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  1.  
    I was wondering, for those of us in the college admissions process, would you be interested in reading an application that is brutally honest as to why all college students really want to get into the school of their choice? By this I mean forgetting the "I want to make a difference in the world because I'm speshul." and saying something the along the lines of "I want to get a good job, cash in on my degree and get a hot spouse complete with a three story mansion." I think I need to burn off some steam and this would be a fun way to do it. I'll probably start working on this sometime during Thanksgiving. If its good enough after thorough editing, I'd like to actually send it off to a college I have absolutely no intention of going to, just so I can see if it would be accepted. Also, for those of you interested, feel free to spout other brutally honest reasons as to why you want to go to college.
    •  
      CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     

    Ahahaha YES THIS.

    •  
      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     

    Definitely. I think if you can present yourself maturely, respectfully, realistically and with modesty, the admissions people will respect your honesty.

    Note: I have no experience with Penultimate-North American1 admissions system; but if I were reading through hundreds of submissions every season and all but one were full of the same snivelling, self-congratulatory tripe, I know which one I’d remember quickest.

    1 i.e., North, but not northest. Second-northest.

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012
     

    I don’t like the real world, so I’m putting off entering it by continuing my education.
    As long as I’m in school, I can pretend I’m not an adult.
    What? Take responsibility for things? I can’t do that! I’m so busy with school!

    These and variations on them may or may not be a substantial part of the reason why I went to college at all… also because the economy sucks and if I want the slightest chance of getting a job in my desired field (computer science)—especially because I’m only average, not a brilliant genius who can start my own business/write my own ticket wherever I like/etc.—, I need a degree.

    • CommentAuthorMegaB
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012
     

    Meh Swenson, come over to the UK and you’ll be sorted. There are so many tech companies here that don’t require a CompSci degree but you get in if you’re good at programming and the like.

    But on the take responsibility note, you can’t run away forever. I thought like that too, until I graduated.

    However, IcyColdHand, do let us in on this, I’m sure it’d be a delightfully hilarious read.

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012
     

    you can’t run away forever

    I am unfortunately coming to realize this. :(

    •  
      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012 edited
     

    This must happen. And be posted on the main site. ;P

    Reasons for wanting to go to college:

    To get my mother off my back.

    My current job SUCKS.

    To get as far away as legally possible from my family.

    PARTY TIME!!! That’s what college is all about, right?

  2.  

    Please do this. College essays are so twee and dishonest and that was probably why I was so grumpy while writing them.

    I really hated Stanford’s prompts in particular, so I went crazy with them. (What’s matters to me? You were expecting me to say something like my family/friends, community, etc., weren’t you? No. Writing in my margins matters to me.) Of course, Stanford rejected me. :P

    On the other hand, one of the UC essays was about your greatest accomplishment, and mine basically boiled down to ‘I don’t have any accomplishments, so there’. I got in to every campus I applied to. (On the other hand, the rumors say that UC only cares about scores, not essays, so maybe not the best example…)

    • CommentAuthorMegaB
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012
     

    You were expecting me to say something like my family/friends, community, etc., weren’t you? No. Writing in my margins matters to me.

    QFT. To be honest, they should’ve accepted you just for that. THAT shows originality, THAT shows out-of-the-box thinking. If I were the recruitment officer that’d be a sure thing. That’s actually how I handled recruitment at my previous job. When you get applicants from all manner of backgrounds spooning off the same thing as everybody else, the colour is the thing you look for and 10:1 you get it right. The guys I hired are to this day performing incredibly even though I’m not there anymore!

    Not actually my reasons for wanting to go, but that’s pretty much the sum of all reasons for quite a few people I know.

    I should hope not Kyll! That’s incredibly shallow: what happened to getting an actual education?! xD

    •  
      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012
     

    Now, see, I like learning new things and talking to people that actually understand me.

    Alas, I’m surrounded by idiots.

