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Memorable Essay : Spaghetti Sauce


Dean of Undergraduate Admission, Case Western Reserve University


“I remember reading a great essay and then running from door to door telling everyone they had to read it," says William T. Conley, dean of undergraduate admission at Case Western Reserve University, recalling an outstanding essay he read recently.


What made the essay memorable was the way the writer compared his life to an everyday food: spaghetti sauce. The student wrote about how he had once seen an old commercial for Ragu spaghetti sauce in which a chef talks about all of the fresh vegetables and spices that went into the sauce. Conley says, “The writer wrote about himself by cleverly drawing parallels between the spaghetti sauce and the ingredients that make up his personality. He handled the analogy extremely well. It was very impressive."


Writing a creative essay like this is not easy. It takes a lot of thinking to be able to compare yourself to something in an intelligent and meaningful way. You can’t just draw parallels to surface similarities. (Spaghetti sauce looks good in red and so do I.) You need to go deeper. Doing so successfully can yield a powerful essay. Who knows, maybe your essay will be the one that Conley holds in his hand the next time he runs through his office.


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