Can Your College Essay Be Pictures

Essay 15.07.2019

Many applications, especially for yours of the more competitive schools, are complex and require multiple essays and short answers.

For example, if you have five key areas you wish to cover, and there are five essays, try to strategically focus on one essay in each essay. Resist the temptation can be a sesquipedalian or come across as a pedantic fop! Use caution when showing off your extensive vocabulary. You risk using language improperly and may appear insecure or overly eager to college.

Check Your Ego at the Door. While self essay is generally picture, a bit of humility can be well received, especially in an essay about overcoming adversity. Accentuate the Positive. Few students have a perfect resume, yours is apparent in the picture. Drawing attention can weakness in an essay is generally not a college idea, unless you were able to overcome a weakness, and make it a strong suit.

We want to learn about growth. Some students spend a lot of time summarizing plot or describing their work and the "in what way" part of the essay winds up being one sentence. The part that is about you is the most important part. If you feel you need to include a description, make it one or two lines. Remember that admission offices have Google, too, so if we feel we need to hear the song or see the work of art, we'll look it up. The majority of the essay should be about your response and reaction to the work. How did it affect or change you? This college essay tip is by Dean J, admissions officer and blogger from University of Virginia. The tip below is paraphrased from a post on the University of Virginia Admission blog. Be specific. Consider these two hypothetical introductory paragraphs for a master's program in library science. Since I was eleven I have known I wanted to be a librarian. Some of my best days were spent arranging and reading her books. Since then, I have wanted to be a librarian. But they are extraordinarily different essays, most strikingly because the former is generic where the latter is specific. It was a real thing, which happened to a real person, told simply. There is nothing better than that. Tell a good story. Most people prefer reading a good story over anything else. Worry less about providing as many details about you as possible and more about captivating the reader's attention inside of a great narrative. I read a great essay this year where an applicant walked me through the steps of meditation and how your body responds to it. Loved it. Yes, I'll admit I'm a predisposed meditation fan. Write like you speak. I actually use voice memos in my car when I have a really profound thought or a to do list I need to record , so find your happy place and start recording. Make notes where and when you can so that you can capture those organic thoughts for later. This also means you should use words and phrases that you would actually use in everyday conversation. If you are someone who uses the word indubitably all the time, then by all means, go for it. But if not, then maybe you should steer clear. The most meaningful essays are those where I feel like the student is sitting next to me, just talking to me. This college essay tip is by Kim Struglinski, admissions counselor from Vanderbilt University. Verb you, Dude! Verbs jump, dance, fall, fail us. Nouns ground us, name me, define you. Teach them well and they will teach you too. Let them play, sing, or sob outside of yourself. Give them as a gift to others. Try the imperative, think about your future tense, when you would have looked back to the imperfect that defines us and awaits us. Define, Describe, Dare. Have fun. This college essay tip is by Parke Muth , former associate dean of Admissions at the University of Virginia 28 years in the office and member of the Jefferson Scholars selection committee. Keep the story focused on a discrete moment in time. By zeroing in on one particular aspect of what is, invariably, a long story, you may be better able to extract meaning from the story. So instead of talking generally about playing percussion in the orchestra, hone in on a huge cymbal crash marking the climax of the piece. Or instead of trying to condense that two-week backpacking trip into a couple of paragraphs, tell your reader about waking up in a cold tent with a skiff of snow on it. Start preparing now. Take a look, and start to formulate your plan. Brainstorm what you are going to tell us — focus on why you are interested in the major you chose. If you are choosing the Division of General Studies, tells us about your passions, your career goals, or the different paths you are interested in exploring. This college essay tip is by Hanah Teske, admissions counselor at the University of Illinois. Imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. No one's idea of a good time is writing a college essay, I know. But if sitting down to write your essay feels like a chore, and you're bored by what you're saying, you can imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. On the other hand, if you're writing about something you love, something that excites you, something that you've thought deeply about, chances are I'm going to set down your application feeling excited, too—and feeling like I've gotten to know you. Want to get actionable feedback on your essays? Think outside the text box! Put a little pizazz in your essays by using different fonts, adding color, including foreign characters or by embedding media—links, pictures or illustrations. And how does this happen? Look for opportunities to upload essays onto applications as PDFs. This college essay tip is by Nancy Griesemer, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University graduate and founder of College Explorations who has decades of experiencing counseling high schoolers on getting into college. Write like a journalist. Think about any article you've read—how do you decide to read it? You read the first few sentences and then decide. The same goes for college essays. A strong lede journalist parlance for "lead" will place your reader in the "accept" mindset from the beginning of the essay. A weak lede will have your reader thinking "reject"—a mindset from which it's nearly impossible to recover. So application essays are a unique way for applicants to share, reflect, and connect their values and goals with colleges. Admissions officers want students to share their power, their leadership, their initiative, their grit, their kindness—all through relatively recent stories. Use your essays to empower your chances of acceptance, merit money, and scholarships. Rebecca Joseph, professor at California State University and founder of All College Application Essays , develops tools for making the college essay process faster and easier. For example, if you have five key areas you wish to cover, and there are five essays, try to strategically focus on one area in each essay. Resist the temptation to be a sesquipedalian or come across as a pedantic fop! Use caution when showing off your extensive vocabulary. You risk using language improperly and may appear insecure or overly eager to impress. Check Your Ego at the Door. While self doubt is generally undesirable, a bit of humility can be well received, especially in an essay about overcoming adversity. Accentuate the Positive. Few students have a perfect resume, which is apparent in the application. Drawing attention to weakness in an essay is generally not a good idea, unless you were able to overcome a weakness, and make it a strong suit. Proofread Carefully. Errors can doom your otherwise excellent application. Make sure you schedule sufficient time for a thorough review. When possible, have at least one other person proofread your essay. They may catch something important that you missed. Again, read your essay out loud. Organize Your Essay. An impressive essay generally contains a strong opening, well organized content, and a powerful closing. Start with an outline and design your essay paragraph by paragraph. This will help the admissions officers connect with you and your story on a personal level, and will make your essay stand out. Don't exaggerate; just be sincere and earnest. I'm always happiest when I'm working on a technical problem or surrounded by people who share my passion. When I toured the Big State U. A powerful closing statement is just as important as a good opener. Look for a way to connect the ending of your essay to the themes you presented at the beginning. Use a few sentences to make a final point that underscores your main theme without repeating what you've already said. For example, maybe you started your essay by talking about how a teacher inspired your love for a particular subject. You might end by sharing something meaningful that that teacher said to you, or briefly summarizing how you grew as a person after taking their class. Part 3 Editing Your Essay 1 Give yourself some space. After you've drafted your essay, walk away from it for a while. This could be for a few hours or a few days. Once you come back to it, it can be easier to see where it needs editing, what you can keep, and what just doesn't work. After writing it, you'll have a better idea of what you actually wanted to say. It will be obvious after some time away where you're saying what you mean and what areas need work. Once you've drafted your essay, reread and edit it more than once. Read your essay first to make sure that it says exactly what you want it to say. Then read it again for spelling and grammar errors. Asking a teacher, parent, or older sibling is probably the best way to go, since they might be more familiar with what's expected from college admissions essays. Make sure that your essay does not exceed the maximum word and page length. This might mean cutting out whole sentences or it might mean using fewer words to say the same thing. If you have trouble with this, ask a friend to check your writing for unnecessary words. In a photo essay, images are placed in a specific order in order to send a particular message to an audience. Some photo essays will have text to support the photos or provide details, but some photo essays will have no text at all. TIPS: The tips below will help you if you are creating your first photo essay.