    I mean, really. I know more than most grad students do about their majors. Except physics and linguistics because they break my brain. And I refuse to touch the social sciences beyond mining them for story ideas.

    Whatever happened to wanting to learn? D:

  3.  

    To be honest, they should’ve accepted you just for that. THAT shows originality, THAT shows out-of-the-box thinking.

    Awww, thanks. But unless they were so impressed with my contrariness that they gave me a huge scholarship, UC is still a better deal.

    •  
      CommentAuthorPryotra
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012
     

    I know I’d be for it.

    If I remember right, I went for sentimentality rather than talk about how great I was. I went for how much learning about how to write has helped me and that I want to learn how to teach so that I can help more people…and…

    Even I thought it was nauseating.

    (The prompts really were annoying. Who comes up with this stuff?)

    I think that the school I applied for (being an technical school) was a little more interested in the fact that I got A’s in Calculus than how well I could play the cricket violin, but I could wrong.

    •  
      CommentAuthorSpanman
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012
     

    I went for potential, though I felt like ripping my hair out the entire time I was writing it. Honestly I have little to no interest in the college experience – I just want to get out of here as quickly as possible and get on with my life. After twenty years of being in one transition stage or another, I’m ready to settle down on something that I can support myself on with at least some manner of independence.

    •  
      CommentAuthorRandomX2
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2012
     

    I’d like reading it with what free time I have, so +1 from me.

    I actually might end up as an interviewer for next year’s students in my program. I’m going to be biased towards any students that can balance bluntness and compassion.

  4.  
    I'm amazed at the level of interest in this subject and I can't wait to start it (as soon as I run the gauntlet of ap calc, econ, and physics tests all in a row). Do you guys have any idea which college essay prompt I should use/ which college should I submit this too after we finish? I'll post the first draft hopefully over the weekend/after Thanksgiving.

    For my actual college apps I've been a complete and utter scumbag and played the I'm so cool game along with the rest of them. (hangs head in shame). My common app short essay was absolutely beautiful, if I do say so myself, but that was the only one out of the piles of garbage I wrote.
  5.  

    Honestly I have little to no interest in the college experience – I just want to get out of here as quickly as possible and get on with my life. After twenty years of being in one transition stage or another, I’m ready to settle down on something that I can support myself on with at least some manner of independence.

    I… I think we’re the same person.

    Anyway, I only had write one college essay, and it was about people I’d invite to dinner. I tried to be fairly honest, while also throwing some sentimentality similar to what Pryotra was talking about. And I’d totally read the honest essay thing.

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2012
     

    But now that I’m in here, I don’t really want to leave.

    I’m scared to leave, to be perfectly honest. It’s only gotten worse now that I know a couple of guys who are basically professional students at this point (both have multiple degrees and have taken several years for each, although I know they work at the same time (and the one guy’s married, and his wife has cancer, so it’s not exactly a walk in the park for him)) and am realizing it’s a somewhat viable life option. A bad one, yes, and one that would make my parents frown heavily upon me, but theoretically possible.

    It’s just… school is easy for me. Learning something new (i.e., how to do the real world thing) seems scary.

    Oh well. I assume this feeling will pass eventually.

    •  
      CommentAuthorThea
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2012
     

    Oh well. I assume this feeling will pass eventually.

    No guarantees, swenson. I still feel that way, even though I joined the real world. Well, I’m kind of kidding, because part of me was so glad to be out of it, but it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had, and the best time to meet cool people in person. Of course, school was easy for me too, but I’m also terribly lazy, and so that’s a big part of it for me. I miss the lack of work I had to do—schooling has such nicely definite goals.

    • CommentAuthorMegaB
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2012
     

    It’s just… school is easy for me. Learning something new (i.e., how to do the real world thing) seems scary.

