I hope that prospective applicants reading this blog have clicked the link to the right that goes to Parke Muth's essay advice article. Parke talks about "the good, the bad and the risky" essays with examples that might make the idea of writing your essay a little less scary.
Today, The Wall Street Journal published a Q&A session of sorts with UVA Dean Jack Blackburn and officers from Brown and Harvard. It's a pretty short article and I'm sure they omitted some of the conversation. If you have questions about essay writing that aren't addressed, feel free to post them in the comments and I'll try to respond.
Knowing the WSJ, the article won't be on the website for long unless you're a subscriber.