College Admissions Book: Successful Essays - College Confidential

is the bestselling author of five novels, including "Almost," and a classic book on writing fiction. She's taught writing at major colleges and universities for 25 years and coaches students with college application essays at .

May 27, 2010 - Reading sample essays is one of the best ways for students to get ideas ..
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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.


Jul 1, 2016 - This question is so painful

Writing the College Application Essay. Date: 8/12/17. Location: Open Book-Loft Classroom. Day of the Week: Saturday. Time: 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Ages: 15-17.
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By that point, I’d read Harry Bauld’s classic book “On Writing the College Application Essay,” and I’d learned that my best shot at grabbing my readers by the throat was to do something different. So I ignored the laundry list of standard-issue sources of inspiration and wrote about a television commercial instead.