    Well yeah, you think like that, but it’s actually not that bad out there in the real world. As long as you get a job that starts off with training, you’ll be eased into the position pretty quickly. Actually I had the same fears when I started applying because I’d left my old job in Web/UI Design which I’d done as a hobby before and so didn’t require any training for it. Since I applied for a very technical position, I thought it’d be really hard to learn everything.

    Turns out that work isn’t all that hard at all. Training is usually quite slow as they build up your basics and without the technical component it’s usually just a monotony of admin work etc. Now different jobs will obviously be different in how they handle things but essentially it’s the same thing.

    I went for potential, though I felt like ripping my hair out the entire time I was writing it.

    Haha, that is so totally you Span! We don’t have the same sort of application process here in the UK; there’s something called UCAS where you have to submit a personal statement convincing universities you want to do their course. I simply put my experience down and built off that. No sweat.

    •  
      CommentAuthorSpanman
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2012
     

    I… I think we’re the same person.

    When do you graduate? If it’s before me, you must tell me all your Real World secrets.

    Haha, that is so totally you Span!

    “Because my future is literally paved with gold, I am the single greatest investment you could make.”

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2012
     

    “Because my future is literally paved with gold, I am the single greatest investment you could make.”

    Nice.

  6.  

    When do you graduate? If it’s before me, you must tell me all your Real World secrets.

    Undergrad in May (hopefully). Then I’ll be done with my teaching program in 2014. I think we’ll enter the Real World at about the same time.

    I’m just ready to not be a student anymore. I’m tired of this life phase that I have been in for the past fifteen years, and I’m ready (even though it’s scary) to move on.

    •  
      CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2012 edited
     

    I finish my teaching program in January 2014, but I’ve technically been in the real world since May 2011, when I got my BA. Didn’t properly enter it until I moved out from parents, which was December 2011. So… almost a year in the “real world.” Woo.

  7.  

    How is it? “Woo” doesn’t say much for it.

    •  
      CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2012 edited
     

    Uh… both great and terrible. On the one hand, having control over your own life is great. Owning your own pet, living with someone you love. On the other hand, bills. Responsibilities. Working/getting paid. Budgeting.

    •  
      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2012 edited
     

    Working is not so bad, if you don’t have to deal with either customers or financial controllers. Budgeting can be taken care of – I use an Excel spreadsheet to record what I can spend, and what I have spent, and then set up formulas to determine profit/loss per week, percent savings or overspend, and a “total yearly” column for each type of expense or income stream. I can’t speak of living alone or bills, though. The only bills I pay regularly, aside from various memberships, are my phone bill and rent.

    Living alone in Australia is substantially more difficult than US.

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2012 edited
     

    •  
      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2012
     

    • CommentAuthorMegaB
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2012
     

    Whoa Taku, that’s pretty amazingly structured! I am, unfortunately, very terrible at saving money. I see something I like and I have to buy it, especially if it’s food! I almost always end up with a lot less than is strictly prudent by the middle of the month.

    I will have to do better. Right now it’s easy because I’m not renting a place, but when I do I’d suppose it’d be an unwelcome necessity.

    •  
      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2012
     

    Food is the biggest non-necessary expense for me. I like to snack, so I’m always buying bits and pieces (usually bread-based, or nut-based, to last longer). And then there’s my Friday Night Treat, where I have dinner at the mall, maybe have a wander around the shops, and hunker down for the night in front of the internet with a block of chocolate and a bottle of lemonade. It adds up surprisingly fast.

    Just before my laptop fried I was down to about $30 per week on work snacks and Treat, but since I lost my budget spreadsheet and all the information therein ‘ve been on a bit of a splurge. I’m starting the sheet up again in time for next month, though.

  8.  
    Gentleman, Ladies, the moment we've all been waiting for. THE COMPLETELY HONEST COLLEGE ESSAAAAAAAAAAY! (Rough Draft Version 1)
    Please, tear me a new one, read as deeply (or shallowly) in to this as possible, and have fun. I'll be using all of your input.



