The Most Important Words of Your Teen’s Life: The College Admissions Essay

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.

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