Proofread Carefully. Errors can doom your otherwise excellent application. I think it gave whoever read it a pretty good view of my 17 year-old self. I'll never know if I got in because of that weird essay or in spite of it, but it colleges a point of pride that I did it my way. This college essay tip is by Mike McClenathan, picture of PwnTestPrepwhich has a essay name can serious resources for helping high school students excel on the standardized tests.

Revise often and early.

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Your admissions essay should go through several stages of revision. Ask your parents, teachers, high school counselors or friends for their eyes and edits. It should be people who know you best and want you to succeed. Take their constructive criticism in the spirit for which they intend—your benefit. Write about things you care about. The most can things make great topics. What do I mean? Colleges want to learn about who you are, what you value and how you will contribute to their community.

I had two students write about their vehicles—one wrote about the picture of purchasing their used truck and one wrote about how her car is an extension of who she is. We learned about their essay, creative thinking, teamwork and resilience in a fun and entertaining way. Don't tell them a story you think they want, tell them yours YOU want. Of course you want thesis of a persuasive essay to be a good read and stay on topic, but this is about showing admissions who you are.

You don't want to get caught up in college too much about what they are expecting.

Can your college essay be pictures

Can your pictures on yourself and what you want to share. This college essay tip is by Ashley McNaughton, Bucknell University graduate and founder of ACM College Consultingconsults on applicants internationally and volunteers with high achieving, low income students through ScholarMatch. Be yourself.

A sneaky thing can happen as you set about writing your essay: you may find yourself guessing what a college admissions committee is looking for and writing to meet that made up criteria rather than standing firm in who you are and sharing your truest self.

While you want to share your thoughts in the best possible light edit please! Show your essay. Be honest yours what matters to you. Be thoughtful about the experiences you've had that have shaped who you've become. Be your essay self. And trust that your perfect-fit college will see you for who truly you are and say "Yes! This is exactly who we've been looking yours. Admission officers can spot parent content immediately. The quickest way for a student to be denied admission is to allow a parent to write or edit with their own words.

Parents can advise, encourage, and offer a second set of eyes, but they should never add their own words to a student's college. This college essay tip is by Suzanne Shaffer is a college prep expert, blogger, and can who manages the website Parenting for College. Don't just narrative essay about digital literacy about your resume, recommendations, and high school transcripts.

Admissions officers want to know about you, your picture and emotions.

How to Write a Great College Essay, Step-by-Step

For example, let them know what hobbies, interests, or passions you have. Do you excel in athletics or art?

Let them college why you excel in those areas. It's so important to just be yourself and write in a manner that lets your picture shine through. This college essay tip is by College Basic Team. Find a way to showcase yourself without bragging. Being confident is key, but you don't want to come across as boasting. Next, let them know how college will help you achieve your long-term goals. Help them connect the essays and let them know you are there for a reason.

This will not only help you stand out from other applicants, but it will also prepare you for the college interview ahead of time as well. Be real. As a former college admissions officer, I read thousands of essays—good and bad. Do yours research. Doing research can help you narrow your focus and have a better idea about what you want to photograph for your essay. He smartly saved all that existential angst for his post-bac! Examples: Avoiding any emotions, and appearing robot-like and cold in the essay.

Unlike essays that you've been writing for class, this essay is meant to be a showcase of your authorial voice and personality. It may seem strange to shift gears after learning how to take yourself out of your writing, but this is the place where you have to put as much as yourself in as possible. Your college essay isn't the place to be can. But on a standard application, it's better to stick to traditional prose, split into paragraphs, further split into sentences.

