How to write the best college admission essay

With the application deadline for selective colleges such as the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech looming next month, this is a good time for advice about writing a college application essay.

According to a news release, education experts at the test-prep website Magoosh.com, based in Berkeley, Calif., suggest the following six tips:

#1: THINK SMALL TO WIN BIG

“You can’t sum up your entire life philosophy in 500 words, so don’t even try — pick a narrow enough topic that you can fully develop.”

#2: BE YOU — NOT YOUR WEIRDLY MATURE ALTER-EGO

“Write from the heart about something you actually care about. When you’re just saying what you think people want to hear, it shows.”

#3: DON’T TALK ABOUT THE TWO D’S

“That means no death and divorce, along with other controversial topics. However, make sure your topic isn’t overused, either.”

#4: OPEN WITH AN ANECDOTE — OR A WEIRD SENTENCE

“You need to grab your admission officer’s attention before they get bored, so either start with a story that puts them in the middle of an interesting situation, or an attention-grabbing sentence you’ll go on to explain.”

#5: FOCUS YOUR ESSAY AROUND A STORY

“If you’re not sure how to cram all your thoughts into a logical structure, find an important moment in your life and tell the colleges about it, but make it entertaining.”

#6: CHANNEL DISNEY AND END WITH A MORAL

“A story by itself means nothing — make sure you explain exactly what it means and how it has shaped your life.”

The Ledger-Enquirer asked the news release’s author, publicist Su Panya of San Francisco-based PR Hacker, why students shouldn’t write about death or divorce in their college application essays.

Panya replied, “The short answer to that is because it’s an overused topic. Sadly, divorce and death happen to a lot of people, and it’s just also a bummer to read about. You shouldn’t talk about it in an essay for the same reason you shouldn’t talk about it at a party — it’s best to stick to socially acceptable topics.”

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