How To Write A College Essay > Chris Peterson SM '13 ..

10/23/2014 · 9 essay writing tips to ‘wow’ college admissions officers

Alpha Student – How to start an essay: the opening sentence

Ms. Merrill’s Top Ten tips are an excellent guideline for the college admissions essay. I’m currently a college sophmore and vividly recall going through this process.
One additional tip I would add is keep it lite. I think college admissions panels are tired of reading about how you spent your summer wielding a hammer for Habitat for Humanity or ladling soup in a homeless shelter.

How to Start an Essay (with Pictures) - wikiHow

the best thing you can do is try out a lot of ideas. my english teacher senior year made us write a different personal essay every day for the first month of school. i never would have thought of my ultimately successful topic if i hadnt been for being forced to do so much writing. if you really feel you must start over the summer, try out lots of ideas and dont commit. ask an english teacher or recent ivy grad for advice, your parents may not have the best sense of a relevant and not trite topic.

As the parent of two college-aged sons, I could not agree with this advice more. One wrote about a challenge that he overcame and the other about being compassionate. Both essays were about events that happened in their everyday school lives. Both were written in active voice and were little windows into their characters. Neither used the words challenge or compassionate. I am convinced that it was the strength and sincerity of their essays that opened the doors at the top schools that said “Yes” to my sons. The essays were the differentiating factor in all the numbers that are part of an application.
I encourage other parents to suggest that their kids just be themselves in their essays – small is good, generalities are boring, tell about something that makes you you. Oh, and read The Gatekeepers – – it offers the best insights into the college admissions process of any of the dozens of books I read on the topic.


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How To Start A College Essay For Application

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