Results of our Returning to India Fictitious College Essay

Last week, we published a fictitious college essay. Thanks to all of you who graded the essay to gain experience in judging what constitutes a good or bad essay! Here are the results:

Reader's Score: 7/10 (average)

A Few Sample Comments:

  1. Well written. One thing I felt was missing is the absence of facts or actual work that the student did to understand political science.

  2. Weak beginning... sounded very critical and patronizing. Opinions seemed to be not his own but how other people thought about the situation.

My Score: 5/10

My Comments:

  1. The essay starts off on a negative note, this is not ideal.

  2. It's telling me about accomplishments but now showing me the impact.

  3. There are vague, non-specific claims like grant money etc.

  4. There's repetition around the desire to fix political systems - the author makes this point 3 times.

  5. While this might work for Yale, it's obviously very specific to just one school.

I hope I didn't surprise you with the evaluation. It's not that hard to convert this from a sub-par essay to a great essay, just some tuning will do the trick.

Do you find this useful - drop me a note at Also, another essay is coming next week!


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