Nomination essays

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by MaximusFL, May 4, 2015.

  1. MaximusFL

    MaximusFL Member

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    This might sound like a strange question, but as I prepare my nomination packets I see a reacquiring prompt. It is: why do you want to attend the academy of your choice? I've had my brothers, parents, girlfriend, and her dad (he's an English teacher) read it.

    Questions:

    1. Would any of you, complete strangers, be willing to read it? I have faith it wouldn't be shared among others.

    2. Do you guys find it unethical to ask for your help on something as important as this?
     
  2. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Have you had YOUR English teacher read it, or the Language Arts department head either for your school or for your school district? Those people are in a better position to give you educated feedback. The girlfriend's dad who is an English teacher — what was his reaction? Did he say something like, "Show this to some other people, strangers, perhaps, who may or may not have any experience evaluating essays"?

    There are two things going on here: either you don't feel like the essay is really finished (in my opinion essays are never really "finished"), and you don't think it's good enough yet OR you think it's the best thing since rolling ink pens and you are fishing for compliments with no intention of changing a word. Let's go with "not finished yet." Go see a teacher/department head/language supervisor in your school. If you haven't done that, why not?
     
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  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am going to be honest regarding question 1 as a long time poster.

    Many posters say yes. The thing is many are also in the same boat as you...HS student. Be smart on this, and in my opinion ask your Eng/Lit teacher. Ask your FFR/BGO or ALO.
    ~ They have seen them year after year.

    Secondly, I will tell you my pet peeve. I, me, my. If every sentence contains anyone of these words, I eventually start counting because I am bored.
    ~ Since I was 6 and attended my first airshow I knew that I wanted to be an officer in the military....yadda, yadda, yadda.

    That typically is what many that post over this site have. I believe it was MemberLGs DD (USNA) that to this day I consider the best essay ever. She was a track runner, and the essay placed me in her mind during her run. I thought my DSs was strong, but after reading that essay I was like oh his was a yadda, yadda, yadda essay. He took a unique approach. Loves history and tied it to dropping the Atomic bomb. Nothing about him being a military brat.
    ~ His ALO worked with him bimonthly editing and re-editing during the summer.

    You have months and months to get it right.

    Just me, but right now, study for your SAT/ACT, come mid June start the essay. MOC nominations are not rolling. Submit it August 1st, and the MoC submission date is 10/15 you are no better off than the candidate that submitted 9/30 and had their APLit teacher review it.

    For the unethical question. It isn't.

    xposted with payitforward. Obviously, I agree with them.
     
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  4. MaximusFL

    MaximusFL Member

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    My English teacher will be reading it but he won't be accepting it until it's due date (he's having us do a college essay) in about two weeks. I'm not looking for compliments but help. I figured the more people's input is better than anything. The strangers was my idea. I'll talk to my FFR, BGO, and ALO about reading it.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Confused.

    Two weeks? Essays for 2020 MOCs will nor be due until maybe 9/1 at the earliest. You have a boatload of time left.

    Sorry, I disagree with your opinion of the more people inputting is better than anything.
    ~ Have you never heard of the cliche too many cooks spoil the broth?
     
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  6. MaximusFL

    MaximusFL Member

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    My teacher assigned it as a prompt and I just happened to be already writing it. I just want to be able to turn in the nomination applications as soon as possible
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Huh

    You do not turn in recommendation applications. They turn in letter of recommendations. You submit an essay.

    TWO different things. I believe if I recall your English teacher is not a rec. letter. Math and Science are. Again, you are mixing things here.

    Now, AGAIN, you can submit as soon as the MOC opens up their portal, but if the drop date is 10/31, NOBODY will be offered a nom until 11/1. It is not rolling.

    Be smart and use this time to perfect the essay, with or without your FFR/BGO or ALO. Some states interview and they don't interview every candidate. That essay can be make or break for you.

    Next year will be hurry up and wait, sometimes it is up to you regarding how long you wait.
    ~ Yes, there will be LOAs dropping come August, but impo be honest with yourself, are you an LOA candidate? Sports, high PSAT/ACT, class rank. If not take the time and submit the best application in one fell swoop.
     
  8. MaximusFL

    MaximusFL Member

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    I think there was a break down in communication here and I'll take fault for that. There are essays part of the application for nominations and that's what I'm working on. My two senators (according to a talk given by West Point RD) have the earliest deadlines. The miscommunication was my bad. I fixed my mistake again my bad
     
  9. reh16

    reh16 Member

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    Hope I can clarify, OP has an english assignment from his teacher. The assignment is to write a college essay. He wants to turn in his nomination essay as his assignment. He is NOT turning it in to the MOC in two weeks, he is handing it to his English teacher. Regardless he wants our input.
     