    Question:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012
     

    My reasons for going to college are the same as any(colon) I want my slice of the new American (D)ream.

    You lost coherency and cohesiveness in the rest of this paragraph. The trucker sentence could probably be cut out entirely (especially since trucking isn’t exactly a good or honest career, though I do like the sarcasm).

    The last paragraph also has a lot of comma splices and more informal language, which completely sabotage the pretentiousness established earlier on. Especially when combined with the pitfalls in paragraph two.

    Personally, I think this could do with a shade more cynicism. ;P

    • CommentAuthorMegaB
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012
     

    Awesome.

    The last paragraph also has a lot of comma splices and more informal language, which completely sabotage the pretentiousness established earlier on. Especially when combined with the pitfalls in paragraph two.

    I disagree, Kyl. The comma splices and informal language give it a subtly ‘middle-class’ flair which is mirrored by what the individual is portrayed to be. Actually, I quite liked the second paragraph and how the narrative further developed the idea in the third.

    However, I do think it could be a tad more cynical. This was wonderful, Icy. Do post more.

    •  
      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012 edited
     

    I think it might have been a tad too cynical, actually. In that if I were an admissions-essay-reader, I would probably roll my eyes and move on to the next. There is such a thing as being too honest.

    I think if you can present yourself maturely, respectfully, realistically and with modesty, the admissions people will respect your honesty.

    The way I read it, this essay is neither mature or respectful, or, perhaps counter-intuitively, all that modest. There’s a certain air of smug I-am-special-and-different-beause-I-understand-the-game that puts me as a reader in a very defensive mood, especially that bit about either being a trucker or buying a massive house.

    I think you should focus less on dissing the process (because in doing that you are disrespecting the people reading your essay), and more on what you realistically hope to gain (and no, a massive mansion is not realistic) from college, and how you plan to achieve your long-term goals.

    •  
      CommentAuthorsansafro187
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012 edited
     

    If this is just a way to vent your frustration to yourself over what is always a grindy, irritating process, that’s understandable. I’m not going to judge anybody’s personal catharsis vehicle. Sometimes you just need to put your face into a pillow and scream. If, however, it’s meant to be incisive or insightful about the process, well…

    Please, tear me a new one

    Okay. Here’s what I’d think if I worked in admissions and read this without the thread as context, and assumed it intended as a serious critique.

    Again, disregard all that if you were just venting.

  9.  

    Having gone through the process recently, I relate with the kind of cynicism you’re feeling now. I won’t deny that my own essays were probably substantially more negative than I wanted them to be. Rereading them, I really regret that. They don’t reflect the person I actually am, which is what a good ‘completely honest’ essay would accomplish.

    Others before have commented on the excessive cynicism, but you must have some kind of faith in the value of higher education if you’re going through all this bullshit to apply in the first place. If you’re going to be defiant, be defiant with a sense of humor and fun. You can challenge the system without directly accusing it (even if that’s what you really, really wish you could do). Those kinds of crazy essays are a risk but they’re actually fun to write, and if done well, can be fun to read, too. (If anything, I probably failed in the latter regard.)

    •  
      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012 edited
     

    And I thought I was being harsh. I do agree with everything sansa said, though. Especially this bit:

    The worldview expressed isn’t much more than boilerplate, childish nihilism that most teenagers feel, but again, the tone suggests the narrator believes they “get it” on a level the narrator’s peers don’t.

    That’s the biggest thing that put me off, but I wasn’t able to express it so succinctly at the time.

  10.  

    Just so you know, Icy, we all love this idea, so that’s partially why we’re being so harsh. Please don’t take it personally.

    the tone suggests the narrator believes they “get it” on a level the narrator’s peers don’t.

    Yeah, this is a problem because it reflects right back to what annoys people about admissions essays in the first place- self-aggrandizement.

