Best college essay-Is there anything like that?
Best college essays
The term college essay itself is confusing. The academic fraternity and essay writing websites have innumerable and diverse interpretations of the term. Some people view it as admissions or entrance essays. Some think of college essays as essays written during college coursework. In the absence of let us think of college essays as essays written during college coursework.
In my opinion there can be no such thing as the “best college essay”. Let us see why? When one talks of “best” there is a contest involved. In this context the contestants are students from the same class or department. The judge is the faculty. What one competes for is related to a particular subject. Introduce other parameters like time, matters become more complex. One teacher in a college may ignore an essay perceived as the best by another teacher in the same college. The interplay of the variables is unpredictable.
Hence let us limit the scope of the term “best college essay” to a college essay, which can probably earn the maximum marks in a given batch of essays. This post does not consider doctoral thesis, particularly in science or professional courses, which can go for international evaluation.
I am not going to repeat the general attributes of a good college essay or academic paper. It is also not my intention to dwell at length on the techniques and nuances of the essay writing process. There is a surfeit of resources regarding all these matters in this very blog. Many shy away from certain apparent areas, which most of you are aware of. Let us look into each one of them.
- Assess the competition: Focus the top decile. Compare yourself with this segment. You have to beat them to write the “best college essay”. Do a SWOT analysis (Strength, weakness, opportunity and threat). Get a clear idea of the competition.
- Select the topic: If there is a choice, select the topic in which you can excel vis-à-vis the competition. Many a time you may have no choice of topic.
- Assess the faculty: The faculty comprises of human beings like you and me with particular tastes and preferences. The members of the faculty are not just machines. Don’t write anything, which can provoke adverse reactions from the faculty. Once I gave the title “Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde of modern physics” to an essay on wave theory of matter and got top marks. When someone else attempted a title alluding to literature in a physics essay he was penalized badly for writing what the teacher thought was just trivia.
- Write to the context: Do not write about sots and inebriation in a chemistry class essay on alcohol. Surprisingly many students commit such mistakes.
- Stick to the guidelines: It is easy to justify low marks for noncompliance with departmental instructions on theme, organization, structure and format.
- Don’t do anything fancy: Remember you are not writing for any tabloid.