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 […]


The following was written by a student I worked with last year. I asked him to try to capture the experience of writing his essays in a way that would give hope to seniors who are currently working on their own. I think he did a wonderful job! LOOKING BACK ON WRITING MY COLLEGE APPLICATION […]

Writing the College Admissions Essay – Ending Your Essay

There are several techniques that will help you end your college application essay effectively. Some of these are The Echo, The Buzz Lightyear, and the Head of the Class, which I have written about in earlier blogs. Another approach is called “Apply Here,” which I have also found a good way to close out an […]


It’s May! Springtime! The birds are tweeting (the old fashioned way), flowers are blooming and high school juniors everywhere are staring out the window daydreaming about… their college admissions essays? Uhm… probably not. And yet, writing the essay does not have to be a dreaded chore, especially if you treat it as a journey of […]

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE 2012 COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SEASON The college admissions “season” runs generally from mid summer to the end of the year, although applications are certainly filed during other months. The 2012 season was a fantastic experience for me; here are five things I learned. 1. The students moving on to college […]

The Holiday Season Can Inspire Your College Admissions Essay

If you’re still searching for a topic for your college admissions essay, try getting inspiration from this emotional holiday season. Family, gratitude, the spirit of giving, travel, commercialism, spirituality and over eating are all in the air and can wind up being potential subject areas. During the coming holidays, therefore, no matter which of them […]

Writing the College Admissions Essay: Last Minute Changes

The day students submit their college application essay brings intense feelings of accomplishment , joy and yes, relief. But it is also a time of danger. As they read their essay one last time, students are sometimes tempted to make one last tweak, change one last word, delete a phrase that never felt right to […]

Diary of a College Admissions Essay

November 25, 2012 Sunday after Thanksgiving. More supplementals today, almost finished. Still trying to be “original,” without being totally bizarre. Like today, I wrote one where I said that when I toured Bucknell I was amazed to learn that I spoke their language. I was fluent in “Bucknell.” What was important to them, was important […]

Writing the College Application Essay: Guidelines for Writing Emotionally

Many of the best college application essays have a strong emotional content. They express and reveal the emotions of the writer – the applicant – and they stimulate emotion in the reader – the college Admissions Director. This fact is one reason many students find writing the essay so challenging. Throughout high school, students are […]

WRITING THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS ESSAY: Diary of a College Admissions Essay

November 1, 2012 Started working on the short essay on the Common App. “Elaborate on my extra curricular?” Okay, not only am I on the volleyball team but I look really hot in my uniform. Uhm, that’s probably not it. Okay… more brainstorming. I guess I could talk about how I am absolutely sure that […]