100 hints for the college entrance essay

Now dazzle them with your brilliance

Time to get those brain juices flowing, now that the college application season is upon us.

For some students, the most dreaded part is the personal essay, and each institution seems to have its own form of torture.

Kinstonteacher.com has something to help: a whopping 100 questions from various colleges and universities in the country. Use them to generate ideas, prepare some answers and get creative — before you’re under the gun and hitting the deadline.

I’ve found three from Carleton College here in Minnesota:

46. Who are the people who have done the most to influence your personal development and in what ways were they influential? )

81. If you had a day to spend as you wish, how would you use your time?

100. Ask and answer the one important question which you wish we had asked.

Anyway, here are the first 10 from the list:

1.What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has influenced your thinking, and in what way? (University of Virginia applicants to the College of Arts and Sciences)

2.Discuss how a particular work of music, literature, or art has inspired your life. (William and Mary)

3.Tell us how a particular book, play, film, piece of music, dance performance, scientific theory or experiment or work of art has influenced you. If you choose a novel, film or play, assume we know the plot. (University of Notre Dame)

4.Consider the books you have read in the last year or two either for school or for leisure. Please discuss the way in which one of them changed your understanding of the world,other people, or yourself. (Duke University)

5.Tell us about a situation where you have not been successful and what you have learned from the experience. (William and Mary)

6.First experiences can be defining. Cite a first experience that you have had and explain its impact on you. (University of Pennsylvania)

7.Recall an occasion when you took a risk that you now know was the right thing to do. (University of Pennsylvania)

8.Tell us what you think about a current scientific or social controversy. (William and Mary)

9.Most people belong to many different communities‹groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. Limit your response to half a page, or approximately 250 words. (University of Virginia all applicants)

10.What can you contribute to a multi-cultural world? (William and Mary)