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Essay coach?

farfallafarfalla Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
edited October 2011 in College Admissions
English is a second language for me and my parents cannot speak it. I fear my essays will not be as strong as they would be if I wrote them in my first language. Searching on the web I see that there are numerous essay editing or coaching services available.
Should I use one of these services? what are they worth? How much do they cost?
Post edited by farfalla on

Replies to: Essay coach?

  • Sheldon1993Sheldon1993 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Often admissions officers can tell that Essay Coaches/Services/etc. are used according to many articles on the subject. If you are not confident in your English language skills, write your essays as YOU would and have an English teacher or even some friends help edit it through proofreading. English teachers are extremely helpful, free, and certainly preserve YOUR voice in the process (which is exactly what admissions officers are looking for). I wouldn't use a service if I were you (just for economic reasons - they're expensive when good alternatives are free) but if that's what you feel is necessary, then so be it.
  • farfallafarfalla Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    thank you. I do not know how much they cost, but from what you suggest, I suppose I cannot afford them anyway. I was wondering however, given the large number of such services, they must all have some business, so at the end, I suppose a significant number of students must be using these services. doesn't this affect negatively those who do not? It is not only a matter of writing an essay with no grammatical errors, but, as some coaches advertize, they help coming us with the best topic as well.
  • farfallafarfalla Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    What do you think? should I get one of these services?
    What is the proportion of students reverting to one of these coaches?
  • davidthefatdavidthefat Registered User Posts: 1,521 Senior Member
    Your english sounds fine, don't waste any money.
  • farfallafarfalla Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    I am worried that given the huge number of the companies offering these editing/coaching services, there must be a significant number of students using them. I imagine their essays are more polished than mine would ever be. Aren't these kids at an advantage, in particular when there seems to be a consensus on the fact that essays are becoming one of the most important part of your application
  • fogcityfogcity Registered User Posts: 3,228 Senior Member
    My sense from your last post is that you're assuming that essays are "extremely" important in the admissions decisions process and that "polish" is what distinguishes one from another. The reality is (in my opinion) very different. They are just one part of your application, and they complement your portfolio rather than supersede it.

    What matters most in the essay are your thoughts stated in your voice. "Polish" is not what an essay is about. Certainly you don't want to communicate in grammatically poor English. As another poster already noted your written English is fine. Write the essay and get input from one or two of your English speaking teachers.
  • farfallafarfalla Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    ^You are right: I am told everyday that grades, school transcript etc are a given for admission or even application to the selective schools and what really makes the distinction between candidates is their essays.
    Thank you for praising my english but I know my writing style is "flat" and boring. If someone writes the same story as me in a more interesting way because his writing has been edited by a professional, then wouldn't I be in a disadvantage? Also, the difference between teachers and a professional coach is that the coaches have (or claim to have) a better understanding of the admission process than the teachers and know (or claim to know) better how to write for that purpose.
    Yet, I cannot afford such a service, so I guess the whole purpose of this thread is to convince me that I am going to be fine :)
  • BowTieFrattyBowTieFratty Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    I personally would make sure to mention in your essay that English is not your native language. Your writing is so good that I doubt that the people reading your essay could tell. I realize that you will have written on your application that English is your second language, but I would make sure that the people actually reading your essay remember it.
  • farfallafarfalla Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    ^thank you for the advice. Actually one of my essays is about languages and their implications on my way of thinking. I happen to speak four languages almost fluently (but with a poor writing style ;) )
  • BowTieFrattyBowTieFratty Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    wow I am lucky to speak one. A real regret that I have is not learning to speak another language, I am really envious of people that can speak different languages. Years ago I began to learn Spanish, and wish I would have pursued it, because I deal on a daily basis with many people who only speak Spanish. I think it is great that you can speak four languages!
  • farfallafarfalla Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    ^to be honest, I do not deserve any praise for this because I learnt to speak these languages almost naturally due to the various circumstances of my life (parents moving from country to country and enrolling me to local schools)
  • nickangelonickangelo Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    I've really seen just the opposite, especially after reading the sample essays on the Johns Hopkins and U Chicago websites. We hired someone at allin1applications.com because it seemed like the best way to guarantee an awesome essay. Cost about $500 and sounds perfect, so I think it was a good investment. Besides it made me get it done.
This discussion has been closed.