college application essay

I’m Giving It Away to 50 Lucky Students!

 

I’m offering my new mini online course, How to Write a College Application Essay, to the first 50 students who send me a request via email.

I will send you a link, which will bring you to the host site, Udemy. And you take it from there.

The course only takes about an hour to go through the 11 short tutorials and related handouts, and walks you step-by-step through the brainstorming, writing and editing process.

It’s the exact approach I take with my private tutoring students and use during my workshops—so I know it works!

Continue reading »

college application essay

Colleges Encourage Students to Write About $ and Work
in College Application Essays

 

The New York Times today published the seven college application essays it liked the best for its contest about writing on the topic of money.

Most of the winners wrote about their experiences facing various types of financial hardship and challenges.

They are worth reading simply as sample essays, which could give you ideas for topics of your own.

Continue reading »

college application essay

 

I’m always on the lookout for new voices in the college admissions industry who try to help students and parents and all of us keep a balanced and sane perspective on the frenzied quest for the perfect college.

Kristin White, an educational consultant who wrote It’s the Student, Not the College: The Secrets of Succeeding at Any School: Without Going Broke or Crazy, does a great job of explaining how a student’s success has little to do with where they get in, even if it’s one of the 20 prestige schools so many believe they must attend or their lives will be ruined.

I asked Kristin if she would share her opinions on how she thinks about the college application essays, and she wrote this guest post on what is behind every great and effective essay—strong writing skills. As she explains in this piece, strong writing chops can not only help you nail your college admissions essays, they are powerful skills that will help power your college experience as well as your effectiveness in the workplace.

Continue reading »

Here’s a guest post by a talented college application essay writing coach named Ethan Sawyer. I love what he shares about how important it is to have both an engaging story at the start of an essay, and then a key insight that reveals what it meant.

From Ethan:

Ira Glass, in his awesome 5-minute video series, talks about the two ingredients necessary for a great story:

Continue reading »

college application essay

 

Get My Latest College Application
Essay Writing Guide
FREE on Mother’s Day on Amazon!

 

Yup, it’s that simple. I’m celebrating the recent publication of the paperback version of my latest writing guide on Amazon by offering the Kindle ebook version for free on this May 10, which also happens to be Mother’s Day. (a $6.99 value!) Whether you are a college-bound student, or their mom or dad or counselor or teacher, I believe you will find this guide of great help.

Continue reading »

college application essay

Photo Via Goop

 

This might seem random, but I found some powerful writing advice on the blog of Gwyneth Paltrow that I believe is relevant to students writing their college application essays, and others, especially women.

The woman Paltrow recently featured in her blog, Goop, had some opinions about how women have unconscious habits in their speech and writing that cause them to come across as less confident and competent.  And they hit me hard. When I thought about it, I was surprised how my lingering insecurities and self-esteem issues still creep into my writing, and even how I talk. So I thought you might would find them interesting, too.

Continue reading »

college application essay

Storytelling “Clues” from a Master
for your College Application Essay

If anyone knows how to spin a great story, it’s this guy: Andrew Stanton. Ok, I hadn’t heard of him before either, but I certainly know about his films: All the Toy Story movies, Monsters, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, and a ton more. If you are working on your college application essay, you grew up with all these popular animated films.

Stanton is an American filmmaker with Pixar studios, and he recently gave a TED talk about what makes a story powerful. His greatest storytelling commandment? “Make me care,” he says.

Continue reading »

college application essay

Learn to Vet College Application Writing Experts

Read PART ONE on How to Find The Best Essay Help on College Application Essays first…

Here are other potential sources of help for writing personal statement essays for college admissions:

2. High School College Counselors: Remember that most of these counselors have literally hundreds of students to guide through the admissions process. If you are lucky, you might be able to bounce off topic ideas, find direction to other resources or even get them to read your drafts. This can be immensely helpful, since most of these counselors have a strong idea of what makes an effective essay. But you might have to seek out more help on your own.

Continue reading »

college application essay

If you landed on my Essay Hell blog, there’s a strong chance you are in search of help on writing your college application essay. Yes, that’s what I do, and I’m happy to help you. But I was thinking of how I would advise a student or parent who is looking for someone to assist in the essay writing process (other than me).

There are many options—from private college counselors to teachers and smart friends. Many “experts” claim to know their stuff, but it’s important to make them prove it. I think the trick is to A. determine if your essay helper really understands what makes a good college admissions essay (a very specific type of writing), and B. has the experience and skills to help a student write or improve her or his own.

Continue reading »

college application essay

How to Answer Prompt 4 for the Common App

for your College Application Essay


Prompt 4: Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scaleExplain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

You almost can’t go wrong if you pick this prompt to write your college application essay for The Common Application for 2015-16. It sets you up perfectly to tell an engaging story, which makes the best personal statement-style essays.

Continue reading »