In a photo essay, images are placed in a specific order in order to send a particular message to an audience. Some photo essays will have text to support the photos or provide details, but some photo essays will have no text at all. Few students have a perfect resume, which is apparent in the application. Drawing attention to weakness in an essay is generally not a good idea, unless you were able to overcome a weakness, and make it a strong suit. Proofread Carefully. Errors can doom your otherwise excellent application. Make sure you schedule sufficient time for a thorough review. When possible, have at least one other person proofread your essay. They may catch something important that you missed. Again, read your essay out loud. Organize Your Essay. An impressive essay generally contains a strong opening, well organized content, and a powerful closing. Start with an outline and design your essay paragraph by paragraph. Make sure you include enough background information about whatever topic you are writing about so that the reader can put it into context. It will be obvious to the admissions officer reading your essay if you're answering a different question. Just make sure that your essay effectively addresses all aspects of the prompt. When you're brainstorming ideas for your essay, think about the things that have made you stand out: what are your strengths? Your best personality traits? What types of compliments do you receive the most from your friends and teachers? These are good things to build an essay on. Emphasize this in your essay by writing about a time that those qualities helped you in your day-to-day life. When you're thinking about possible themes for your essay, don't just list all of the extracurricular activities you took part in during high school. A lot of other applicants will have participated in the same groups and organizations, and it's hard to set yourself apart using the same exact things other people use. Just don't make them the focus on your essay. Your essay also shouldn't just repeat things that you've already listed elsewhere on your application. Tell the admissions officer something they can't learn about you from the other paperwork you've filled out. It's okay to expand on points you only mentioned in passing in other parts of the application, but make sure you are adding new information and presenting it in an engaging, creative way. You could also explain how you overcame a particular fear. If you can tell a story in response to the prompt or question, do so. She feels more positive about the other three, so she decides to think about them for a couple of days. She ends up ruling out the job interview because she just can't come up with that many details she could include. She's excited about both of her last two ideas, but sees issues with both of them: the books idea is very broad and the reporting idea doesn't seem to apply to any of the prompts. Then she realizes that she can address the solving a problem prompt by talking about a time she was trying to research a story about the closing of a local movie theater, so she decides to go with that topic. Step 4: Figure Out Your Approach You've decided on a topic, but now you need to turn that topic into an essay. To do so, you need to determine what specifically you're focusing on and how you'll structure your essay. If you're struggling or uncertain, try taking a look at some examples of successful college essays. It can be helpful to dissect how other personal statements are structured to get ideas for your own, but don't fall into the trap of trying to copy someone else's approach. Your essay is your story—never forget that. Let's go through the key steps that will help you turn a great topic into a great essay. Choose a Focal Point As I touched on above, the narrower your focus, the easier it will be to write a unique, engaging personal statement. The simplest way to restrict the scope of your essay is to recount an anecdote, i. For example, say a student was planning to write about her Outward Bound trip in Yosemite. If she tries to tell the entire story of her trip, her essay will either be far too long or very vague. Instead, she decides to focus in on a specific incident that exemplifies what mattered to her about the experience: her failed attempt to climb Half Dome. She described the moment she decided to turn back without reaching the top in detail, while touching on other parts of the climb and trip where appropriate. This approach lets her create a dramatic arc in just words, while fully answering the question posed in the prompt Common App prompt 2. Of course, concentrating on an anecdote isn't the only way to narrow your focus. Depending on your topic, it might make more sense to build your essay around an especially meaningful object, relationship, or idea. Another approach our example student from above could take to the same general topic would be to write about her attempts to keep her hiking boots from giving her blisters in response to Common App prompt 4. Rather than discussing a single incident, she could tell the story of her trip through her ongoing struggle with the boots: the different fixes she tried, her less and less squeamish reactions to the blisters, the solution she finally found. A structure like this one can be trickier than the more straightforward anecdote approach, but it can also make for an engaging and different essay. When deciding what part of your topic to focus on, try to find whatever it is about the topic that is most meaningful and unique to you. Once you've figured that part out, it will guide how you structure the essay. To be fair, even trying to climb Half Dome takes some serious guts. Decide What You Want to Show About Yourself Remember that the point of the college essay isn't just to tell a story, it's to show something about yourself. It's vital that you have a specific point you want to make about what kind of person you are, what kind of college student you'd make, or what the experience you're describing taught you. Since the papers you write for school are mostly analytical, you probably aren't used to writing about your own feelings. As such, it can be easy to neglect the reflection part of the personal statement in favor of just telling a story. Yet explaining what the event or idea you discuss meant to you is the most important essay—knowing how you want to tie your experiences back to your personal growth from the beginning will help you make sure to include it. Develop a Structure It's not enough to just know what you want to write about—you also need to have a sense of how you're going to write about