Modifying An Existing College Admission Essay

Modifying An Existing College Admission Essay :

The key to recycling is that most colleges ask you the same underlying question which is to tell them something important about yourself. Even if at first the questions appear different, for the most part the answers can be the same. Often, changing the introduction and conclusion and doing some editing of the body are all that is needed to recycle an essay.

Let’s look at an example of how this might work. A typical essay question is, “Evaluate a significant experience or achievement that has special meaning to you.” Since you are a smart applicant who has read this page, you would follow all the tips in the previous pages and after several weeks have a perfect essay describing, for example, a hike in the Grand Canyon that changed your outlook on life. This essay directly addresses the significant experience question and could be mailed as is.

However, for another school, you might think you need to write an entirely new essay to answer their question, “Describe a book, class, project or person that you find intellectually exciting.”

Before you begin brainstorming, wait a minute. If you have read any books along the lines of Robinson Crusoe, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn or The Heart of Darkness, you could in your introduction begin by referring to one of these books, describing the importance of nature and adventure in the book and then showing how these same themes have affected your life.

With a good transition, you could then attach word for word the main body of your first essay describing your own adventure in the Grand Canyon and how it changed your views. In the conclusion you could again juxtapose your adventure with that of one of the characters or themes in the novel and reemphasize the significance of both the book and adventure in your life.

The result would be another perfect essay that only took a fraction of the time to write. The major requirement for recycling to be successful is that you have at least one good essay with which to begin.

Remember that as powerful as recycling is, it will not improve a bad essay. In fact, a bad essay recycled and sent to 100 schools will still only yield 100 rejections.

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