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Sunday, March 17, 2013

11 Steps to Writing an Outstanding College Essay


www.goodsensorylearning.com
Wouldn’t you love to hear from a college admission's counselor that they thought your college admissions essay was great?  Perhaps it was the deciding factor that got you into your number one college.  I have heard this story a number of times from my students, and I wanted to share some strategies that can help you to also achieve this goal.

1: Take your time.  This is one of the most important essays you will ever write, so give yourself the attention and resources to make it one of your best compositions.
2: Allow others to help you throughout the process.  Share your thoughts, ideas and written work with your peers, parents, counselors, and teachers for feedback and ideas.
3: Make sure that you find the best college for you.  Many students select a college based on reputation or peer influence, but reviewing the college website and marketing materials as well as talking with their students, admissions counselors and alumni is important to assure that it is the right place for you! 
4: Make it clear that you are the type of student that the college wants.  Look back through their website and marketing materials and note key words that resonate with you.  Next, write down any buzzwords that reflect the qualities they are searching for in prospective students.  You may want to use some of these words in your essay.
5: Read sample college essays from books or online resources. Make a list of ideas as you read through the essays and start a list of what works and what doesn’t work.
6: Find a topic or passion that will communicate your essence.  Make sure that you select a subject that tells the college about your strengths and unique qualities in a creative and engaging way.
7: Make sure you enjoy writing about the topic you select.  If you select a focus that excites and empowers you, this energy is often reflected in your writing.
8: Find a creative way to write your essay.  Selecting an imaginative strategy and tone is imperative. College counselors read thousands of essays and you want yours to be unique and memorable. 
9: Write a catchy opener and introduction.  It is extremely important that the beginning of your essay grabs the readers attention and makes them want to learn more about you. 
10:  Make sure the introduction and body of your essay addresses the question.  Many colleges ask prospective students to write an essay on a particular topic or theme.  As you write, make sure that you stay within the parameters of the question.
11: Edit, edit, did I mention editing?  Throughout the process, revise your work for content, mechanics, and spelling. 

If you would like more guidance and materials that will walk you through the process, with checklists, forms, and detailed handouts consider purchasing - Writing The College Essay Workshop.  

I hope you found this helpful!  If you have any questions or thoughts, please share them.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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