Admitted Essay for the University of Chicago: Essay Review
When It Comes To Writing College Essays, Students Can Use Many Different Writing Styles To Make A Strong First Impression.
However, one of the most effective tools to use when writing your college essay is to create strong connections between you and the college. Showcasing why you and a certain college are a good fit will shine a positive light on your application while simultaneously convincing admission officers that you’ll be a good match for their university.
In this University of Chicago essay review, the writer did an excellent job at creating these connections, but there was still room for improvement in terms of clarity, specificity, and fully answering the essay prompt. Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of this essay to help you in your own essay-writing process...
An Admitted Essay For The University Of Chicago
How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.
I had never heard of the University of Chicago when your representative first came to my school. But I knew I was in the right spot when the rep began with a reference to the first sustained nuclear reaction. Unbeknownst to him, I am enthralled with nuclear history - my bookshelf is filled with books on the atomic bomb and the nuclear navy and speckled with the works of acclaimed physicists like Feynman and Hawking. To hear that the University of Chicago has such a monumental scientific history and was home to the Enrico Fermi was quite exciting. The representative continued by making a joke about replacing the football field with a library. At this point, every head in the room turned to me. I had joked time and again among my classmates that bragging about sports is not a good way for a college to get my attention, and now here was University of Chicago, bragging about the library over the sports team. The representative held my attention for the rest of the presentation - it felt like he was speaking directly to me - but believe me, the coincidences get better.
As a result of speech and debate, I do a lot of research on several different topics. But last year, while I was reading a debate on the right to housing, I had a bit of deja vu. I was citing a man named Cass Sunstein and I was certain that I had cited him before. After consulting my previous debate cases and even an original oratory that I had written, I came to the conclusion that I had cited Professor Sunstein not once, not twice, but four times. Unknowingly, this same man’s research had provided the support for so many of my previous arguments. And he was a professor at, you guessed it, the seemingly ever-present University of Chicago.
At this point, I had decided that I would be interested in studying some brand of economics while in college. I was thinking about a bridge between economics and foreign affairs, but after reading the book The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis, I became absolutely enthralled with behavioral economics. So you can imagine my delight when Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economics. That award sealed the deal for me. After a very successful visit to the campus last summer and all of these exciting coincidences, I am completely convinced that the University of Chicago is the place for me.
Our Expert Review
Overall, this student did a fantastic job at making strong connections between herself and the University of Chicago. The reader finishes the essay with a strong understanding that this college really is a perfect fit for her. She shows her intelligence, intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for topics like economics and nuclear reactions, which are strong programs at the University of Chicago. She also did a great job at making this essay specific to the University of Chicago, and not just making it about college life in general.
Additionally, she showcased her knowledge of the university and their programs, and even balanced out her excitement for the school by admitting a little bit of ignorance that she didn’t know the school even existed; at least originally. This snapshot of honesty presents her as approachable and humble, and makes the reader want to continue reading the essay.
Of course, while she hit many strong points in her essay, it wasn’t perfect.
This student didn’t fully answer the prompt provided, nor did she provide specific explanations for most of her points. Her narrative format was intriguing, but it sometimes got in her way, and hindered her from being clear and direct with her response. It’s a strong essay, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
How To Apply This Advice To Your Own College Essays
For a personal statement like this one, it’s easy to end up with a product that lacks a sense of flow. When the student is editing her essay, she should have focused on providing clear and specific explanations for the long list of coincidences she includes. She should also spend some time removing details that don’t serve the prompt, be wary of repetition, and create more balance in her response.
The writer had plenty of opportunities to get specific with her reasons for why the University of Chicago was such a good fit for her. For example, she showed great enthusiasm for discovering a certain professor’s work, and learning that he won a Nobel Prize, but never followed up with why that made her want to apply to the University of Chicago. She also says that her visit to campus was “very successful” but never explained why.
The writer created a list of coincidences, but didn’t provide full explanations to finish her thoughts on how these coincidences led her to apply. Overall, make sure that you’re providing explanations for the statements you make. Keep asking “Why?” until you get clear, direct answers to your points.
FULLY ANSWER THE PROMPT
The essay prompt gave her three categories to work with: learning, community, and future, and she only focused on learning. It’s incredibly important for you to finish your essay as strongly as you began. Touching on her dreams for the future would’ve brought everything full circle and served as a strong finish.
Ultimately, because she left out anything about her ideas for the future, the writer did not address the prompt as fully as she could. Her idea to include all the coincidences in her life that pointed her to the University of Chicago was a strong move, but it seems like she ran with it so much that she found herself far from the prompt, and unable to find her way back to it in order to bring it home in the end.
LOOK OUT FOR REPETITION
There were several points that the writer repeated several times. Again, this was probably done purposefully in order to serve her narrative structure, and in any other circumstance it would definitely be a creative choice. However, this is a college essay, and with this prompt clarity is more important than creativity.
There’s a sense of repetition in her list of coincidences, and it gave her very little space at the end of her essay to craft a strong ending. She included a few too many details about the coincidences that ultimately helped her decide to apply to the University of Chicago. Since this took up a majority of her essay, it came across as repetitive.
CREATE A NARRATIVE FLOW
This student should review each sentence individually and make sure that each one is connected in some way. Some parts of her essay felt jagged, which probably came out of her narrative structure, but even with a strong storytelling format, flow is incredibly important for the sake of the essay’s readability.
Without this sense of flow, the tone of the essay sometimes came across as scatter-brained. It seems like the writer’s intention was to showcase her enthusiasm, but enthusiasm without an anchor usually reads as messy and lacking balance.
Creating Strong Connections With Your Essay
This student’s essay was exciting to read, and definitely convinced us that the University of Chicago is a perfect fit for her and her passions! The main things that would make the essay even stronger was more specificity in her explanations and a better flow from section to section.
When you’re writing your college essays, your first priority should be to fully answer the prompt. If the essay prompt asks for multiple points, take special care to touch on all of those. The prompt is there to help you structure your essay and space out the information you want to include, so utilize it!
Fortunately, no matter where you are in your essay-writing process, WeAdmit’s professional counselors are experts at providing valuable feedback so you can deliver the strongest and most well-rounded version of your essay. If you’re looking for more guidance on how to craft the perfect college application essay, we hope you’ll get in touch!
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