Tuesday, September 16, 2014

College Admissions Essay

 
In the mail today, I was excited to receive my review copy of  Admissions Essay Boot Camp: How to Write Your Way into the Elite College of Your Dreams.

I don't think my son has elite colleges in his dreams, but it is always a good idea to write an excellent essay, so I was interested to see if this book would give us any new insight.


It is an easy book to read and since my son is in the midst of writing admissions essays, I sat down and read the 156 page book this afternoon.


First, the helpful info that author Ashley Wellington gives in the first  few chapters:


  • with humility, honesty, and humor, work with the experiences you have
  • determine what type of student you are, because colleges are trying to do that
  • a questionnaire to help you determine what experiences are most important to you
  • examples of essays from different types of students


The first chapter does cover the different type of students most applicants are -


the achieve-o-tron, the dabbler, the athlete, the club president, the average joe, the natural, the un-natural, the secret prodigy, the buddy, or the aristocrat-


and which essay prompts work best for which type of student.


The first seven chapters are the how-to of the book, but only cover 37 pages.  The rest of the book is actual examples and suggestions for specific students the author has helped.

What I found most interesting about the examples were the way students were able to highlight different interests and facets of their personality within the context of the essay without sounding like they were hopping around to different subjects. 

This is the result of learning to write a succinct essay.


It is obvious that most of her examples are written by ‘aristocrats’ based on their examples of boarding school and international travel.  Even though the author cautions against sounding like an aristocrat, many of her examples did not attain that goal.


What I wrote a couple months ago about the personal essay/college admissions essay is still true.  
If you want to read the essay examples in this book, go ahead and buy it, but I think much of the information in this book is available online.

If students remember what I said about the purpose of the essay, they will be way ahead of the game.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
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