The Best Essay You Ever Wrote for No Teacher


Every year, high school students write essays and research papers in various English courses either on a book or some educationally-related topic. Those essays obviously do have to be “good,” as they are graded and can reflect your writing as a student, but have any of those essays that you’ve written stood out to be your best piece of writing ever?

This week, Out-of-Door Academy juniors have been working hard to write “the best piece of writing ever” as a part of an important assignment. They choose a topic, varying from the provocative “Where Do You Feel Most Contempt?” to the more vague: “Tell Us Your Story.” Students are expected to write, then re-write, then delete and write again. The process takes a lot of time and hardcore thinking to create the perfect masterpiece.

The masterpiece these students have to write: the College Essay.

“It’s hard,” says Wendy Tan.

If you are not a Junior or a Senior, then you might not know exactly what the college essay is. It is exactly what it sounds like; it is an essay that gets sent to the colleges you are applying to. Its purpose is to provide Admissions with a writing sample that reveals both your ability and who you are.  The essay can be the tipping factor as to whether you get into a stretch school or not.

While the essay can seem overwhelming at first, it will still be overwhelming later because it is an overwhelming essay. The ODA College Counseling office offers support for students including a packet that outlines some tips for success.

1. Be yourself. If the reader can hear a “voice” in the essay, then they will get a better sense of you. The admissions department would rather read a spunky, fun essay than a boring one.

2. Don’t make the essay too short or too long. Around 500 words is perfect, so make sure to fit everything that you need to include in those guidelines.

3. Make sure you have a good topic. The essay is not a time to brag about everything that you have done throughout your high school career, but rather a time to hone in on one specific thing that you have accomplished.

Remember when writing your essay to start early, proofread, and have fun!

Juniors: First draft of your best shot at this is due on Monday April 30th.