The College Application Essay Review

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That’s fine in academic work when you’re being asked to argue in support of a position, but in a personal essay, you want to express more nuanced thinking and explore your own clashing emotions. One of my favorites from when I worked in admissions at Duke University started out, “My car and I are a lot alike.” The writer then described a car that smelled like wet dog and went from 0 to 60 in, well, it never quite got to 60.

Another guy wrote about making kimchi with his mom.

But increasingly a new industry (completely unregulated) has grown.

Students -- many of whom are also paying for private counselors, sometimes at hefty rates -- are also paying thousands in fees for help on their essays.

The college counselor couldn't help but be impressed with the draft application essay.

It had a solid theme and related to the student's academic interests. But the counselor, who described the situation on condition of anonymity, said that she just didn't think her student could possibly have written it.Counselors (those who work for high schools and those hired by families) have long provided various forms of help on application essays.So have parents, English teachers, family friends and others.Bigger than me.”LEAVE WEBSTER’S OUT OF IT Unless you’re using a word like “prink” (primp) or “demotic” (popular) or “couloir” (deep gorge), you can assume your reader knows the definition of the words you’ve written. .”THE EPIGRAPH Many essays start with a quote from another writer.You’re better off not starting your essay with “According to Webster’s Dictionary . When you have a limited amount of space, you don’t want to give precious real estate to someone else’s words. When writing about past events, the present tense doesn’t allow for reflection. This happens, then this happens, then this happens.So she asked the question: Did you get help on this?The student answered yes -- and the help from a paid essay coach had been substantial.Sometimes, as in the example at the beginning of this article, they don't tell the others who are advising them about the practice.In interviews, those who provide these services insist that they don't actually write essays.Should college applicants (who can afford it) spend thousands of dollars for coaching on what to write?Are those who take their money just doing a better (and less visible) job than are many parents?

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