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How to Write the Perfect College Essay

How do you write the perfect college essay? Write your story, written in your voice, using your words.

Juniors, it’s time to get serious about the college application process.

You’re probably starting to hear lots of advice about what you should or shouldn’t write. Our advice? You can write about anything if the story is about you. A college admissions essay is your story, written in your voice, using your words.

What did you learn about yourself? What did you gain from this experience, book or mentor? The secret ingredient for perfecting that essay is YOU!

Always keep in mind:

What you are writing: A story about you.

Who you are writing for: College admissions counselors.

Why you are writing it: 1) to illustrate something about yourself; 2) to demonstrate your writing skills; 3) to show that this college is a good fit.

Your story should be:

Specific: You can’t write about your entire summer working on a construction site. Choose an important moment or other small piece of your experience, then demonstrate why that moment matters.

Clear: Speak in your own voice. Don’t try to be funnier, smarter or more creative than you already are. Make sure you sound like yourself.

Direct: Say what you mean in plain language.

Unique: Even if your story seems mundane, the fact that it happened to you makes it unique. Figure out what makes your story special.

Your voice will differentiate you!

Kim Lifton is co-founder of Wow Writing Workshop, which will be presenting College Essay Myths and Facts  next week in Bloomfield Hills and is offering ACT writing prep classes throughout the month. Check our schedule for details.

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.

Wow is doing a free presentation tomorrow night at Berkley High School; 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Families and students welcome.

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