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  10. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    This is my personal opinion, but I don't think BGOs should be helping candidates with their essay prompts (whether USNA or nominating source). It isn't our place to do that. Candidates have many options, including their parents, teachers, friends, family friends, etc. to get input/help. As long as a candidate is truly speaking from their heart and has had someone look at the content for spelling/grammar and flow, there isn't really more a BGO can add (honestly).
     
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  11. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Pima, that track essay!

    It was everything an essay should be. That's the only essay I remember.

    I am a writing coach.
     
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  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree. It is also the only essay I remember. It was OMG. I think that essay was written the year you joined, and here we are now 2 years later still talking about it.

    I am not sure if it was MemberLG, but if it was, than try to find it. They posted it here. I swear you felt like you were running with her. You could feel your heart beating, the sweat pouring with every word. You got her thought process on how and why she would commission. It was about her commitment even through enduring pain.

    I really can't stress enough this was the epitome of the best essay I have ever read, and when posters ask me to read their essays, I use that essay as the bar if they want me to say Wow! Yes, there were I, me and myself, in the essay, but it was something deeper.
     
  13. anneluck

    anneluck Member

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    Please find the track essay! Would love to read it!
     
  14. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    For what it's worth, could you be referring to my DD's essay perhaps?

    She was a cross country runner and chose a high-risk/high-reward strategy of writing in a personal narrative style. She was 16 at the time and, as Pima correctly calls out, there was room for even more polish she's since found in her writing. But it was pretty inspiring and turned out to be quite a topic of discussion during her nomination interviews.

    If anyone is interested in that essay, it was posted here in the Nominations forum.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
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  15. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    I loved that essay too! It really held my attention and made an impression. I still refer to it and told my current appointee about it before she started her essays.

    But to the OP, don't get discouraged or intimidated if this isn't your style of writing. My three kids' essays weren't near the caliber of MedB's daughter, and totally not that style at all. Mine wrote more traditional essays: tell them what you want to say, say it, then tell them what you said. They of course spiced it up, but I wouldn't say they were jump off the page style. However, they were heartfelt, honest, and grammatically correct. Those elements came through. All three received nominations and appointments. I guess what I'm trying to say is make the essay a reflection of you and your personal style, and once you are happy with it, have a few people you trust to give you honest feed back help with editing, and then go back and polish. As Pima said, too many editors could strip the essay of "You"
     
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  16. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Great essay advice. This is a candidate's chance to show who they really are beyond the "stats"... don't squander it by trying to conform to some approach/ideal that may not reflect you.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  17. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Still gives me chills.
     
  18. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Here's the thing -- well, actually 2 things.

    First, you have to answer the question asked. The "track" essay is great for its topic but wouldn't be that great for the question posed to the OP about why he wants to attend the SA of his choice.

    Second, your teachers, parents, etc. can be a terrific help but, other than grammar and spelling, stick to your gut -- as others have said. Years ago I had to write an essay for entrance to law school. I'd been away from "essay" writing for some time so had my former English teacher read it. She thought it was too "free form" and suggested I totally change the format. Ultimately, I made a few changes but largely left the format intact b/c it is how I felt it best expressed the points I was making. I was later told by the Dean of Admissions that it was one of the most memorable essays he'd ever read -- and, given that I was admitted, I assume he meant in a good way.:)

    Point is not to toot my own horn but rather to carefully consider suggestions and then -- within reason -- go with what you think is the best expression of who you are. And format may be somewhat dictated by the question -- and your answer. Don't try to cram a free-form essay into a very structured question as the two are unlikely ever to meet up.
     
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  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You made me laugh usna1985. I remember one poster here had asked others to read their essay via pms, I was one of them. I held tight to only grammar and spelling, but nothing more than that. Meanwhile, some posters offered how this would sound better if you say it this way, or strike this, can you add something else. By the time I read the final draft, it resembled nothing like the original. It was not any stronger impo. I actually think it was weaker because there was no personality left in the essay that I could read. It took me forever to read it, because although grammatically correct, I was down right bored, and my mind would wander while I read it. In essence it became a yadda, yadda, yadda essay that in the military would call boiler plate.

    It really was too many cooks spoil the broth.

    2020 candidates, the best advice is what usna1985 when asking for people to proof your essay. Stick with your gut.
     
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