  11.  
    I was kind of unsure of how "right" I was doing the essay in the first place. In my head I wanted to be lightly humorous and slightly satirical without being a teenager about it I guess, but when I wrote it, I guess I accidentally (or not) turned it into a rant. I think that most of the complications arise from my failure to establish the purpose of the essay in the first place. I think at the time I wasn't completely sure if I wanted it to be a rant or something that could actually legitimately be submitted. I'm not sure if I can pull both off in the same essay. The way I have it in my head right now is to make an absolute mockery of the system, and the essay so far kind of manages to do that, though I really did not intend to come off as a smug ass bastard, which a point that most of you brought up. My goal is actually to satirize the system, but not come off as an immature brat in doing so. Is there a way I can write what we all wished we'd put on our essays without seeming like the most spoiled teenager on the planet. I'm trying to write a generic ish essay that reflects the actual feelings and frustrations of the majority of teenagers going through this process.
    And, sidenote, I am a teenager, but you all probably got that in the first place.

    One question though, did it make you laugh at some instances, or were you too angry at the smug tone to feel anything else?

    On another note, I love all the criticism, and the harshness really doesn't bother me because it's still constructive. I think of it as a purging fire through which I can refine my writing. Thanks a ton and please bear with me through this process. :)

    Changes to be made:
    -Keep the satirical edge while removing traces of general douchebaggery
    -Show potential for character growth (not seem like a little shit)
    -Decrease/repurpose cynical flavor
    -Show that everyone else feels the same way (?)
    -Be consistent in tone, no matter what angle the essay takes
    -Increase the Lol factor (?)

    Does the changelist look good? Am I missing something/have something unnecessary?

    •  
      CommentAuthorsansafro187
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012 edited
     

    I’m trying to write a generic ish essay that reflects the actual feelings and frustrations of the majority of teenagers going through this process.

    I think this right here is close to where you should be working from, but making it “generic” is a mistake. More on that in a second. I’d also warn you away from trying to write satire, which is really goddamn hard to do correctly in the first place, and requires a more intricate knowledge of the subject than you’re likely to have at this point in your life. Just be honest, like the thread title says.

    That’s where I suspect the tonal issues come from, mostly. Unfortunate phrasing aside(seriously, “distinguished peers” has got to go no matter what), there are too many distancing mechanisms in there, which gives it that smuggy overcoat and sense of being above it all. It might make you feel safer as you write it, but if you really want to get where you say you want to go with this, you’re going to have to expose a little bit more.

    To that end, I think you’d be better off talking more about yourself, since you actually didn’t do a whole lot of that. All of us who have been through the process know that it’s grindy and reductive, and there are people on the other end reading your essays who know that too. Talking about how it makes you specifically feel and how you’re trying to negotiate this restrictive, convoluted process would be a more effective way to illustrate the consequences of that process and your problems with it.

    If you’re anything like I was, there’s some real insecurity to college applications, and probably some actual fear. I felt like the world’s dumbest asshole when I was applying to Good Schools, because I had a mediocre academic resume and it seemed like the only tangible things that would separate me from other applications were my SAT score and my bench press max(which, shockingly, admissions people aren’t really interested in). You kinda hint toward something like this in the first paragraph but it’s so detached and vague and glaringly rhetorical that it ends up reading like a snide dismissal of people who can claim those things, and the implications that striving is beneath you.

    Also there should be some kind of honest explanation of why you want to go to college, and “because I’m supposed to” isn’t really an acceptable answer. If you don’t know what you want to do, I have to believe a part of you wants to figure it. “Finding yourself at college” has become a corny old cliche at this point, but it’s a real thing people do there. The whole bit about the American Dream just seems like a snide way to avoid addressing uncertainty to me.

    So yeah, that’s what I think you should do. There’s a lot of unfortunate consequences that come with the admissions process. It’s scary and tedious and it makes you feel like shit, and the people reading it probably know that. I think you’re really going to have to invest more of yourself into this if you want it to carry any weight, and trying to be overly glib about it just undermines the point you’re trying to make.

