Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps: Crafting a Winning Personal Statement

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9781580089104: Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps: Crafting a Winning Personal Statement

Writing a memorable personal statement can seem like an overwhelming project for a young college applicant, but college essay coach Alan Gelb's holistic strategy and reassuring voice takes out the intimidation factor. Students will identify an engaging topic and use creative writing techniques to compose a vivid statement that will reflect their individuality. A much-needed supplement to other college entrance guides, this useful handbook will help students win over the admissions dean, while preparing them to write better papers once they've been accepted. A guide to crafting a meaningful and polished college admissions essay that expresses the applicant's unique personality, strengths, and goals. Step-by-step instructions lead students from idea to initial draft, through revisions, and to a final version ready for submission. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 69 percent of high school graduates enroll in college.ReviewsPublisher's Weekly, March 24th 2008: Included in test prep/college feature article

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About the Author:

ALAN GELB is a college essay coach and professional writer whose clients include colleges and universities across the country. He is the author of The Complete Student, A Survival Guide for Professionals, Most Likely to Succeed, and more. Alan lives with his family in East Chatham, New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

If you’re looking for an instruction book on how to write the college application essay, don’t worry—there are quite a few excellent ones on the market. In fact, if you have all the time in the world, I suggest you check out as many of these as you can. Chances are, they’ll all contain some useful ideas. But if you’re pressed for time—and what high school senior isn’t?—then you can feel confident that the book at hand is your fastest and surest way to produce the kind of application essay you’re after.
How is this book different from all the others out there? First of all, it has been pared down to the essentials. I’ve coached a great many students through this process and know that it doesn’t make any sense to choose the first semester of the senior year as the time to “share secrets from college admissions counselors” or “sample essays from great writers like E. B. White, George Orwell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.” This is the time when you want to focus exclusively on that which is absolutely critical, eliminate anything that feels like padding, and simply get the job done in the best possible way as fast as you can.

To that end, I’ve organized this learning process into a ten-step system. I’d like to say ten “easy” steps because “easy” is such a persuasive word, like “new,” “improved,” and “best ever.” But the truth is that some of these steps are not that “easy.” That said, none is insurmountable. If you follow this book in its logical sequence, you will arrive at your destination—a well-turned college application essay designed to linger in the minds of those who read it.

This book is different from others on this subject in that it focuses entirely on process. As I said, I will not be offering any extraneous material, like “secrets” from admissions counselors at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. Such secrets are enticing, but ultimately do little to help your cause. What will help is to truly understand the elements of a well-constructed narrative, which is what this book will be teaching.

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