College Essay Tips – “Put Your Best Voice Forward”

When I’m working with student clients on developing and evolving their
college essays I focus on guiding them to “finding their voice”.

So often high school students are writing about their accomplishments,
but not about who they are, their DNA.

One of the methods I use to capture the “voice” of my high school
client is to interview them and have them record the interview after
they have written their first college essay draft. After they listen
to our interview, invariably the student hears some new nuggets that
they can now weave into the essay.

I ask them to find the following in their essay:

  • Attention – Did you grab the attention of the reader
  • Need – Did you create a need for the reader to get to know you and your topic
  • Satisfaction – How did you satisfy the need (what do you offer)
  • Visualization – What is the big picture of your writing and results,
    if applicable
  • Action – What do you want the reader to take away from your essay/your message

Finally, many times the initial draft has a great ending that could be
the actual beginning, and the beginning paragraph can then be
incorporated into the body of the essay.