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What is Missing From Most College Essays

The art of writing the essay is found in the voice.  I know you’re reading this now and perhaps rolling your eyes at the very ethereal notion of “hearing your voice,” but stick with me here.  Your essay, and the topic can be ordinary, oddball, simple, or complex, so long as it is genuinely you, it tends to work.  The reality though, is that we all have multiple voices.  Put another way, we all have various wonderful facets of ourselves, be it a thinker, a leader, a friend, etc.  So which one should you accentuate in your college essay?


To demonstrate this, “humor me with a quick exercise on a scrap piece of paper.  First, write your name using your dominant hand.  Easy enough right?  Now write your name with your non-dominant hand.  A lot harder right?  Took longer?  Looks pretty bad too, huh?  Trying to write an essay in which you are trying to package yourself for some unknown admissions officer is no different than trying to sign your name with your opposite-hand.  It’s going to take forever and the product of your labor isn’t going to look all that familiar to you. 

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