The Ivy Coach Daily

August 30, 2011

College Essay Pointers

Since now is the time when college applicants should be writing (or finishing up) their college essays, we thought we’d share with you a couple of college essay pointers. Mainly, we’d like to convince you that you alone should not submit your college essays without first showing these essays to someone who can proofread and edit them. Writing, after all, is rewriting. At least good writing is!

To give you an example, when you watch an episode of a TV show like “Vampire Diaries,” do you think that the script got to its finished product that you’re watching in one draft? If you do, you’d be wrong. Rather, TV writers first come up with a pitch which they turn into a story arena to be presented to studio executives. Once the studio signs off, it’s onto the network for notes.

If approved, the writer can then proceed to write an outline. The studio then gives notes followed by the network just like for the story arena. If the outline is approved, the writer is sent to script and the note process with the studio and network again takes place…often over the course of a few drafts! A note could be, “Stefan’s character doesn’t have a clear motivation in this scene” or “Elena should be in this scene as, otherwise, she’s not in the third act and we lose track of her story.”

And these are professional writers. Talented writers. The typical college applicant writing college essays isn’t going to turn pro as a writer. If they need revisions, so, too, do college applicants. Writing and revising and writing and revising again makes a writer a better writer for it. The process of writing well is rewriting. And rewriting again. So don’t just click “submit” on those college essays. Show them to people you trust. Show them to people who can help make your writing stronger. And make sure that the people you show your college essays to have a sense of what turns on and what turns off college admissions counselor. Your high school English teacher may well not know. That’s where we at Ivy Coach come in!

Check out our posts on Common App Admissions Essays and College Essay Mistakes.

You are permitted to use (including the content of the Blog) for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not copy, download, print, or otherwise distribute the content on our site without the prior written consent of Ivy Coach, Inc.


If you’re interested in Ivy Coach’s college counseling,
fill out our complimentary consultation form and we’ll be in touch.

Get Started