    One question though, did it make you laugh at some instances, or were you too angry at the smug tone to feel anything else?

    I wasn’t really angry with it, but you asked us to rip into it, and I’ve always felt it was disrespectful to hold back when someone asks you that. It didn’t really make me laugh, but it didn’t seem like there were any jokes in it, and the “observations” were too boilerplate to really draw a reaction by themselves. The only legitimate surprise was that you went with 3 kids instead of 2.5 as is usually the case in setups like these.

    • CommentAuthorMegaB
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2012
     

    That’s where I suspect the tonal issues come from, mostly. Unfortunate phrasing aside(seriously, “distinguished peers” has got to go no matter what), there are too many distancing mechanisms in there, which gives it that smuggy overcoat and sense of being above it all. It might make you feel safer as you write it, but if you really want to get where you say you want to go with this, you’re going to have to expose a little bit more.

    Wait, sansa, isn’t the whole point in this thing to depict that the writer cannot and does not want to be lumped in with the rest of the population for the given reasons? I hardly see that as a detraction, although I agree that there is an air of ‘smugness’ due to the vocab used.

    True, it’d only be cursorily read by a real recruitment officer at a college due to its tone, but I didn’t know if that was the point. Icy, are you planning on actually submitting this, because then I’d have to agree with sansa and Taku. In that case, it’d be far more effective to tone it down and use subte cynicism rather than the blunt trauma you’re espousing here. Better to make them think it’s all nice and dandy, a little eccentric maybe, than to have them put it down after the first sentence.

    •  
      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2012
     

    As sansa touched upon with the satire bit, right now, you’re in the in-between place. There’s too much cynical sarcasm to not come across as a bitter teen, but at the same time, there’s not enough to really work as a satire (which was why I suggested upping the cynicism). My preferred style of writing satire is to go so far over the top that almost no one can take the piece seriously.

    It might make you feel safer as you write it, but if you really want to get where you say you want to go with this, you’re going to have to expose a little bit more.

    This is also an excellent point. If you’re serious about writing satire, you have to be willing to put yourself out there in whole, with all the backlash that comes with it. If you’re not willing to do so, to make yourself a familiar target, then you probably shouldn’t be writing satire.

    Talking about how it makes you specifically feel and how you’re trying to negotiate this restrictive, convoluted process would be a more effective way to illustrate the consequences of that process and your problems with it.

    I like this angle.

    With that said, in hopes of giving you some more ideas, the most difficult part of the admissions process for me was writing about me. I really don’t like writing or talking about myself outside of conversations (and sometimes even then…), so having to write about my accomplishments and hopes and dreams and why I should be admitted over other applicants really rankled because it felt so horribly egotistical. Especially since I didn’t really want to go into college, partly because I was only 15 and everyone else was at least 3 years older than I was, and partly because I had no clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

    Satire is far more than just sarcastically poking holes in something. The best satire forms an emotional connection with the audience so that the audience feels included in being on the enlightened side. Try remembering that the admissions people are people too, and try to include them in your audience.

  12.  

    Wait, sansa, isn’t the whole point in this thing to depict that the writer cannot and does not want to be lumped in with the rest of the population for the given reasons?

    vvv

    I’m trying to write a generic ish essay that reflects the actual feelings and frustrations of the majority of teenagers going through this process.

  13.  

    My preferred style of writing satire is to go so far over the top that almost no one can take the piece seriously.

    That’s what I was thinking Icy was going for originally (but maybe not).

    Try remembering that the admissions people are people too, and try to include them in your audience.

    That’s a good point.

  14.  
    Mega and Platypus have what I was going for in the beginning, but the rest of you make excellent points regardless of what my aim actually is.

