If you really
want to learn how to write the college essay, you've come to the right
place. Mastery of writing skills not only increases the likelihood of
success in college, but success in a career as well
What are the signs of a good story teller?
Does your college entrance essay have to be the finest piece of word sculpture
on the planet? No!
|Let's analyze a mini-essay and see how these concepts apply. The mini-essay I have in mind is a Joke. That was not a typo. A good joke has the main elements of a good essay.|
A duck went into a bar one day and asked the barkeeper for some grapes.
"Don't have any grapes," the barkeep replied. Next day the duck
waltzes in again, hops up on a stool and asks, "Got any grapes?"
"I have no grapes," the barman shouts, "This is a bar,
not a grocery store." The following day the duck arrives at the bar
again and repeats the same question. "Got any grapes?" "For
the last time," the barman roars: "I have no grapes and if you
come back in here again asking the same stupid question, I'll nail your
@#$!! feet to the counter."
You will learn a lot from this, because in a very short narrative like a joke, you will discover the nuts and bolts of good writing. Then put your essay up against the joke and see how favorably it compares for those elements.
Caution: The idea behind using the joke was to highlight some of the elements of good story or essay writing, not to suggest that essays have to be funny to be good. However, a good essay will certainly have some of the elements of the joke we've analyzed. Humor can be very effective, used wisely.
let's put this joke under the microscope. Look at the opening line:
"The continuing visits and the repetition of the same question: "Got any grapes?"
"I have no grapes, this is a bar, not a grocery store. . ."
The duck waltzes in, hops up on the bar stool. The web feet, the hammer and the nails.
the economic use of words--few, but well chosen. Powerful impact.
The joke ends with a surprise, as most jokes do. The duck in a sense turns the tables on the barman. This brings the audience reaction which is laughter. This was the goal of the joke teller all along. The desired goal of your essay may not be to make the reader laugh, but you should have in mind the audience reaction you want to create and work toward that throughout the essay.
This will help you stay focused. Also, the focus on the desired audience reaction will help you structure your essay in a user-friendly way which makes it more likely that the college admissions officer will read your essay with rapt attention. And isn't this what you want?
Berkeley & UCLA graduates will edit your essay..............