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Ten steps to a perfect college essay

October 21, 2013 by Martha Mastrianni

  1. Read the essay choices on the Common App website. Pick the one that makes the most sense for you. This will be different for everyone.
  2. MAKE AN OUTLINE! I cannot stress how important this is. Make sure every part of the question is on the outline.
  3. Write your first draft. If you feel you write best on paper, don’t type your first draft.
  4. Write it again. Don’t just edit it, completely re-write it, even if you typed it.
  5. Bring it to your English teacher and ask him/her to help you with it.
  6. Stay after school with your teacher and discuss his/her edits.
  7. Kill your babies. As your essay evolves, you will have to get rid of sentences or paragraphs that you liked. Cut out things that no longer make sense.
  8. Have a second reader, but not a third. Have someone you trust (i.e. old teacher, friend who’s good at English) read your essay, and ask for their feedback. A second opinion is a wonderful thing, but too many opinions can get confusing.
  9. Read it out loud. You’ll notice things you didn’t notice before.
  10. Paste it onto the Common App at least a week before the deadline. That way, you won’t panic if there are any glitches in the new Common App system. Proofread it there. Submit it.

You’re done!

Discussion

2 Responses to “Ten steps to a perfect college essay”

  1. Kill your babies!

    Posted by lucy payratta | October 21, 2013, 7:56 pm
  2. This is great!

    Posted by Lucy Payratta | October 21, 2013, 7:58 pm

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