The best applications and the weakest don’t come to committee. Once you commit the time and emotional energy to get your butt in the chair to write, you face a daunting task — figuring out what to write about. With so much freedom, this is a challenge for most students.
It’s the gigantic stack in the middle that warrants discussion. Here’s a tip: Choose a topic you really want to write about. It might be your favorite book or the Pythagorean theorem. We share clothes and watch ‘The Real Housewives’ of three different cities together” does not make for a good essay.
Avoid controversial or unseemly topics or elements.
Think of it this way: is it a story you’d tell your grandmother?
If the subject doesn’t matter to you, it won’t matter to the reader. It might be why you don’t believe in evolution or how you think kale must have hired a PR firm to get people to eat it. In school, you were probably encouraged to write papers that took a side. “I love my mom even though she makes me clean my room, hates my guinea pig and is crazy about disgusting food like kale” could lead somewhere While the personal essay has to be personal, a reader can learn a lot about you from whatever you choose to focus on and how you describe it.
That’s fine in academic work when you’re being asked to argue in support of a position, but in a personal essay, you want to express more nuanced thinking and explore your own clashing emotions. One of my favorites from when I worked in admissions at Duke University started out, “My car and I are a lot alike.” The writer then described a car that smelled like wet dog and went from 0 to 60 in, well, it never quite got to 60.
’ ” A girl wrote about her feminist mother’s decision to get breast implants. Jolt them out of their sugar coma and give them something to be excited about.
A car, kimchi, Mom’s upsizing — the writers used these objects as vehicles to get at what they had come to say. REPEATING THE PROMPT Admissions officers know what’s on their applications.
Think outside the box as you answer the following questions. Be serious if the moment calls for it, but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. Please respond to of the following three questions. And with over 5,000 undergraduate students on our campus, that is over 5,000 stories to share and learn. Applicants to the BFA or 5-Year BFA BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts answer the following two questions: 1. Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world.
Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree answer the following two questions: 1. (200-250 words): A) From recognizing break dancing as a new Olympic sport, to representation in media, to issues of accessibility in our public transit systems, what is something that you can talk about endlessly? B) Whether you've built circuit boards or written slam poetry, created a community event or designed mixed media installations, tell us: What have you designed, invented, engineered, or produced? Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? Whether you think of Ai Weiwei’s work reframing the refugee crisis, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald’s portraits of the Obamas reimagining portrait painting on a national scale, or Yayoi Kusama’s fanciful Infinity Mirrors rekindling our sense of wonder, it is clear that contemporary art is driven by ideas.