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help with common app essay

The 2017 Common Application Essay Prompts

There were several changes to the Common Application essay prompts (www.commonapp.org) this year and I thought it would be helpful to offer a strategy for responding to them. I’ll start with the two new prompts (one is actually a revival of an older prompt), then circle back and offer some tips for answering the holdovers, and …

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Finding an UNCommon College Application Essay Topic

Finding an uncommon college application essay topic is one of the biggest challenges facing high school seniors applying to college. And understandably so. Most high school seniors have a scope of experiences that is markedly similar. Interactions with family, friends, school, sports, and enrichment activities fill up the majority of their days. Essay topics, therefore, …

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MORE! College Application Essay Writing Tips

Here are two more guidelines that will help you write the best college application essay you can possibly write. Answer the Prompt While this may seem obvious, many students veer away from fully answering the essay prompt, and wind up hurting their chances for acceptance. Admissions Directors are expecting all aspects of an essay prompt …

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Write Your BEST College Application Essay (#1)

Last year, I did a series of blogs called, “Twenty Five Ways to Make Your College Application Essay the Best Writing You’ve Ever Done.” The blogs included conceptual guidelines for writing an effective essay, as well as many technical writing tips. Longish title notwithstanding, response to the series was extremely positive. For this year, and at …

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Writing the College Application Essay: The Parent Trap

Writing the college application essay is a family endeavor. Of course, this doesn’t mean that parents should actually write the essay, that job belongs solely to the student. But parents are part of the process and can help tremendously. Writing college application essays is stressful because … High school seniors usually don’t have much experience …

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Application Essay Ideas

Your College Application Essay “Idea List”

START BUILDING YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY IDEA LIST TODAY! One of the best, and easiest, ways to start preparing to apply to college is to create a college application essay “Idea List.” Whether you do it on your phone, computer, or in a dedicated composition notebook, this will be an evolving catalogue of potential essay …

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college application essays

THE “#BLACKLIVESMATTER” STANFORD APPLICATION ESSAY

#BlackLivesMatter One Hundred Times For many years, one of Stanford University’s (www.Stanford.edu) college application essay prompts has been, “What matters to you, and why?” It’s a wonderful essay topic and has often been answered with passion and creativity. This past year, a student responded to the prompt by writing “#BlackLivesMatter” (www.blacklivesmatter.com) one hundred times. That …

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Don’t Get Hacky – Keep Your Standards High!

Don’t Get Hacky – Keep Your Standards High  What does writing your college application essay and writing an episode of Full House have in common? Well, frankly, not that much, unless you count the caffeine intake. Having spent a good deal of time in television “writers room,” however, I’ll share with you a writers’ expression you …

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Last Minute Essay Writing

Avoid the Last Minute Essay Writing Panic

Welcome, students and parents. Please come in and lie down on the couch.  I assure you, everything is going to be all right. October 1 is almost here and, students, you have not yet written your college application essays. You’ve entered the last minute essay writing phase of applying for college. Many of your friends have …

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Short Paragraphs Make the Best College Application Essay Format

Choosing the best college application essay format As you write your college application essay, pay attention to formatting! Don’t forget: your audience is human! So, use specific techniques like using short paragraphs and making your essay look inviting to keep your reader happy! Your College Application Essay “Audience” When writing the college application essay, students usually …

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