Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

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Friday, December 04, 2009

A suggestion

Those of you who are still trying to write application essays may do some googling to find inspiration or advice. Dean Parke Muth has a suggestion for you as you do this. If you're going to lift content, don't do it from our website. We'll probably recognize our own words.

The "good" example from Dean Muth's essay about essay writing:
The coughing came first, the hacking in the middle of the night. Then there were the multiple doctor visits, each one the same: the little white rooms with magazines where I tried not to stare at the bald, gaunt woman across from me. One of the white coats finally said something, steadily, forecasting an 80 percent change of rain. The list of second opinions grew too long to count, looking for someone to say the right thing. Finally, there was relief in hearing the name of a kinder killer: lymphoma.

An essay from an application Dean Muth reviewed yesterday:
Until finally, one of the white coats said something, steadily, predicting a 85 percentage of possibility. At the moment, I broke down. What the doctor said about hypothesis and suggestions sounded too long to count, there was relief in finally hearing the name of a kinder killer, breast cancer.

What happens when someone comes across an essay like that? Well, first it gets emailed around the office. Then we debate sharing this example with you. I bet you can guess what happens next.

By the way, you obviously shouldn't be lifting content from any source. These are personal statements. When you are about to hit that submit button, make sure those essays sound truly, authentically like you.