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The Ivy Coach Daily

June 18, 2012

Writing College Essays

Maybe the whole college essay needs to go. Maybe only a line or two should stay. Maybe the premise of the essay entirely needs to be scrapped. Or maybe it’s just about re-ordering some paragraphs. Maybe there’s one line in the essay that will tip off a college admissions counselor that you’re pompous or arrogant — one line like this can severely hurt you in the process of highly selective college admissions. That’s why it’s important to read it over, to rewrite and rewrite. The best writers are rewriters. It’s true of novelists. It’s true of feature and television writers. It’s true of advertising copyrighters (like Peggy Olson from “Mad Men”). So just accept the fact that your first draft is likely far from perfect and you’ll need to do some heavy lifting with rewrites.

And, yes, it’s difficult for college applicants to realize what works and what doesn’t work in college essays. So indeed that’s part of where we at Ivy Coach come in for our students!

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