You’ve organized your college application essay questions, started brainstorming, and come up with a list of possibilities.
Got a good list of at least three good topics? Now it’s time to write!
For a full discussion of the secrets of a great first draft, see the rest of this article in Chapter 5 of our title How to Write a College Application Essay: Expert Advice to Help You Get Into the College of Your Dreams.
Photo by Mustafa Sayed, Creative Commons, via Flickr. Post by Tania Runyan, author of How to Read a Poem and How to Write a Poem.
Providing everything a student needs to go from draft to polished essay, the instruction in How to Write a College Application Essay is straightforward, easy to apply, and inspiring. Includes sample essays from students who got into the colleges of their dreams.
“How to Write a College Application Essay is a valuable resource that I enthusiastically recommend to my students and their families.” —Lisa Scanio, High School Counselor, Adlai Stevenson High School
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Love these points for all kinds of writing:
“This is your chance to isolate those most important parts that came from your gut, the hidden soul of your topic that will give your essay the “youness” to make it shine.”
“Your voice is damped out by all the interruptions, changes, and hesitations between the consciousness and the page. […] I don’t know how it works, but this voice is the force that will make a reader listen to you. Maybe you don’t like your voice; maybe people have made fun of it. But it’s the only voice you’ve got. It’s your only source of power.”
I wish I’d understood this years ago. Speaking as myself is vulnerable, but it’s what makes me sound like Bethany, and not a text book. By the tenth revision, I’ve usually edited out much of my voice because it feels too risky. Of course who wants to read something flat? I don’t. This is a great reminder to keep working on it. Thanks, Tania. (Now, should I delete this paragraph?) 😉
Charity Singleton Craig says
I agree with Bethany. Good writing tips here regardless what kind of writing you are doing. But my step-son who is starting to apply to colleges also might really benefit from this series specifically for essays. Am glad to have this resource to pass along to him.
Tania Runyan says
Bethany and Charity: Thank you so much for the encouraging comments! Writing this series has been a blast!