In our recent post we listed the top 5 most common essay questions on college applications. We will tackle each question over the upcoming weeks to provide you with some insight on how best to respond. Here’s a question that can give some students a bit of grief, particularly if they do not read outside of class:
#1. Write about a book you’ve read
If you’re a student that doesn’t “like reading” or doesn’t “have time to read outside of class,” it’s imperative that you plan ahead for this question. I advise my students to read a book during breaks or over the summer prior to senior year. You can get a book recommendation from a close friend or local librarian. Many librarians will publish a list of popular teen books. Once you’ve chosen a book, make sure it’s at an appropriate grade level and that you finish it.
The essay response should not be written as a book report. The college application essay comes from the heart so this is a great opportunity to get rid of the five-paragraph essay model! The emphasis in this essay should be on YOU!
Instead, focus your response on how the book impacted you. Here are two ways to do that:
- Detail in your essay how this particular book changed your thinking on a topic
- Detail in your essay what this book meant to you.
Focusing in either direction keeps the emphasis on YOU.
In next week’s posting, we will provide tips on answering this question: