay help, you should remember it’s this; honesty first.

Specificity Over Generalizations, Please

Some colleges have prompts or essay questions while others give you the freedom to pick whatever you want to write about. In both cases, choose a specific topic – it could be an ultra-unique experience or perhaps a quirky quality/interest you possess – and expand on it, use it to relate to the question (if ever there is) and stick to that viewpoint. Nobody wants to hear about your beliefs on, say, religion; what people would want to know is why, what are the specific events that happened in your life that led you to form those beliefs.

Know the Basics

When students ask for essay help they usually get the technical stuff. Knowing the basics of these technicalities does help. Thus, you should outline your ideas; have a compelling introduction that introduces your main viewpoint in one paragraph; build using specific examples to support your main viewpoint in two or three paragraphs, then in one paragraph, form a strong conclusion.

“Does It Sound Like Me?”

That is what you should ask yourself once you read aloud your entire essay after lots of revisions and proofreading. If you answer yes, then you’re all set. If not, then no problem, just rewrite it again and this time, write like how you would talk to a close friend – minus the slang, of course!

Do not hesitate to ask your parents, teachers and friends (and if you can find an adult stranger who could provide you impartial feedback, the better) for essay help. Remember, this is college; your essay might be one of the factors that could set the direction for the rest of your life.

INSEAD MBA Essay Tips

Two campuses, multiple degree options and a diverse and international class set INSEAD apart. When you approach this set of essays, make sure you are ready to explain your career plans in detail, and highlight any International experiences in your background.

INSEAD focuses separately on the job and personal portion of your MBA application essays, seeking to understand candidate’s current career position in detail before delving into the personal aspect. Though career is covered in several essays rather than one, you should make sure that all of the essays work coherently together. As INSEAD states on the website: “We evaluate each applicant against four central criteria: leadership potential and work experience; academic capacity; international motivation; and ability to contribute to the INSEAD experience.”

Job Description Essays

Essay 1. Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved.

This question should focus entirely on your current (or most recent) work situation. Though you will want to provide relevant context for your current role, make sure you are devoting most of the essay to describing the details of your day-to-day responsibilities and oversight. If you are lighter on supervising others or managing a budget, you have the opportunity to highlight some key responsibilities and results.

When you are composing this essay make sure you focus on what you uniquely have contributed to the role, rather than reciting the job description. What have you done that is above and beyond?

Essay 2. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position?

This is essentially a walk-through of your resume using the essay format to allow you to provide a unifying thread through the narrative. INSEAD is seeking to understand your career trajectory and how you have grown and progressed through your career. Think about the choices you have made in your career, and how your past experiences have combined to provide you with your current skill set. If you have a fairly straightforward career path you can take the opportunity to comment on some of the learnings from each position. The second part of the question also needs to be answered. Think about the next step at your job, and where you might land if you did not leave to pursue an MBA. While this is a straightforward question, you may need to demonstrate that you can’t get where you want to go from here “” and that you will need an MBA to achieve your goals.

Essay 3. If you are currently not working, what are you doing and what do you plan to do until you start the MBA programme if applicable? (250 words maximum)

If you are not employed at the moment, you will want to answer this question to show how you are utilizing your time without full time employment. Ideally you are currently involved in an activity that is going to further your career or personal goals at this time. The best answer is one that shows you are self-motivated and do not need paid work to continue developing yourself.

Perhaps you are volunteering in a non-profit that is related to your career goals. Maybe you are working with a friend on a start-up. Or you are consulting and building contacts in your industry. If you are out of work only briefly, it’s also perfectly reasonable to be pursuing travel or other activities that develop your international awareness and perspective. However, make sure that your activities can tie back to your long-term goals or other key aspects of your application strategy.

Essays

Essay 1. Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (600 words max.)

Strengths and weaknesses are a common topic for MBA applications. This is a great opportunity to highlight some of your skills and attributes that demonstrate leadership, teamwork or other qualities that will drive your future career success.

