Blog #12 – College Essay Help

Time To Put Your Feet Up
December break is a good time to rest a little from wrestling with college application essays. You are probably saying, “Is she kidding? I have to email those essays right away.” Fortunately, some colleges have a February 1 deadline, giving you more time to consider what you have written and make final edits. But don’t do that – at least right away. Instead, print the essays out, and put them in the drawer. Have fun with your friends, family, and relatives doing whatever. In a few days, take them out, and read them out loud to a family member. You will find that grammar mistakes, missing content, or content in the wrong place will become apparent. Give your essays the test of time.

18 thoughts on “Blog #12 – College Essay Help

    • As I read the mseasges in response to this issue, I can certainly share the deep concerns. I am a community college dean, but it was not an easy path after earning two degrees at the age of 43. My husband and I are baby-boomers, and were in a family agricultural business before my husband’s health issues changed everything. We went back to school and started over with four children and one grandchild! The jobs in the early and mid-90s were not plentiful in our chosens field of education, so holding two or three part-time jobs was not unusual for us. I am now 60 and working on my final stages of a doctorate. The family joke is that they hope I can pay off student loans by the time I retire but it is the truth! The journey has been amazing, though, and I would encourage all of you who might be discouraged to hang in there and look beyond the current dilemma. I have discovered that if things were easy, we would miss the lessons that go with the roadblocks, the discovery of new ideas and challenges, and yes, the disappointments. You hold so much in your hands with future opportunities and realized dreams; I have great hope and admiration for this generation. My encouragement, support and faith of better days go with you all.

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    • I agree with you most hhclsmoooeed kids that I know write at a level far above their peers. I have a Master’s degree in English and have taught at both the secondary and college levels. I have seen lots and lots of student writing and know how bad the majority of it is. For that reason I have been very surprised that my home educated son, who is a great writer, has done only passingly well on the essay portions of his college entrance tests. He comes home thinking he has done okay. He writes better than 90 percent of the students I have ever taught. And yet his composition scores on the ACT and SAT were average. I know what these tests are looking for and I have prepared him to write for them accordingly. He has done many practice essays with excellent results. This is going to sound like parental rationalization, but I really think it may have something to do with his poor handwriting, exacerbated by neuropathy that has developed in the last year or two. I wish now I had requested some sort of adaptation for him to take these tests. I don’t even know if there is such a thing. But I think if he could have typed his essays he would have scored higher. I think the readers probably looked at his labored handwriting and read his opening and closing sentences and decided he was an average writer, assigned a grade, and moved on to the next essay.

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