I heard of Wordling from a gardening friend over at a totally unrelated blog, called Lost in the Landscape. (Believe it or not, I do other things than read college essays!) Wordling is a program where you can drop in some text and it creates a colorful collage of random words in unusual fonts, and it also makes the words you use the most the most prominent. The idea is that you can get a visual sense of what you emphasized in your writing. (Above is a Wordle of this post! Click the image to enlarge.)
So, guess what I thought would be fun to Wordle? You got it (see, that’s why you are on your way to college!!)–college admissions essays! In my previous post, I told you my son just finished submitting all his applications. So I Wordled one of his two essays (for the University of California application–basically personal statements about 500 words each). Then I dug out one of my daughter’s recent college essays. I bet you will be able to see that they are very different in their interests:
My son’s Wordle (click on it to make larger)
My daughter’s Wordle. It’s an essay she wrote for a study abroad application (click on it to make it bigger):
Make your own Wordle: Click the word Wordle here to link to the site. Then just copy and paste in your essay, and see what pops up. It’s really just for fun–but you can also get a visual read on what words and ideas you are emphasizing.
Ok, so I get a little carried away with things I like. I just Wordled my entire No Fear College Admissions Essays blog:
What’s next to Wordle?? If you are working on your college admissions essay or personal statement, give it a try. Need more help getting started? Try my handy Jumpstart Guide.