Demonstrating self-awareness and the ability to assess your own performance will be impressive. While examples aren’t required, consider that adcomm is reading a vast number of essays and that concrete examples are both easy to understand, and may help you stand out from the crowd.

When describing weaknesses you will want to focus on those weaknesses that you have taken concrete steps to address, or that have been a route to learning more about yourself. Often strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin, in which case you can even tie your key weaknesses to your key strengths. Because it is often difficult to write about one’s weaknesses this is an especially important essay to share with others to seek feedback on tone and impact.

Essay 2. Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (400 words max.)

This essay is an opportunity to showcase one of your most important achievements. Impressive achievements that stand on their own are great, but you will want to pay equal attention to explaining why these accomplishments are valuable to you.

If you concisely explain the accomplishment and how you were able to bring it to fruition, you will have room to provide the context for your personal pride in the accomplishment. If you don’t have an achievement that you think is incredibly impressive on your own focus mainly on what is important to you and an example that shows the activities you value.

The flip side of achievement is failure, and INSEAD wants to understand how you view both. When approaching any failure essay it’s important to use a real failure that has emotional resonance for you. An accomplishment framed as a failure will be easy to see through and will not demonstrate anything about your maturity or ability to grow.

Your failure should be real, and also something that led you to grow or learn. If you can describe how you have changed your approach as a result of the failure that is an excellent outcome.

The third part of the essay deals with how these experiences impacted the others around you and what you learned. Whether you were part of a team or the main impact was on a loved one, this part of the essay encourages you to step outside your own narrative of success and failure and think about how you have impacted other people through your actions.

Most obviously a success led to happiness from a team or a manager, while a failure was disappointing to those around you. However, your particular achievement or failure could have led to a learning experience for your team, an opportunity for someone else, or a chance for you to be closer to another person through a team challenge. Think creatively about this aspect.

Note that your application to INSEAD ideally covers both the personal and professional. This essay could be an opportunity in this essay set to bring in a new angle on your profile through describing one of your most substantial accomplishments outside of work.

Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.)

This essay should demonstrate your awareness of the world outside your own ethnic or cultural identity. INSEAD is a highly international program and seeks candidates that both demonstrate and value diversity.

This could be an opportunity to highlight any international or cross culture exposure you have had such as traveling outside your home country, or when experiencing diversity within your home country.

When you describe the experience and judge it to be either positive or negative it will be important to provide some individual context. Every applicant from INSEAD is coming from a unique background and from many different countries. Your perception of positive or negative cultural diversity will be a view into how you interact with the world.

For example, you could view the lack of diversity in a workplace or school environment as a significant negative, or perhaps you had an experience of being the only “diverse” person in a work or personal situation.

On the positive side perhaps you learned more about others through a new cultural experience or through team building with a group of people different from yourself. Where you are coming from will be the deciding factor in terms of what experiences are ultimately positive or negative.

At all times consider the environment at INSEAD and what your essay is saying about your ability to fit in among a highly diverse group of people.

Essay 4. Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (300 words max.)

Nothing is more personal than what you choose to do outside of school or work. What are the most meaningful pursuits you have spent your time on? You should both describe the main interests you have outside of your professional pursuits and explain why they are meaningful to you and why you spend time on them.

Ideally you can also explain how you will continue your involvement while at INSEAD and cite some specific clubs or groups where you see your interests contributing to the community.

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the admissions committee? (300 words max.)

This essay is 350 words you can use for anything you would like to showcase and that you were unable to work into the rest of your application. Because INSEAD’s questions are quite thorough you may have covered all aspects of your candidacy and personal qualities in the other five essay questions, in which case you can feel comfortable skipping this question (it IS optional).

If you did not have a place for an interesting hobby, new aspect of your background to describe, or key accomplishment, it may be appropriate to use this space to tell that story.

It is far better to fully explain any issues in your application than to leave the admissions committee to guess what happened. If you have any challenging aspects to your candidacy like a low GPA or a failing grade in college, this is the correct place to address those concerns. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue.

For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since rather than focusing on the negative. Avoid blaming anyone else for your issue, and relentlessly show why this one incident is in your past and will stay there.