Tag Archives: college essay

Once you’ve brainstormed your options and decided which initial draft is your winner, the final step in writing a really strong college application is to read, rewrite, rework, and rethink your essays over and over again. This revision process can be a hard journey to travel alone. Like any formal writing project, it helps tremendously to have someone read your work and comment on where the writing is clear and where it isn’t, where the language is strong and memorable, and where it is weaker. Aside from the usual writing help, a college-essay coach can and should also help you stay mindful about the specific genre of writing this essay falls into. This essay is different from any other essay you will probably write in your life. You not only want your essay to display the usual hallmarks of good writing–lively word choices, sustained focus on a central idea, correct…

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The first step in writing a strong college essay is to brainstorm some potential ideas to write about. Once that’s done, it’s time to start to sculpt your ideas into possible essays. Essays? Plural? Yes! Often, it’s hard to know which ideas that emerged from free-writing and brainstorming exercises are going to lead to the essay you want; you have to try writing an essay based on one idea, and see how it emerges, and then maybe drop that idea for a while to tinker with another possible essay topic. Writing is a maddening process of trial and error. Sometimes we just need to sit down and force ourselves to write, and sometimes it is better to take a break for a day or two, so that we can come back to our writing with fresh eyes. Sometimes it takes time for an idea to marinate and grow in our…

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Once Chariot Learning has already helped a student achieve her best SAT and ACT scores, she often comes back for help with another challenge: the college application essay. Writing the college application essay is a daunting task–in 650 words, a student must share something striking about herself that will convince an admissions committee that she will be a worthy addition to the college’s incoming class. With so many applicants to choose from, many of whom have strong numbers, the essay becomes a crucial part of a student’s college application that can make the difference between admission and rejection. What can a student do to make her essay succeed at this highly unique genre of high-stakes writing? First and foremost, I tell my essay students, “Write an essay that nobody could write except you.” What does that mean? Someone who knows you well should be able to read a pile of…

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Spring break is typically a time that students and families take to the road for their college search.  The weather is relatively predictable (i.e. not snowing), college campuses are full of students, so the potential peer group is visible, and you might even have a set (or two) of test scores that help guide you toward possible, realistic options.  For the Class of 2021, just about all of this is out the window. While it is not snowing, campuses are empty and not receiving visitors, you may not have had a chance to meet with your school counselor to get a list started, and with all the test date cancellations, it is not unusual for you to still be waiting to take a standardized test.  This can feel immobilizing. Please do not feel helpless. There are a number of opportunities to use this gift of time in unanticipated ways.  It…

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Whether you’re working with your first child or your fifth, the college admissions process can be incredibly daunting. Don’t go it alone! College admissions expert Jona Jacobson is offering a special week-long workshop to address major aspects of the application process. Over five days, students will: Learn how to use everyday experiences to craft compelling essays and catch the eye of admissions counselors. Draft and revise a college essay for the common application. Obtain tools and strategies to draft additional college application essays, creating outlines or drafts for additional essays as time permits. Complete the remainder of the common application for review, including the activities section, and school-specific portions of the common application as time permits. This fifteen-hour workshop meets Monday, August 6 through Friday, August 10 from 9:30am-12:30pm. This special college essay and application workshop is limited to just 12 students. The fee is $750 and advance registration is…

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The best time to work on that all-important college essay is during the summer before senior year. Start your summer right by working with Educational Consultant Jona Jacobson to write your perfect essay. Over two evenings, students will: Learn how to use everyday experiences to craft compelling essays and catch the eye of admissions counselors. Create a first-draft common application essay. Obtain the tools to write effective college admissions essays for the common application or other college applications. This six-hour workshop meets Monday, July 16 and Wednesday, July 18 from 6-9pm. This college application essay workshop is limited to 12 students. The fee is only $275 and advance registration is required. Call Jona at (585) 755-9157 to register.  

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