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Four Things to Look for in Your College Admissions Essay – PART ONE

It’s no secret I love College Essay Expert Ethan Sawyer’s stuff. For years now he’s been helping hundreds of students excel at writing compelling personal statements to help showcase students’ unique perspectives and stories. I came across Ethan’s powerful tools at an in-person seminar he offered, and I went on to read his book and online materials as part of my own journey of serving students.

I’d like to share what Ethan calls the “Great College Essay Test:” Four Components to look for or insert in your personal statement.

1. Writing Craft

Is it well written? One of my favorite tricks is to have what I call a “movie moment” opener. Drop into your story in present tense, as if I am watching a movie unfold. I find these openings captivating and attention-grabbing. For now, I want to feel like I am stepping into a good novel.

From there, craft will include word choice, transitions, and overall flow. Did parents “walk” by? Or did they “hustle” by? Did you “get a reward” or did you earn it? Things like that. Working with a professional (like me!) or even teaming up with a trusted smart friend or teacher can help spot moments where craft could be improved.

…check back for components #2-4. They aren’t quite as obvious as “writing craft!”

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