3 Keys to Writing an Awesome College Essay (Part 1)

I have been teaching essay writing for twenty years and before I get too deep, I want you and your child to know the basics first. The personal statement should reveal something important about them that their grades and test scores cannot. Try to help your child to answer these two essential questions:

#1: Who are you? 

#2: What’s important to you? 

This is not easy and it’s not necessarily fun. Teenagers struggle with identity and sharing parts of their lives. They need help. 

PLEASE share the blog below with our child. It’s written to them. 

STEP 1: Be yourself.  You are 1 of 1. Write in your own voice.  Write what you feel, not what you think the admissions committee wants to hear. Parents, you can help to brainstorm and eventually proofread, but do not polish. Colleges can tell an essay that has been edited by an adult.

STEP 2: Answer the question being asked.  This is critical. For the Common Application, there are seven options. Please choose wisely and respond sharply and thoroughly. 

STEP 3: Find a creative angle, if you can. Try to come up with something different but avoid being too abstract. If something takes too much time to build or be revealed, you will lose your reader. Remember that the people reviewing your essay have read thousands of essays. Give them something memorable that represents you that might make them smile.

Over the next three weeks, I’ll be offering more information about how to write a college essay. We also have an intensive online course - How to Write an Awesome College Essay -- where I give clear instructions on how to brainstorm the topics, write the first draft, and revise it. As a bonus to the course,  and after your child follows all the steps, they can send it to me and I will give them personalized feedback on it.

Learn more here: