Step One: Take a Deep Breath
You don't need to be a master writer to put together a good college entrance essay, provided you come in with a clear idea of what you need. Every entrance essay has a few things in common:
1. Don't create a list of accomplishments. It's an essay, after all, and the goal of the essay isn't to showcase what you've done so far in your life.
2. Don't ramble on and on. Stick with the word count limit so you can show college administrators that you're capable of following directions.
Step Two: Isolate an Incident in Your Life
Why are you applying to college? More importantly, how will you use your degree to make the world a better place? This can sound like a daunting task, but being able to think critically about how you're going to utilize your degree is an important part of your entrance essay. Follow these steps to isolate a specific incident in your own life that will be the guiding them of your essay:
1. Think back to an event in your life that had a profound effect on you and how you view the world. Try to avoid "scoring the winning goal" because the point isn't to showcase your talents, the point is to show admissions officers how your character will develop in college.
2. Discuss the event, but also discuss how the event changed you. Write as long as it takes to explain the event and its effect on you. Once you have it all down, read through it and ensure you haven't missed any important details. Now think about how you can cut it back to the desired word limit.
Step Three: Edit, Edit, Edit
Grammar counts. So does the ability to tell a cohesive story. Your essay needs to look professional and it needs to look like you took the time to make it look great. It's the first thing every prospective college is going to see. Nothing can hurt a college application like a hastily put-together essay that tells the admissions officials that you're not serious about following through on your degree.
How I approach College Entrance Essays:
The main focus of every college essay should be to highlight a quality that will make you successful in college and then providing examples of how that quality has helped you in your life so far. While many college essays might be a little more specific, this is the basic starting point. Once we understand the details, we can hammer out a plan:
- The student (and parents, if applicable!) and I meet to discuss the objectives of the college entrance essay and its purpose. I also take the time to look up each prospective college to determine what their specific requirements are for their entrance essays.
- Brainstorming session. Once complete, the aspiring student works on a first draft.
- I provide feedback on the first draft and we brainstorm more ideas to improve the essay. The aspiring student then completes a second draft.
- Final suggestions and changes are made. I then go through the essay again to ensure it's free of grammatical and spelling errors.
I estimate between 3 and 6 hours to complete the process. My hourly fee is $50 per hour. If you live in the Milwaukee or Madison, WI area, we can meet in person to go through the process. If not, we can work together via email and phone to ensure constant communication.
Please contact me to learn more: