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Why English Teachers Are Not College Essay Experts

Hard truth: college essays and “school essays” are very different. High school students are taught to write essays with a thesis, body paragraphs to prove their points and a conclusion which revisits the thesis in summary. This is not what a college essay should look like. 

A college essay is a story. It’s a slice of your kid’s life when they share something important about who they are. It’s not an autobiography of their 17 or 18 years of life but rather a small sample of an event on which they learned something that they believe will travel with them forever. 

Not all English teachers know this. 

Most English teachers have never worked in college admissions. 

Most English teachers have never studied the art of writing a college essay. 

Thus, most English teachers should not be reading and offering feedback on college essays. 

It burns me when students come to us late in the process and say “my English teacher told me this was good.” While it may be free of grammatical errors, how can they tell how “good” it is? 

Your child’s English teacher is probably a good person who is well-intentioned. Thank them for teaching literature to your child. With so much on the line with the college essay, let people who have read college essays for college admissions committees offer an opinion.

CLICK HERE: How to Write an Awesome College Essay

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