You Are Here: Meh

Meh. A verbal shrug of the shoulders. Also, my reaction to most essays: "It's OK, I guess." But it's not OK. You can do better.

Reading a "meh" essay is like drinking room temperature coffee. I like hot coffee, and I love iced coffee, but I endure room temperature coffee. Hypothetically. Because in real life, I would either put that coffee in the microwave ("nuke it," in the diction of my father), or I would find some ice cubes.

Beyond Meh

You don't want a "meh" essay. You want to leave your reader feeling something. Actually, the graphic at the bottom of every Buzzfeed article captures that idea quite nicely:


From now on, you should imagine that whoever reads your essay gets to click one of these buttons. Hopefully not "EW" or "TRASHY" or "WTF." But 4 of these are worth striving for:

Anyway, as you think about your topics, remember these tips to avoid the "meh" pile.

Good luck writing!


Jon Perkins holds a B.A. in English from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He helps students with their college, law school, and medical school applications.