Top ten tips for writing a college essay

12 Dec 2000 — first submitted by Bauer
23 Jan 2001 — posted by Jerz
16 Feb 2001 — updated by Jerz
25 Oct 2001 — minor updates by Jerz
16 Apr 2003 — further updates & changes by Jerz
10 Jun 2004 — strengthened advice against attachments
28 Aug 2004 — trimmed a few minor redundancies
19 May 2008 — updated items 1-3
20 May 2008 — updated items 2-4
23 Jun 2008 — corrected typos identified by Bob Folline
04 Mar 2010 — adding considerations for mobile email users
08 Mar 2011 — formatting changes
20 Dec 2011 — changed “e-mail” to “email” throughout
03 May 2012— very minor tweaks
22 May 2013— updated info on attachments; minor tweaks to layout and phrasing
02 Jun 2015 — updated items 2&3; minor tweaks throughout
18 Jun 2017 — modest tweaks; added references to emojis; removed a dated reference to “ PDAs “

1. Show, Don’t Tell!
There are many professional books with lessons to help students practice this in their writing, but I am including some specific lessons I teach because this is one of the most powerful ways to significantly improve student writing. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, the goal is to teach students not to tell what is happening in their stories (Amy was nervous), but to show what is happening instead (Amy’s palms were sweaty). Below are resources that give examples of showing vs. telling and provide opportunities for students to practice the concept.

Top ten tips for writing a college essay

top ten tips for writing a college essay

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