Essay Prompt for Stanford University:
Stanford Students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.
The student’s original college application essay can be found at Essay Forum.
Revised Stanford Application Essay
Even though I saw the video with my own eyes, I still had trouble believing it. People’s fingers cannot be chopped off and grow back, without reattaching the missing piece. The procedure that used only a vial of powder seemed like magic, and the doctors had even nicknamed the powder “medical pixie dust.”
As our teacher explained that this “pixie dust” stimulates cells in the body to grow and repair rather than scar, I became intrigued. I had to know more. I could not comprehend how this dried, ground pig intestinal tissue could simply manipulate our complex human cells into sprouting new body parts.
After further research, I learned that there was nothing simple about this product. Not even the creator, Dr. Stephen Badylak, could explain the underlying causes of the reaction of the scaffolds and human cells. The absence of complete understanding of this process only intensified my intellectual curiosity about it. I didn’t see their lack of knowledge as a lack of facts, but rather as a lack of limits. The doctors had not even begun to unlock the power this miracle dust possessed.
In the video, I saw a mom, who has lost her hands, hold hands with her daughter through a thunderstorm. I saw a soldier, who had given his leg in battle, dance with his wife on their wedding day.
Most importantly I saw an open door, a threshold leading to a new age of regenerative medicine. And through that door, I saw my own future as a medical researcher in this magical age of medical developments.
Editor comments on this Stanford University application essay:
• Although the student doesn’t mention it in his post, this essay has a length limit of 250 words. The original essay was 366 words. To find out about the guidelines for an admissions essay, visit the university’s website.
• Although this essay has a great narrative style, it goes a bit overboard. It’s important to capture the reader’s attention with narrative, but the bulk of the essay should not be story-like. The essay should reveal more about your way of thinking
• Always have someone else check your work. In this case, the word “vile” was used for the word “vial.” Spell check won’t catch this type of mistake, so it’s important to get a second opinion.
• Each word needs to count.
• Break your essay into paragraphs to make it easier to read.
• Be careful not to repeat the same word too much. In this case, “lack” was used three times within a few words. Changing one instance to “absence” improved the flow of the piece.
• This piece has a great conclusion, but it needs one more sentence to tie it back to the student’s aspirations.
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This entry was posted on Friday, May 13th, 2011 at 10:03 pm
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