Revising the college essay

Many students skip the revision process, mistaking editing for revision. While editing is also very important, revision is an integral part of any good writing process.

Revising the college essay

Revising the college essay

Entrepreneur and investor Revise, Revise, Revise: Approaching Your College Admissions Essays The revision process puts a refined polish to your essays and application in total and ensures thoughtful responses. With the right mindset, these essays and the revision can be game-changing in the admissions process.

Most applications are due December 31, and virtually all are due by mid-February. First, I will explain how I view the applicant today and then I will offer suggestions on the essay revision process based on my experiences at Stanford University and those of my peers at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

The Applicant There are three main aspects of the applicant in today's competitive world: Without this Revising the college essay, even extraordinary and thoughtful essays can make only so much of a difference. Your cumulative GPA is the first checkpoint that admissions officers look at. Math, Critical Reading and Writing.

I always tell my students to take these tests and to study hard for them -- they are proven indicators of college academic success and are an important differentiator in the admissions process.

Admissions officers do view applicants as a holistic package: At the same time, there is a starting point of academic achievement needed, which is different for every candidate. This base is developed over four years of high school, and it is a continuous effort. Your Theme and the Essays The essays form the middle part of the applicant pyramid.

After a solid base of academics is made, your extracurricular theme and the admissions essays are most important. This theme and your essays are becoming more and more important as increasing numbers of applicants have a solid base and they become the differentiating factor.

First, what do I mean by an "extracurricular theme"?

Revising, Editing & Proofreading Your College Application Essay: A Guide

During your four years of high school, try to develop a string of related activities, in-school or out-of-school. These activities can link together to form prominent trends over time. I call these trends "threads. In my experience, developing this story is the most overlooked aspect of the essay writing and admissions process in general.

The best way to approach this theme-building process is to be aware of it early on and try many activities, eventually scoping down to a few important ones.

Revising the college essay

Often times, students in the 11th and 12th grade approach me, and we must work with what they have already done. In this case, I recommend students to think hard about what they did in their past, often the seemingly "meaningless" events or activities in life can make profound impacts on who we are today.

If you have questions on this scenario, please ask me in the comments below. For me, the essay process was a time of discovery and development of self, but I realized that halfway through writing my essays, as most applicants do.

I recommend now that students flip that approach: For each student these answers will be different, which is exactly how it is supposed to be. This approach I call the "Perspective Approach. Now, putting these thoughts onto paper becomes easier and the essay process can almost be cathartic.

Making sure that you are showing instead of telling is important. Vision The top of the applicant pyramid is vision -- the ability to analyze situations with individuality and have perspective on your identity and life in general.

The first step is being honest with yourself and being honest in your essays -- let your personality shine through. Showing vision and perspective is unique for every student; it shows our personality and how we think. Being clear in admissions essays helps with demonstrating vision.

In my opinion, every student at a top university has vision going into the essay process, and that is because at some point or another they thought about why they are going to college. They thought about why they are studying so hard in high school and learned the value of discipline. Through high school classes, I learned how to overcome failures and obstacles, I learned how to focus, and most importantly I learned how to think broadly about complex issues.

With essays, colleges are seeing not only the content of your essays, but how you are thinking and writing -- this second part is where vision is shown. Vision cannot be taught, it has to be learned and sought after by the student. And for seniors, recognizing that this awareness is important to a successful applicant is the first step to gaining this perspective on yourself and the world.

Then carefully consider the questions I have posed above and the Perspective Approach and you should start to develop this vision.Below is a revised college application essay from a first draft written to a prompt from the Common Application.

(To see the first draft, visit “Example of a College Essay that Needs Revision.”. The student who wrote this essay went to a college consultant.

Revising Your Essay • You may like to have your textbook When revising, don’t try to look at all of the parts of your paper at the same time. be students at who attend our college. • Give particular attention to those students who could disagree with your arguments.

Revising is more than just editing an essay, as it is commonly believed. It is about understanding what the prompt is asking, what you are trying to convey, and then making necessary changes.

The most important change, however, will be revising your college essay. This is the one part of your application over which you have total control.

This is the one part of your application over. Dec 20,  · Revising is more than just editing an essay, as it is commonly believed. It is about understanding what the prompt is asking, what you are trying . Revising isn’t the first step in the process of writing a research paper, but it is perhaps the most important.

Many students skip the revision process, mistaking editing for revision. While editing is also very important, revision is an integral part of any good writing process.

Revising Your Essay in 5 Steps