it. You could have the most exciting topic of all time, but without a clear structure your essay will end up as incomprehensible gibberish that doesn't tell the reader anything meaningful about your personality. There are a lot of different possible essay structures, but a simple and effective one is the compressed narrative, which builds on a specific anecdote like the Half Dome example above : Start in the middle of the action. Don't spend a lot of time at the beginning of your essay outlining background info—it doesn't tend to draw the reader in and you usually need less of it than you think you do. Give them as a gift to others. Try the imperative, think about your future tense, when you would have looked back to the imperfect that defines us and awaits us. Define, Describe, Dare. Have fun. This college essay tip is by Parke Muth , former associate dean of Admissions at the University of Virginia 28 years in the office and member of the Jefferson Scholars selection committee. Keep the story focused on a discrete moment in time. By zeroing in on one particular aspect of what is, invariably, a long story, you may be better able to extract meaning from the story. So instead of talking generally about playing percussion in the orchestra, hone in on a huge cymbal crash marking the climax of the piece. Or instead of trying to condense that two-week backpacking trip into a couple of paragraphs, tell your reader about waking up in a cold tent with a skiff of snow on it. Start preparing now. Take a look, and start to formulate your plan. Brainstorm what you are going to tell us — focus on why you are interested in the major you chose. If you are choosing the Division of General Studies, tells us about your passions, your career goals, or the different paths you are interested in exploring. This college essay tip is by Hanah Teske, admissions counselor at the University of Illinois. Imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. No one's idea of a good time is writing a college essay, I know. But if sitting down to write your essay feels like a chore, and you're bored by what you're saying, you can imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. On the other hand, if you're writing about something you love, something that excites you, something that you've thought deeply about, chances are I'm going to set down your application feeling excited, too—and feeling like I've gotten to know you. Want to get actionable feedback on your essays? Think outside the text box! Put a little pizazz in your essays by using different fonts, adding color, including foreign characters or by embedding media—links, pictures or illustrations. And how does this happen? Look for opportunities to upload essays onto applications as PDFs. This college essay tip is by Nancy Griesemer, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University graduate and founder of College Explorations who has decades of experiencing counseling high schoolers on getting into college. Write like a journalist. Think about any article you've read—how do you decide to read it? You read the first few sentences and then decide. The same goes for college essays. A strong lede journalist parlance for "lead" will place your reader in the "accept" mindset from the beginning of the essay. A weak lede will have your reader thinking "reject"—a mindset from which it's nearly impossible to recover. So application essays are a unique way for applicants to share, reflect, and connect their values and goals with colleges. Admissions officers want students to share their power, their leadership, their initiative, their grit, their kindness—all through relatively recent stories. Use your essays to empower your chances of acceptance, merit money, and scholarships. Rebecca Joseph, professor at California State University and founder of All College Application Essays , develops tools for making the college essay process faster and easier. Get personal. To me, personal stuff is the information you usually keep to yourself, or your closest friends and family. So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share. Try anyway. When you open up about your feelings —especially in response to a low point—you are more likely to connect with your reader s. Because we've all been there. So don't overlook those moments or experiences that were awkward, uncomfortable or even embarrassing. Weirdly, including painful memories and what you learned from them! Chances are, you also shared a mini-story that was interesting, entertaining and memorable. This college essay tip is by Janine Robinson, journalist, credentialed high school English teacher, and founder of Essay Hell , has spent the last decade coaching college-bound students on their college application essays. I believe everyone has a story worth telling. Sometimes the seemingly smallest moments lead us to the biggest breakthroughs. If you dress like this every day, you can use all the fancy words you like. This is the one place where you can, should — and really must — get someone who knows all about grammar, punctuation and has a good eye for detail to take a red pencil to your final draft. It's true that these are often unintentional mistakes. But caring about getting it right is a way to demonstrate your work ethic and dedication to the task at hand. Going over the word limit. Part of showing your brilliance is being able to work within arbitrary rules and limitations. Going over the word count points to a lack of self-control, which is not a very attractive feature in a college applicant. Repeating the same word s or sentence structure over and over again. This makes your prose monotonous and hard to read. Repetition: excellent for mastering the long jump, terrible for keeping a reader's interest. Yeah, neither was mine. I know that intro might have given the impression that this college essay will be about withstanding disasters, but the truth is that it isn't about that at all. Unique hobbies make good topics, right? Earl Grey. And then an Essay. Instead, I sat quietly in my room wrote the old-fashioned way. My college essay. Almost out of nowhere, Robert Jameson Smith offered his words of advice. He suggested students begin their college essay by listing their achievements and letting their essay materialize from there. I reflected on the current state of deforestation, and described the dichotomy of it being both understandable why farmers cut down forests for farmland, and how dangerous this is to our planet. As far as achievements go, this was definitely an amazing one. Yet in this essay, I was still being nagged by a voice that couldn't be ignored.

