Finding good advice on writing the personal essay

Jackie SizemoreAdvice

It is truly overwhelming how much information there is out there on the college application process. From student-driven sites to official college websites, how can you know which information to trust?

I have read many articles online with advice on writing the college essay only to get to the bottom and read that the author of the article has no background in college admissions. While advice from professional writers, teachers, and other counselors can be extremely helpful, when it comes to the nitty gritty of what to add or what to leave out of your essay, remember your audience. The intended audience of your college essay is your college, specifically the admissions committee.

Many colleges will post some general advice on what they expect for their essay, whether they use the Common Application or not. This can be a great source of information.

So, as you are sifting through the enormous amount of information out there, remember that just because it’s on the internet, in a magazine, or in a blog does not mean it is reliable advice.

Here is a great site, from a wonderful source, written by members of admission committees.

If you aren’t familiar with the Purdue Owl project, I highly recommend you bookmark it for your future college essays. It’s also a great resource for citations, writing samples, resumes, and pretty much anything writing related.

Good luck out there!