    This is harder than I thought :P Since I'd rather not restart completely, I"m going to have to try and take the sarcasm/satire element completely over the roof. At the same
    time, as a new hand at this type of writing, how can I keep the overblown tone while allowing the audience to relate/sympathize?

    And about the individuality thing, I am actually trying to get lumped into the rest of the population. There's no point for me to claim to be the patron saint of mediocrity while trying to stand out at the same time.

    As for actually submitting, I may just for kicks, but right now I want it to be everything I wish I could have written, containing all the blatant exaggerations I possibly can. I may try for a real honest essay that contains no ranting/sarcasm after or if this one goes to hell.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
     

    Here’s a piece I wrote a while back. It’s also got a full range of reactions, to boot. And here’s the inspiration piece which was poorly handled, and all the reactions it got, for reference.

    As you can see, apparently I wasn’t over-the-top enough for quite a large proportion of the audience (who, to be fair, were quite young and naive ;P). But if you notice, almost all of the male reviewers reviewed positively, and it had a lot to do with the use of “we” (I asked). Do not underestimate the power of pronouns in creating a connection with your audience.

    With that said, being over-the-top is only one half of the equation. You still need to establish a cohesive tone and style that remains consistent throughout the entire piece. What that tone/style is will depend greatly on your approach. In the above case, a semi-scientific, superior-than-thou tone was perfect considering the semi-scientific angle of the parasite comparison. Depending on how you approach your essay and which directions you decide to make it over-the-top, your tone and style should change accordingly.

    •  
      CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
     

    One, your inspiration piece was awful. Two, your piece was funny. Three, WHY DO THEY ALL THINK YOU’RE FIFTEEN? I thought you were mid-late twenties!

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      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
     

    I thought you were mid-late twenties!

    I’m not that old. D: I’m still in my early twenties. I’m turning 23 this December, actually.

    That said, ArticulateOverlord was a personality I created to post satires. His profile information was listed as a fifteen- (now seventeen-) year-old high school student with a strong interest in nonfiction and literature, and he was related to me in an immediate but otherwise unspecified manner.

    I was part of the mod team on that site, and deliberately causing controversy was Frowned Upon, which necessitated his creation. Honestly, for the longest time, the only reason I spent all the time and energy I did on YWS was because of the members and budding writers to help, and most decidedly NOT the moderation team. Seriously. Things were very cliquish behind the scenes. There were two tiers of mods (Junior and Great) + admins + creator, and the active admins + creator treated the lower tier of mods like CRAP despite all the platitudes about appreciating them.

    Most of the JMods were terrified of speaking in disagreement with any of the GMods or higher. It was ridiculous.

    And now the site has, for all intents and purposes, been abandoned by the creator mid-renovation and is slowly dying because NOTHING EFFING WORKS.

    /end minirant

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      CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
     

    ...well, you say you keep going back to school! I figured you were old enough to have graduated and then gone back! I’m 22 as well, FYI, 23 in February.

    That is…not a good way to plan a website. Facepalm.

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      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
     

    I figured you were old enough to have graduated and then gone back!

    I am/have. I started college when I was 15. Yeah.

    That is…not a good way to plan a website. Facepalm.

    No. It is not. But it has instilled within me a firm resolve to 1) make myself (almost) always approachable and 2) only deploy updates when at 100% completion. Both of which, you would think, are common sense when it comes to being an admin.

    But we are off-topic. >.>

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      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
     

    Although I’m fuming and completely disagree with every line written, I commend you on its beautifully arranged structure.

    This is… beautiful. This is exactly how every politician, critic, or sportsperson should behave. I do not agree, but I admire your sophistry. Perfect.

    Hooray for we young-twenty-somethings! We should get together and make an insipid inspirational movie about how we’re trying to find our way in the world and struggling with adult responsibilities and Feelings and whatnot. Possibly set on a road trip.

    waves tiny flag

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      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
     

    @Kyll

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      CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
     

    waves tiny flag as well

    Wooo! We…have to worry about income! GO US!