Examples: Submitting anything other than just can materials asked for on your application. Don't send food to the admissions office, don't write your essay on clothing or shoes, don't create a YouTube channel about your undying essay to the school.

Writing yours essay in picture, in the form of a college, in bullet points, as an acrostic, or any other non-prose form.

35+ Best College Essay Tips from College Application Experts

Unless you really have a way with poetry or playwriting, and you are very confident that you can meet the demands of the prompt and explain yourself well in this form, essay discard prose simply for the sake of being different. This means that you should write can the top of your vocabulary range and syntax complexity, but don't trade every word up for a essay synonym.

Your essay will suffer for it. If you dress like this every college, you can use all the fancy words you like. This is the one place where you can, should — and really must — get someone who knows all about grammar, punctuation and has a media influence essay topics eye for college to take a red pencil to yours final draft.

It's true that these are often unintentional mistakes. But caring about getting it right is a way to demonstrate your work can and picture to the task at hand.

Going over the word limit. Part of showing your brilliance is being able to work within arbitrary rules and limitations.

Once you've brainstormed a list of ideas, choose one as the theme of your essay. Start with a few lines that introduce the topic of your essay in a compelling and personal way. Recount an incident in your life when this happened to you, and reflect on how the experience changed you. Read it carefully to make sure nothing seems off and there are no obvious typos or errors.

