New York Times Stresses the Importance of the College Essay

New York TimesThis article recently featured on the New York Times stresses the importance of the college essay, even going so far as to suggest that students should devote their summers to crafting an experience worthy of a college essay. One of the more interesting aspects to the article is that students do not need to necessarily spend an enormous amount of money, or even travel great distances to come up with an experience that makes for a stand-out essay. Trips can be small, or even local, just so long as they are targeted, specific, and memorable:

Students do not have to spend a summer abroad for an essay-worthy experience. When Mary Lang Gill was a rising senior at the Atlanta Girls School, a private school, she hired Pam Proctor, an independent college counselor and the author of “The College Hook,” a college admissions guide. After learning that Ms. Gill loved to paint, Ms. Proctor connected her to the Florida Highwaymen, a band of renegade painters active during the 1950s and ’60s.

“I spent a whole day with them,” painting and observing, said Ms. Gill, who just graduated from Dickinson College. “It was one of the coolest things ever, and I love that and I got to put it on my application.” Ms. Proctor said she spent a great deal of time with students helping them find the right topic for the college essay. “Picking the essays is as important as writing them,” she said. After that, she said, the stories “write themselves.”

Creating a strong college essay is often about specificity and significance of subject as much as command of basic writing. By keeping that in mind, often just a few hours' work in selecting a topic, and a day or three of effort to make it a reality can yield a truly unique piece of writing, not to mention a genuine experience and new sights for the student.

Keep in mind, though, that most articles and books about the college essay process fail to point out that you'll have many essays to write, not just one. Check for free here to see how many essays your colleges require.

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