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Last Minute Tips for Your College Essay

With application deadlines quickly approaching, our tutors at C2 Education have been reading a lot of college admissions essays. Arguably one of the more difficult aspects of applying for college, the personal essay is easy to put off until the last minute. Staring at a white page makes meeting with your SAT math tutor feel like Spring Break. Getting help on your essay is an important piece to any college admissions counseling service.

Well, procrastinate no more! Here are some important pieces of advice we’ve been offering to lots of students this year!

Show, Don’t Tell

Perhaps your creative writing teacher already taught you this lesson: whenever possible, show your reader what you mean instead of simply telling them what happened. For instance, instead of saying “I felt nervous before my group’s performance,” write something descriptive like “I was shaking as hard as an old dryer before our turn to perform.” This way, a reader can imagine how intense your nerves were, and not just take your word for it. Writing in this way will make a more memorable impression on admissions officers, who read thousands of essays each year.

Remember the Five Senses

Similarly, make sure you incorporate a lot of imagery into your essay. Those aforementioned admissions officers will take note of essays that make them feel something. Instead of noting that there were a lot of people in the auditorium, describing the “thunderous chatter in the auditorium” would illustrate the same point in a more exciting way.

Be Short and Sweet

Most college admissions essays will have word limits, so being succinct is important. As you revise, be on the lookout for repeated ideas or superfluous phrases like “for all intents and purposes,” “due to the fact” or “oftentimes.” When you revise carefully, you’ll find lots of unnecessary words and phrases you can cut out. 

Get Help from the Experts

At C2 Education, we love helping students shape their personal essays into powerful pieces that truly reflect who they are. Stop by our El Cerrito Plaza location today, or call us at (510)730-2620 to learn more about how we can help you with the entire college admissions process.


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