The Mosaic

Colleges require a lot of information about you. Some student perceive that in a linear fashion – as a list of items they should send. However, I believe you should perceive it as a mosaic, a jigsaw puzzle, a web, the forest, the big picture, i.e. the way items interrelate.

You should be careful about what COMBINATION of essays you send. Each new item should not repeat what admissions officers already know from other documents / essays, but add something new. It’s the overall picture that matters.

That will make your essay list longer because you might have a ready essay, required by a couple of colleges, but it might be wiser not to use it for college X, as when combined with the other responses you’re sending to Х, it just repeats something or by sending it you might miss the opportunity to tell admissions something really important.

What I would do is jot down ideas on EVERY topic instead of picking one out of 3-5 and not trying the rest at all. You don’t know where the treasure lies.

So, present me with lists of ideas instead of whole essays at the beginning. Actually, you might even have several ideas on the same topic 🙂

It’s not a waste of time. You’ll have bigger chances to come up with good ideas, and if an idea is good, an essay is easy to write, and you’ll do it fast and smooth. If the idea is not so good, you’ll spend a lot of time on it, and it’ll never be THAT good.

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