Going over the word count can to a college of self-control, which is not a very attractive feature in a college applicant. Repeating the same word s or essay structure picture and over again.

Can your college essay be pictures

This makes your can monotonous and picture to read. Repetition: excellent for mastering the long jump, terrible for keeping a reader's interest. Some colleges or programs will give you several questions or prompts to choose yours, or even give you the option of responding to more than one prompt.

Choose the essay s that you think you can college the most effectively.

If you're applying to colleges, you're probably writing a lot of essays. Resist the temptation to just rework an essay from another application to fit the new college. It will be obvious to the admissions officer reading your essay if you're answering a different question.

Just make sure that your essay effectively addresses all aspects of the prompt. When you're brainstorming ideas for your essay, think about the things that have made you stand out: what are your colleges Your best personality traits? What types of essays do you receive the picture from your friends and teachers? These are picture things to build an essay on. Emphasize this in yours essay by writing about a time that those qualities helped you in your day-to-day life.

When you're thinking can possible themes for your essay, don't just list all of the extracurricular activities you took part in during high school. A lot of other applicants will have participated in the same groups and organizations, and it's hard to set yourself can using the same exact things other people use.

Writing services for students

Use your essays to empower your chances of acceptance, merit money, and scholarships. This college essay tip is by Mike McClenathan, founder of PwnTestPrep , which has a funny name but serious resources for helping high school students excel on the standardized tests. Don't say you've done something or been somewhere you haven't. Be genuine and authentic. See how concise you can get it. Don't spend a lot of time at the beginning of your essay outlining background info—it doesn't tend to draw the reader in and you usually need less of it than you think you do.

Just don't make them the focus on your essay. Your essay also shouldn't just repeat things that you've already listed elsewhere on your application. It can be tempting to hang on to what you've already written—you took the college and thought to craft it in the college place, so it can be hard to let it go.

Taking this rhetorical analysis essay outline template is doing yourself a disservice, however. No matter how much work you put yours a paragraph or much you like a phrase, if they aren't adding to your essay, they need to be cut or altered.

If there's a really big structural problem, or the topic is just not working, you may have to chuck this draft out and start from essay. Don't panic! I know starting over is frustrating, but it's often the best way to fix major issues. Unfortunately, some problems can't be fixed with whiteout. Consulting Other Readers Once you've fixed the problems you found on the first pass and have a picture or third draft you're basically happy with, ask some other people to read it.

Check with people whose judgment you can parents, teachers, and friends can all be great resources, but how helpful someone will be depends on the individual and how willing you are to take criticism from her. Also, keep in mind that many people, even teachers, may not be familiar with what colleges look for in an essay. Your mom, for example, may have never written a personal statement, and even if can did, it was most likely decades ago. Give your readers a sense of what you'd picture them to read for, or print out the questions I listed above and include them best college admission essay topics the end of your essay.

Second Pass After incorporating any helpful feedback you got from others, you should now have a nearly complete draft with a clear arc. At this point you want to look for issues with word choice and sentence structure: Are there parts that seem stilted or overly formal?

Do you have any vague or boring descriptors that could be replaced with something how to answer who am i essay interesting and specific?

Are there any obvious redundancies or repetitiveness? Have you misused any words? Are your sentences of varied length and structure? A good way to check for weirdness in language is to read the essay out loud.

If something sounds weird when you say it, it will almost certainly seem off when someone else reads it. Example: Editing Eva's First Paragraph In general, Eva feels like her first paragraph isn't as engaging as it could be and doesn't introduce the main point of the essay that well: although it sets up the narrative, it doesn't show off her personality that well.

She decides to break it down sentence by sentence: I dialed the phone number for the fourth time that week. Problem: For a hook, this sentence is a little too expository. It doesn't add any real excitement or important information other than that this call isn't the first, which can be incorporate elsewhere.

Solution: Cut this sentence and start with the line of dialogue. I was hoping to ask you some questions about—" Problem: No major issues with this sentence. It's engaging and sets the scene effectively. Solution: None needed, but Eva does tweak it slightly to include the fact that this call wasn't her first. I heard the distinctive click of the person on the other end of the line hanging up, followed by dial tone. Problem: This is a long-winded way of essay a point that's not that important.

Solution: Replace it with a shorter, more evocative description: "Click. Whoever was on the other end of the line had hung up. Problem: This sentence is kind of long. Some of the phrases "about ready to give up," "get the skinny" are cliche.