Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Which Application Essay Books Are Best?

affleaffle Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
edited August 2007 in College Essays
I've heard a the Harry Bauld book mentioned a few times, but not much on anything else. Is that the best book overall? Also, how about for books that contain a number of successful essays...is it worthwhile to get one, and which?

I'm especially interested in how to make a cliche topic (Model UN) into a more creative essay.
Post edited by affle on

Replies to: Which Application Essay Books Are Best?

  • affleaffle Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    Thoughts please? I know someone must have looked into books...
  • leetxleetx Registered User Posts: 425 Member
    i have this question too
  • prankityclankityprankityclankity Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    I've read Harry Bauld's book, 50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, Fiske's Real College Essay's, Collegeboard's The College Application Essay, and Essays That Worked.

    I liked Harry Bauld's book, but I expected it to be better than it was after it was mentioned on this forum serveral times. It was more directed to parents and it's very thin and expensive. Collegeboard's The College Application Essay, is alright. There are a lot of SAT plugins and shameless marketing, but I think the brainstorming ideas are a lot better than suggested in Harry Bauld's book and it helpmed me pick my essay topic. Overall though, it's not worth buying, even though there are some good essays in the back. Essays That Worked was my least favorite, probably because I checked it out from the library and is one of the older additions so the essays arn't good. At all. Fiske's Real College Essays has good examples, but no critique of the essays. 50 Successful Harvard Application Essays is similiar to Fiske in that it provides good essays, but also analysis of the essays, which I found quite helpful. However, The essays sound TOO good and most high school seniors (including myself) don't have such an ability to write. It is fun though to just read the essays in this book. I havn't read Princeton Review's new book on college essays, or 100 Successful College essays yet, which I heard is quite good.

    Overall, In my opinion, I don't think college essay books are necessary. After reading a handful of essay books, they basically all say the same thing (Harry Bauld just says it the best). It might be helpful to get a book with application essays in it (Which I would suggest 50 Successful Harvard Application Essays) to get inspiration to write your own, but other than that you are writing a topic about yourself and you don't need a silly book to tell you that.
  • leetxleetx Registered User Posts: 425 Member
    Anybody else have suggestions? Is it true that good essays can kinda make up for lack of/weak EC's? If one was to focus on ONE or two books, what should they be?

    Thanks guys!
  • asdfjkl1asdfjkl1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    I was looking at essay books myself. I bought the...10 Things you Gotta know --> College Application Essay one. I really thought that it covered everything..and it gets your mind going. Good luck (and I hope your MUN essay rocks as much as it does!)
  • angelutzaangelutza Registered User Posts: 815 Member
    A friend just gave me "Essays that will get you into college", by Barron's, from 2003, and I simply felt in love with it! It has very good advices and I already have a thousand of new ideas.
  • fast27fast27 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    50 harvard application essays has excellent examples and great advice/analysis. Indispensable book. I also went through the PR one. It sorta sucked cause they tried to reach all demographics and they have a wide range of essays, but the harvard one only has really good essays, which was better for me
  • locospocouslocospocous - Posts: 104 Junior Member
    I have this excellent book called 100 Successful College Application Essays published by The Harvard Independent. The quality of these essays are probably the best out of all the other essay books I've read. But it's an old hand-me-down version, so I'm not sure if it's in print anymore.
This discussion has been closed.