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"The Day I Caught a Thought" LOL sounds like Dr. Seuss (Cornell App Essay)


priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 24, 2011   #1
Merry Christmas Eve! I would appreciate it if you could critique my supplement essay to Cornell.
It's 343/500 words, and I'm not looking to cut/add a drastic amount..
I want to major in Psychology.
Thanks for your time (:

College of Arts and Sciences:
Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you. Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study.


At 13 years old, sitting cross-legged in my living room, I thought about the brain. The catalyst for this seemingly random event was a documentary about Alzheimer's disease that I watched a few minutes prior. The documentary, one about a woman battling Alzheimer's who was surprisingly young and spry, changed my life. It made me appreciate my brain, my memory, and all that life has to offer. But it also left me wondering and questioning: What would my life be like if I could not remember so much of it? These questions were sparks that ignited the passion I have for the human mind.

What could possibly be more exciting than the brain? My brain, allowing me to articulate my thoughts into these typed words, also allows me to feel deep emotions ranging from elation to despair. My brain allows me to keep up with the complicated plot in a book, but also lets me enjoy the simplicity of a song's melody. The human body cannot function without the brain, and it is this significance that makes the brain so fascinating to me.

A made-for-TV documentary about Alzheimer's disease was where my interest in the brain and psychology budded, but it will surely flourish at Cornell University. With the help of Cornell's faculty, current students are conducting experiments, finding answers to questions that have befuddled many for years. The brain, once the enigma of the body, is now, with the application of knowledge gained from courses taught at Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences, becoming better understood. I have a drive fueled by curiosity and persistence- I want to join this exploration. As a Cornell student and Psychology major, I would love to participate in conducting research that yields enlightened discoveries about human behavior. There is something about Cornell's nurturing atmosphere, both upheld by the competent faculty and abundant resources, that assures me that I can turn my hopes into realities, achieving something beautiful. Being blessed with the luxury to study under autumn's vibrant foliage in idyllic Ithaca wouldn't be so bad either.
OP priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 24, 2011   #2
@DesiGirl,
I feel like if I wrote "ago" it would make for a confusing sentence (considering this even took place 4 years ago)..

thanks for the critique so far :)
Xavier19 4 / 7  
Dec 24, 2011   #3
I love your tone throughout the essay. You allow it to shine like the sun, and you use enough details.

I feel like this sentence: My brain, allowing me to articulate my thoughts into these typed words, also allows me to feel deep emotions ranging from elation to despair.

Should actually be: My brain, which allows me to articulate my thoughts into typed words . It allows me to feel deep emotions ranging from elation to despair. Thats just me tho :P Thanks for the help on my essay, hope this bit helps.
tgf808 1 / 2  
Dec 24, 2011   #5
This is a really good idea and you executed it well. I don't think you need to change much, maybe what they suggested in previous comments, but it sounded pretty good to me!
kylebelieves 1 / 4  
Dec 24, 2011   #7
fantastic! very creative and well-written. i think everyone's mechanical edits are great and with them you have a solid essay. good luck!
anitatanyibai 1 / 2  
Dec 24, 2011   #8
very well-designed essay! but in my opinion, it's a little bit plain, and i think you can make it more interesting. add more details but less thoughts. it will give readers a direct view. hope it helps..
OP priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 24, 2011   #9
@anitatanyibai, I'll try my best; thanks :P
kakari 2 / 27  
Dec 24, 2011   #10
Amazing, just amazing essay.. It is honest, simple, and convincing!! I can't say I know for certain, but I think you should add a bit details about the documentary that you watched. Your essay is beautiful just as it is, but after reading it, I've come to want to know a bit more about the documentary. "Just a bit" is important because it might degrade the tone of your essay. Anyway, thak you for writing it! I really enjoyed!

Please read my another essay( MY COMMON APP ), if you can (:
I seriously want to hear your opinion about that!
OP priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 24, 2011   #11
awh! @kakari: thank you! that's what I was going for.
Buffomatic 3 / 11  
Dec 24, 2011   #12
This is quite profound and has a very unique topic. After all the other critiques I don't really have anything to say.
I was hooked from the start and I really wish I could read more!

From your writing I can tell that you think quite differently from others and that's exactly what Cornell looks for. Great job.
OP priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 24, 2011   #13
^that kind of warmed my heart.
Thank you!
HopefulApplier 4 / 27  
Dec 24, 2011   #14
I think this is an amazing essay. It shows a logical progression of your interest culminating in Cornell. The only thing I can add is to spice it up a bit. I think your first sentence can be a little bit more interesting. I hope that helps. Sorry if I don't critique on grammar. I am NOT a grammar master :(

Good Luck!!
OP priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 24, 2011   #15
any ideas for the first sentence?
thanks anyway :)
mohamed459 9 / 27  
Dec 24, 2011   #16
Amazing essay. A few grammar mistakes that have been noted but it's really solid. I'd recommend u add a bit more though if possible (Elaborate a bit more on the documentary and how it helped you)
zhouyihao 1 / 2  
Dec 25, 2011   #17
It's a fantastic one as above!

I also think the sentence "My brain, allowing me to articulate my thoughts into these typed words, also allows me to feel deep emotions ranging from elation to despair." should be improved. Here's my version. Not only does my brain allow me to articulate my thoughts into these typed words, but to feel deep emotions ranging from elation to despair.

I just think the relationship between "to articulate my thoughts into these typed words" and "to feel deep emotions ranging from elation to despair" should be better than kinda juxtaposition, so the particular emphasis is laid upon emotion expression.

Hope it is helpful!
OP priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 25, 2011   #18
thanks for understanding what I was going for :P
I appreciate the tip (:
palindromeman - / 7  
Dec 25, 2011   #19
I love this essay. the only part that slightly cofused me was "now, with the application of knowledge gained from courses taught at Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences, becoming better understood." to the admissions office, it would seem as if you had already gotten admission to the college and are looking in retrospect so I would just changed the tense to future. Other than that, I think it is an amazing essay which shows your strength as a writer.
OP priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 25, 2011   #20
The brain, once the enigma of the body, is now, with the application of knowledge gained from courses taught at Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences, becoming better understood.

does it sound like I'm talking about myself?
I'm only mentioning a fact about Cornell..
shinsley 1 / 5  
Dec 25, 2011   #21
I think you should add a bit more about what Cornell could do. You seem to breeze by a part that the college wanted in your essay. Its a good start though. A few more details just needs to be added.
OP priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 25, 2011   #22
Thanks shinsley, I added a sentence about utilizing Cornell's resources last night :)


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