The College Application Essay, Revised Edition

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9780874477115: The College Application Essay, Revised Edition
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Revised edition of a classic bestseller, previous editions have sold over 100,000 copies, that helps college-bound students write great application essays.

This new edition of the classic bestseller is a treasure for students who want to write vivid, distinctive essays and personal statements to support their college applications. The College Application Essay builds on what students have already learned in high school to strengthen their writing skills, and then applies those lessons to college applications in particular. In a friendly, conversational tone, the guide helps students find their voice and be "heard" on paper by emphasizing both the thinking process and the technical work of writing.

This revised edition includes dozens of current essay questions and topics, with multiple response strategies; advice from admissions directors and guidance professionals, who offer wisdom and insights about how applicants' essays are evaluated; and sample essyas written by real students. A new guide for parents shows how they can support - without interfering in - the writing process.

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Review:

Sarah Myers McGinty wants you to keep the college-application process in perspective. Don't panic, she says. "The goal of this process is not to sell an ideal image of yourself. It is to find the right school for you." But of course once you've found that school, you do have to convince its admissions officers that the school wants you as much as you want it. McGinty's The College Application Essay discusses such topics as recommendation letters and college interviews, but its main focus is the essay. Essay questions vary from school to school (this book is loaded with specific examples), but McGinty groups them into three categories: the "tell us about yourself" question, the "why do you want to attend this particular school" question, and "the creative question" (which asks you to comment on an issue, a hero, a book, a quotation, the future, or the like). How you write is as important as what you write, and whatever you do, don't get someone else to write it for you. "Admission people usually can tell," warns McGinty. "If they mark the essay 'DDI,' they've concluded that 'Daddy did it.'"

McGinty also gives some attention to non-traditional, or "high risk," essays. While not for everyone, the high-risk essay can work wonders when you chances of getting into a given school are slim. "We'll take a risk for the right reason," says Simmons College admissions dean Deborah Wright, and perhaps you should, too. After all, says McGinty, "I am sure in the final hours of committee meetings on 'gray zone' applications, no one has ever said, 'Hey, wait a minute, what about that kid who wrote the essay about his family?'" --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:

Sarah Myers McGinty, who earned her Ph.D. at New York University and is currently a university supervisor in the Harvard Teacher Education Program, has extensive experience as a teacher and as a college admission director. She is a resident of Boston, Massachusetts.

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