Creative College Essay

Five years ago, the creative writing program at U of All People swallowed the English department in a semi-hostile takeover and now offers courses in Shakespeare and Creativity, How to Read and Write Poetry Like Sylvia Plath, and Advanced Hemingway and Faulkner Workshops. Of course, in its perpetual quest to boost enrollments, our administration has finally caught on to what sells seats.As of fall 2017, every department and program must have at least one course with some form of the term “creative” in its title. Check out our economic role-playing app at edu/econ.

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To attract maximum numbers, some departments have even hired copywriters for their course descriptions. Line up five economists and get six different opinions -- now that’s creative! LING 145: On the Tip of My Tongue: Speech and Creativity. SPAN 222: Forget the Verb Forms -- Just tell the Story in Creative Spanish.

Herewith, a sampling of the coming offerings: JNLSM 220: Journalism and the Creative Edge. Though short-form journalism was taken over by fake reporting years ago, a slavish adherence to the facts still hobbles many major news stories. ANTHRO 116: Creative Anthropologists Do It in the Field. We don’t really know, but we get mighty creative in our guesswork. Most upper level language courses have you learn more about the culture that speaks the language, but in this course, you write flash fiction in Spanish.

Whichever one you’re given, there are ways to make your essay stand out and be more unique. A “unique” and creative example could actually be how I approached my college essay.

Writing an essay for your application doesn’t mean you have to stick to the format of five paragraphs from high school. Some prompts may keep you to a certain word limit, but you can organize the paragraphs however you like. The prompt for one particular school was just asking for us to tell them about ourselves.

While you don’t want to bring up religion or politics at the Thanksgiving table, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in your college essay, especially if it pertains to something that is important to you.

Prompts may also lead you to this path if they ask you about what you would change in society, what you think could improve your community, what could solve problems on campus, or similar questions.

These are sensitive subjects and approach them with care. Whatever topic you write about, whether it be personal, about your degree, or how you can make the world a better place somehow, show your passion for the topic.

Argue your points in a balanced way and back up your points with evidence. Back up your interests with experiences and show your identity in the essay.

Failing to do so could hurt your admission chances.

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