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Five College Essay Myths and Facts

Here are five myths and facts of the college essay for high school students and their parents.

Thinking about the college process? Wondering just how important is the college essay really is? Here are five myths and facts of the college essay for you to contemplate:

Myth 1: A college essay has to be written about an impressive topic.

Fact: The essay is a story you write about you. The story is most important.

Myth 2: Your essay should sound sophisticated, like Hemingway or a college professor.

Fact: It has to be written like you. You are a 17 year-old high school student, and you should sound like one. A smart one, but a student all the same.

Myth 3: There is a right way and a wrong way to write an essay.

Fact: Your best essay will grow out of the process of writing it.

Myth 4: Admissions officers will  never know if a parent, tutor or college coach has “helped” a student with the essay.

Fact: There is a fine line between helping and writing it for your student. Admissions officers can tell; parents and others often can’t.

Myth 5: Only superstar students will impress admissions officers with their essays.

Fact: Anyone can stand out.

Parents and students, find out during Wow Writing Workshop's FREE  myths and facts sessions this month.

Wow will be running two 30-minute informational sessions this week. The first two, slated for Tuesday, March 27, will take place at the Metro Detroit National College Fair at Burton Manor (beginning at 9:45 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.). We will be offering a third session Thursday, March 29, at the Huntington Woods Public Library (from 7 to 9 p.m.)

We'll talk about prompts, voice, choosing a topic and how to stand out from the college-bound crowd. Bring paper and a pen, and come prepared to write. (You too, mom and dad!) Participants will receive a free eBook, Wow them With Your College Essay, which provides tips, advice and writing activities to help students master the college essay process.

Kim Lifton is co-founder and co-CEO of Wow Writing Workshop. For more information, go to wowwritingworkshop.com or find us on Facebook.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Terry - Congratulations to your daughter for being accepted to Harvard. I am sure she was admitted to schools because she was qualified and stood out from the crowd. We never tell students the essay is the secret to getting admitted; it is important to do it well. We tell our students (and we've talked to admissions officers at some of the nation's top schools to back this up) that they must always write their own essays and that admissions officers can tell if they do not do so because IT IS TRUE. I can tell the difference between a 17-year-old voice and a 40-year-old voice. So can they. We also tell students to write their stories in their own words and own voice. When they write this way,. they do not sound the same. No two people will ever write the same story the same way. We are professional writers and teachers. We know how to bring out individual voices in our students. Good luck to your daughter. She sounds like an amazing student.

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