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For some students, one of the most challenging parts of a college/program application is the essay. This document is may be the first time the admissions committee hears your ‘voice” and aspirations, and at the same time they may not give you much guidance on what to write.

Many blogs and websites offer advice on writing college application essays. Some are useful and interesting. Some are not. (and the eBook) by Janine Robinson is an interesting addition to this field. Her advice focuses on how to tell your story or construct your narrative in response to college application essay questions and is backed by years of experience as a professional journalist and high school English teacher. Her blog includes many posts that can help guide your thinking on this topic.

Taking time to work on your essay is an important because a well-constructed essay can strengthen your application. A good essay helps the reader understand what you are trying to say (vs. poorly written presentations). Also, a well-written essay demonstrates good communication skills and highlights your creativity. As Ms. Robinson mentioned in one of her posts, admission committee members read dozens if not hundreds of essays each year. If they can’t understand your writing or are not interested because of what you are saying, you may not make it to next step or acceptance piles.

FYI, if you are applying to certificate, graduate or professional degree programs, her advice generally applies to you, too. For those types of applications, essay questions may have more variety (i.e., not be part of a common application across programs) and there may be more emphasis on your skills, experience, networks, etc. Stay tuned to this blog for specific advice for more advanced degrees.


NOTE:┬áThis post is not an endorsement of “Essay Hell, “and I have not read every post on that site. How you apply (or not) tips and advice from Ten & Twos and other sites is totally up to you.