It could be an experience, a person, a book—anything that has had an impact on your life. Anyone can write about how they won the big game or the summer they spent in Rome.
When recalling these events, you need to give more than the play-by-play or itinerary. Describe what you learned from the experience and how it changed you. A student who can make an admissions officer laugh never gets lost in the shuffle. What you think is funny and what an adult working in a college thinks is funny are probably different.
We caution against one-liners, limericks and anything off—color. Set it aside for a few days and read it again. Put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer: Is the essay interesting? Do the ideas flow logically? Does it reveal something about the applicant? What you write in your application essay or personal statement should not contradict any other part of your application—nor should it repeat it.
A teacher or college counselor is your best resource. And before you send it off, check, check again, and then triple check to make sure your essay is free of spelling or grammar errors.
Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you. We know that great scores take work. We love our teachers, and so will you. Also, anyone who helps students should be a mentor and a guide -- not a ghostwriter. Drafting essays takes time and is often painful, requiring students to find the allegorical stories that share powerful evidence of how they will enrich a campus.
External advice, not rewriting, can be very helpful for your students. Remember, they have never done this sort of writing before.
Help them see drafting as an authentic means of sharpening their voices. And students, please understand that colleges want to hear from you and only you. When they want to hear from an adult, they will ask, usually in the form of a letter of recommendation. Colleges want to read a story in your voice that tells them about an event or experience, quality or place that reveals what you, and you alone, can offer.
What does the experience mean to you? The process of thinking about the messages you want to send colleges in your essays can take weeks. There are no shortcuts. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Follow Rebecca Joseph on Twitter: Let the year-old Voice Take Center Stage.
I appreciate that writing your college essay in the summer is a major buzz kill, but if you start one now, you'll thank me in the fall when it's application crunchtime. To inspire you, I've asked.
College Coach offers a variety of services — from comprehensive assistance to targeted support — to best fit your family’s needs. Our one-on-one college admissions counseling means that you work with a dedicated expert, a former senior admissions officer from a highly selective school, to personalize your experience and address your.
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