By Amy Haskell, founder of Total Writing Enrichment, where she helps teens master college admissions essays that stand out; she founded her company with a mission to ease stress, build confidence and teach writing skills to teens.
Right about now, thousands of high school seniors across the country feel frazzled and bedazzled about the college application process. No matter where they wind up a year from now, the sheer excitement of moving forward with life, growing up, and gaining independence propels these anxious seniors ahead into the college experience.
Dreams of the green quad and the load roar of a football game fill seniors’ minds with a romantic version of their ideal college. However, these kings and queens of high school momentarily forget the time, effort, and organization needed to actually gain acceptance to the college of their choice.
After taking and re-taking the SAT, after meeting with college counselors, and after narrowing down their list of schools, let’s face it, the most daunting task about the application process remains….the personal essay.
Whether your teen prides himself on writing or hides every English paper grade once returned from his teacher, he will need to dedicate time, effort and skill in order to write arguable the most important words of his life.
Here are 7 effective writing tips to enhance every senior’s essay no matter his writing level:
1.) It’s All About the Verb! Swap OUT boring verbs: am, is, are, was, were, be, been, being, had or have been and ADD IN specific action verbs!
2.) Add texture: provide color, depth, insight into who you are and how you see the world.
3.) The 1st Sentence Trick: ensure that the first sentence of every paragraph is clear and detailed.
4.) Use sensory detail to paint a colorful picture of your story or event in your reader’s mind.
5.) Provide dialogue: what did you say to someone else? What did someone else tell you? Move your story ahead through speaking – creates more personable writing!
6.) Give examples – show do not just tell.
7.) Wrap it up and tie back to the beginning – leave a strong impression on your reader.
Want more tips? Check out our website and sign up for our FREE GUIDE on How to Jump Start Your College Essay!
About the Author, Amy Haskell:
I love helping teens with their writing! Whether acing an essay on Macbeth or checking off the Common App essay for the tricky college application process, seeing a stressed out teenager smile, breath a sigh of relief, and start believing in him/herself means the world to me!
While teaching at a large, nationally ranked high school in the northern suburbs of Chicago, I started tutoring kids and realized the positive impact on these teens when one mom confided in me, “Thank you! You have no idea the peace you’ve brought to our family!” The demand for my help sky rocketed and in order to reach more students, I created online writing lessons, utilized technology to help more kids, and the rest is history!
When I’m not reviewing essays, I’m attempting to whip my muscles in shape with my Charlotte Masters Swim team, where I proudly remain one of the slowest members of this fun, supportive group of swimmers!