Knowing Yourself = Writing a Better College Application Essay

Most college application essay prompts ask students to reveal, in one way or another, who they are and what is important to them. Yet “knowing yourself” ( is not that easy, especially for a young adult who is still learning about the world and his or her place in it.So, for this blog, let’s put […]

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 […]

Discovering the Essay Topic

discovering the perfect college essay topic

Roger’s parents were determined he would write a college application essay that stood out. So they got him essay tutors, sent him to essay workshops, could not get through a family meal without peppering Roger with suggestions for his essay topic. But one day, Roger finally had enough. His mother burst into his room (always […]


At the risk of oversimplifying, here are three “re’s” students need to keep in mind when writing their college application essays. Re-flect Unless a student was raised by wolves or comes from Pluto, it is rare that an outstanding essay topic instantly reveals itself. On the contrary, it takes time and serious self reflection to […]

Writing the College Application Essay: More on Outlining

In my last blog, I mentioned outlining as one of the Writing Basics required to write an outstanding college application essay. But the subject is so important that it demands a blog of its own. Students will sometimes resist outlining their college application essay because they are eager to start writing and consider outlining a […]

Writing the College Application Essay: How to “Barbara Walters” Yourself, Part 3

Continuing on the path toward discovering a unique and compelling topic for your college application essay, here are ten more “self-interview” questions. What’s the saddest thing that ever happened to you? What did you learn from it? What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you? What did you learn from it? What is the […]