Law School Discussion

Yale 250 Word Essay

kidblue

Yale 250 Word Essay
« on: November 08, 2004, 02:23:36 PM »
Is anybody out there working on the 250 word essay for Yale? I know there are ot of old threads out there where people talked about this. But I'd like to get together a few people who might be working on this right now. It would be good if we could start talking about it, and throwing things back and forth with each other.

maricutie

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2004, 03:27:33 PM »
I am THIS close to being done with most of my apps (sent in 4 early action ones last week), and am also THIS close to just not applying to Yale because of its stupid personal statement requirement. I only have something like a 6% shot of getting in, anyhow ... but I might work on something this weekend if my boyfriend manages to convince me. Def interested in what other ppl are writing about ... my initial idea was to maybe write about the struggles of being a mexican vegetarian and tie it in with something political/intellectual, but that may change when I actually sit down and work on it. :)

kidblue

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2004, 03:32:19 PM »
Yeah, I have trouble apporaching it. I tend to just sit down and write 500 words, delete half of them, and see if I have apoint left over. I've done this five or six times, and only one or two of those little essays is worth a sh*t. I think the only realy thing you need to do is write something they won't forget about 3 seconds later.

I can send you some of my failed attempts if you're interested.

helendemilo

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Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2004, 03:55:43 PM »
I struggled with this essay for most of the summer, so I have lots of venting to do on the topic. 

First, your 250 word essay should say something about you that is not covered in the rest of your app.  The rest of my app seemed science/engineering heavy, so I chose to write about living in a hippy co-op in college.  This shows that I am not one-dimensional.

Second, pick what attributes you want them to notice first, before you write the story.  I wanted to show that I'm outgoing, social, and I contribute to the community I'm in (contrary to any engineer stereotypes).  So I worked on my story to make sure I got this across.  The essay has to let them get to know you a little bit and address why they should want you.

Third, do a couple of drafts and have a friend cut one down to 250 words.  I wrote 3 essays on 3 different topics, and I could never seem to get below 500 words.  I had a friend cut one down for me.  Once I saw how short 250 words is, I had a lot better idea of how much I could talk about. 

Fourth, you can't fit much at all into a 250 word essay.  This essay doesn't have to say much.  They will read your long personal statement, they will see your extracurriculars and LOR's.  This is really just an opportunity to stand out a little and show you have some personality.  Hearing about aquaintances at YLS and the essays they wrote, it seems like they all wrote about quirky things like being on a game show or dancing. 

Pick an experience that is really small.  Pick something that you can make entertaining in 250 words and something that sets you apart.

I wrote essays on 4 different topics before deciding on the topic I liked the best.  Then, I did 3 different 250 word essays on different aspects of that topic.  I showed my friends, and we picked the best one.  It was definitely the hardest part of the application process.


Lulu

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2004, 06:11:55 PM »
There was a general consensus on the board earlier that it should be more of an intellectual essay than a personal statement. I took that advice, and took one of my undergraduate papers-a really good one- picked the best paragraph, played with it, and turned it in. It took me like an hour, so if you're pressed for time, I highly recommend this approach  ;D

helendemilo

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Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2004, 06:15:38 PM »
I heard that stuff about "intellectual essays" on this board.  I think it came from one comment a Yale admissions person supposedly made during an online chat - not quite a consensus.  None of the people I know at YLS, and none of the people they know there wrote an intellectual essay.  They wrote quirky, stand-out, personal stories like I described above.  You can do whatever you want, but based on my personal experience, I don't think people come off well when they're trying to write "intellectually."

kidblue

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2004, 06:21:46 PM »
I'm also inclined to think that the intellectual approach is off. I think entertaining is better. But the really good essay does both.

I have some friends at Yale. The best essay I read definetly did both - it told an awesome, very specific, anecdote form his life. But his anecdote raised some intellectual issue. Also, his essay wasn't foolish enough to try to answer the issue in such a short space - just to raise them through a story.

Then again I think almost any kind of essay can work. The bottom line is that people walk away having enjoyed it and thinking you are a clever, good writer.

Laura

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2004, 06:32:20 PM »
I heard that stuff about "intellectual essays" on this board.  I think it came from one comment a Yale admissions person supposedly made during an online chat - not quite a consensus.  None of the people I know at YLS, and none of the people they know there wrote an intellectual essay.  They wrote quirky, stand-out, personal stories like I described above.  You can do whatever you want, but based on my personal experience, I don't think people come off well when they're trying to write "intellectually."

2 things:

1.  If your PS is based around a quirky personal story (even with serious undertones), I think writing an intellectual essay would be appropriate, don't you?

2.  I'd be very willing to bet that Helen's getting into Yale.

Regal_Muse

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2004, 06:37:51 PM »
I wrote my 250 essay on comic books ( have over 10K and i've been collecting since I was 6 years old LOL). I say use the 250 word essay to get creative...

kidblue

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2004, 07:06:04 PM »
I wrote my 250 essay on comic books ( have over 10K and i've been collecting since I was 6 years old LOL). I say use the 250 word essay to get creative...

See, I like that