Tuesday, December 16, 2008

College Applications: The Paradox of Having to Write Well Even If You're a Math Major

I've been contemplating the paradox of college application essays. Regardless of what your planned college major may be, if you want a good chance of getting into a top college -- besides having high SAT scores and a high GPA you have to be able to write well. Because how well an applicant writes his/her college application essays can have a significant impact on that applicant's acceptances.

Given this paradox, I'm pondering how well high school seniors are prepared to write good college application essays and how prepared they are to write good college course papers. And I'm also pondering whether, a few years from now, college applicants will not be required to write college application essays. Instead they'll submit a YouTube video answering the essay questions. Or provide their own password-protected websites.

As a writer, I find it discouraging that writing skills will become less important in the future. And that said, I'm off to do more social media networking to promote my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT.

(At 9 p.m. Eastern time tonight I'm going to be a guest on the BlogTalkRadio show Urban Literary Review. You'll be able to listen to the interview later if you can't catch the show live.)


Chandlee said...

Very insightful post, I've often wondered that myself...Wonder if the best strategy is to have the math whiz incorporate a little math into the essay itself.

For example, the Manhattan-based Marble Collegiate Church (former pulpit of Norman Vincent Peale) has adopted a math symbol as new logo {+} which translates as "positive and inclusive." If applicant creates similar own math symbol as "essence of self" then discusses why--you may have a good essay.

Chandlee Bryan

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Chandlee --

This is a great idea. I really like the concept of playing to your strengths in the essay by using what you're good at.