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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Know your essay topic (or pretend you do)

As I read countless essays about 1984, Farenheit 451, Eli Weisel's Night, and other books that "surprised, challenged or unsettled" applicants this year, I sometimes crave a little variety. Inevitably, that's when I'll come across an essay about a song that surprised, challenged or unsettled an applicant. I usually dive into these essays, grateful for some variety. Every once in a while, as these essays glide smoothly along, there's a derailment. Thinking back to one of these moments, I remember reading that John Lennon sang "Yesterday" (it was McCartney). Is this a big deal? In the long run, no. But it's one of those things that sticks in our minds...that applicant will always be the one who thought Lennon sang "Yesterday".

After you write your essay, step away from it for a few days. Look at it again and take on the role of fact checker. Cross check those details!