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11 Tips for Writing the College Essay

Brought to you by the American School Counselor Association

Help Your Child Shine
Sure, you know why your kid is special. Unfortunately, you can't sit down with college admissions people to tell them why your child would make a terrific addition to their school. The college essay is the opportunity for your child to make a statement before the admissions committee. Think of the essay as a stage where your child's personality gets to shine.

Start Early
Starting early buys you the luxury of revising and rewriting the essay. You can write it, put it away for a few days, then take a fresh look at it later. Walking away and then coming back brings a fresh perspective to the work -- without the pressure and stress that comes with a time crunch.

Choose a Specific Topic
Many colleges ask applicants to describe a special interest, an experience that changed their life, or a person who influenced them. An essay on why you participated in the extra-curricular activities you chose in school, as well as what you learned from those choices, can be an excellent topic.

List a bunch of essay topics and then add some key points for each one. Decide which topic has the most potential; it should be something that you feel strongly about so that it really comes alive when you write about it.

Next: Brainstorm >>

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