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Stayin’ Alive Pt. II by Jon French Or How to Make Your Reader Fall Asleep Before They’ve Even Started

Alright! Part II! Here we go! Last month I mentioned that there are a few “types” of essays that immediately place you within a pool of students who have written on very similar topics—topics that for one reason or another are boring or cliché. Before I finish up our list of essay topics that induce Da Snooze or otherwise potentially turn off an admissions officer, I want to preface by quoting Harry Bauld in On Writing the College Application Essay:

&l ...

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Stayin’ Alive Pt. I by Jon French (or, How to Make Your Reader Fall Asleep Before They’ve Even Started)

While my students will often hear me preach that, “there are no bad stories only bad storytellers,” I can’t deny that there are particular college essays that set students up for a cliché-ridden, snooze-inducing, stock essay.  Although I have seen plenty of exceptions to the following rules, those essays are exactly that: exceptions. How can you prepare yourself to write a trite essay? Just write about any of the following:

 

1. The Spor ...

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Tips for International Students on Smooth Transitions Don’t forget this first year is a great experience for your future.

1)    Don’t forget this is not only you experiencing transition issues in the first year of college. The transition period is defined by William D.Taylor as “ stepping stones to maturity and new stages of life…” which means the majority of first-year students are changing from adolescents to young adults.

Technically, there are 5 STAGES everybody experiences. Understanding those stages will help you to anticipate and manage the fear or unknown ...

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The Devil in the Details by Jon French

Picture this: You’re an admissions officer at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Just this semester you’ve read nearly a hundred essays by talented students from different backgrounds. Within that one-hundred essays, how many of those students do you imagine have participated in Model UN? Eighty? Maybe. Of those one-hundred essays, how many students do you think have participated in sports? Seventy? Ninety? Maybe. How many of those one-hundred essays to Northwestern Un ...

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