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09/07/2019

Should I name the person in a college essay?

QUESTION
Should I name the person in a college essay?
In the common app question: Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence., is it required to talk about the person by name? Or could I simply describe him as an English teacher, and talked about how he influenced me, etc.

ANSWER
I would choose to name the teacher somewhere near the beginning of the essay and explain who he is and where he did his teaching. My suggestion comes from the fact that if you struggle to avoid using the name, you will find yourself constantly writing “this teacher” or “my English teacher” in places where the name would normally go, and it will sound awkward. Since it is unlikely that anyone of the admissions committee knows this person, and you have no intention of writing anything insulting or rude, there is really no reason not to use the name.