This is the inaugural post on the topic of books and intellectual development for the 2012-2013 application year. I have previously written about this topic in a number of posts; for writing about books specifically, you should start at The Harvard Supplement; Or, How To Write About Books Part 1 , a post from last year. I will add, however, that the essay we will examine in this post could equally be used for an essay on an influential person or experience. Read on to see what I mean.
One of the problems common for my clients last year was making an essay about a book or intellectual experience a vehicle of personal expression. If you are passionate about the topic, your passion will make your essay come alive, but some of those who worked with me on their essays were so enthused about the minutiae of the intellectual experience or books that they forgot about themselves. Remember that your audience is an admissions officer and that you are really writing about yourself when you write about an intellectual experience or a book that is important to you. I have discussed audience and purpose in this post from last year, and if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend reading it now: So You Want To Write A College Essay.
The remainder of this post will be aimed at an analysis of a specific essay one of our prominent contemporary authors, a man of wide-ranging curiosity who has promoted the artistic and cultural value of such “nonliterary” forms as the comic book–make that the graphic novel. He has written about the influence of comics and other pop art forms on his life. While it may seem unorthodox or event totally inappropriate for me to start me series on intellectual experiences with an analysis of an essay on comic books, I think that you will find this post both informative and invaluable in opening up possibilities for the intellectual experience essay.
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