How do you start the process for writing a college essay?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 26,171
    College counselor Jerome A. Cole, MA discusses how to start the process for writing a college essay.

    Jerome Cole: My name is Jerome Cole. I am the Director of College Counseling at the Edmund Burke School in Washington, DC and I am going to talk today about how to write a college essay?

    Speaker: how do you start the process for writing a college essay?

    Jerome Cole: I think the way you start is the way you will start any essay project. If you were in school and your teacher said to you, I want you to write an essay on the founding fathers. The first thing that you would is you would run to your computer or you'd run to a library; you'd identify some sources, do some background work, collect your data, then you would go and sit down with pen and paper. You are going to approach the college essay pretty much the same way. First you are going to identify some sources that can talk about the topic, the topic is you. So, who'll those sources be? I'd started at home with mom and dad. I think from near, I will look at my school, pick out one teacher, someone who you have had a relationship with, someone who has taught you. They are going to be able to give you some insights and tell who you are as a person and as a student. A relative, a neighbor that you have cultivated a relationship over the year and go and ask them a simple question, you are getting ready to write a college essay, you want it to be about yourself, tell me about me; what do you think of me as a person; what do you think of me as a student, as an athlete, as an artist, whatever it is. You are collecting data on yourself. Then you do some self-reflecting. Who am I? What am I about? What is important to me? What are the things I like? What are the things that I do not like? Once you gather up this information, write it out; maybe in bullet format. Here is what my parents said; here is what my teacher said, the counselor said this and next door neighbor said that. Then you've get the bases for sitting down and writing an essay. The college essay is about you; what you are trying to do is you are trying to share something about yourself that is not on your transcript; it is not reflected in your test scores; it may or may not be reflected in the recommendation letters that your teachers and your counselors are going to write for you. It talks about you; it gives the college some insight into who you are; what you are about; what is important to you; what you are going to bring to the campus. So, once you have that information, then you can sit down and say, okay, I am this and that is what your topic is going to be, that is what you are going to write about. Once you put that pen in the paper, then you want to take it and have one or two people who you trust, who you know are good writers, have them review it, make sure it is well written; it conveys the message that you in fact want to convey. Get it on time and go from there.