Last-Minute Essay Writing Tips

Despite our pleas to students to start their essays early, even during the summer before their senior year, there are always students who for whatever reason are unable to get a head start, or even a timely start. And here we are, entering the final week before the January 1 deadline, and students are continuing to upgrade their College Essay Organizer accounts in order to seek out some last-minute advice on how to write a standout essay, and more importantly, on how to get started writing.

The New York Times Choice Blog is also dishing out advice for late-blooming applicants. Definitely refer to this post by Daniel Grayson, associate director of undergraduate admissions at Tufts University, if you fall into that category. We've included a few highlights to help inspire and motivate you to put your best foot forward.  After all, you haven't worked this hard for the last four years to fizzle out so close to the finish line.

  • Don't be afraid to be different: "Being honest and forceful about yourself may make some adults around you nervous; it’s not “safe.” They will worry that you are being too controversial or informal. You should listen carefully and try to see your writing from their perspective. But you should feel comfortable ignoring advice that does not feel right."
  • Think from the point of view of the college: "We want to fill our seats with students who have things to say, who will challenge conventions and advance conversations, who will learn from each other."
  • Stand up for what you believe in: "You need to be confident and proud enough to stand behind those ideas because if you won’t, why would an admissions officer choose to stand behind you?"