Admission Essays

<p>I see a ton of books out there to help you with your college admission essays. Are these books really needed?</p>

<p>For those of you who have bought- Do they:
- Give you good pointers
- Provide ideas
- Actually help
- Best book to get</p>


<p>On Writing the College Application Essay by Harry Bauld was great. It won't provide ideas for essays, but it will teach you how to find them in your own life. This book really, really did help.</p>

<p>I never bought any, but we did check out some from the library. Basically, what they did for my son was help him see what kind of essays colleges want--not the formatted high school essay with its five paragraphs and three points, but a personal essay that shows who you really are. So, yes, I do think they can be helpful, but no, I don't have any specific titles.</p>

<p>There's one called "Essays that Worked" (or similar) with examples of real essays. Helpful in seeing the sheer variety of successful essays-- serious, humorous, quirky, personal...</p>

<p>Unless you don't have a good resource at your school -- a teacher who knows a thing or two about admissions, a library with such books, etc -- don't waste money on these books. A good college guide, yes. Financial aid book, YES. Books on how to make your essay oh-so-YOU, no. While some offer good pointers, they can't tell you who you are, which is possibly the most important thing to think about when writing said essays.</p>

<p>If you want good feedback, talk to some of parents on their forum; some of them have seen two or more kids successfully through the admissions process and most are more than willing to help.</p>

<p>I can second the Harry Bauld book. Both my now freshman in college daughter and senior in high school son read it and liked it--sort of, for a book I MADE them look at. I do think it helped them understand how to approach the essay. Just getting started is the hardest part.</p>

<p>Essay books were helpful for me because they gave me a heads up really early on as to what exactly a good essay looked like. The best books to get are ones that are a compilation of SUCCESSFUL essays because they are a pretty good indication of what admin officers are looking for. What surprised me the most was that in a book I was reading on successful essays from a very selective university, some of the best essays were not the ones that had the best vocab and perfect grammar and structure, but had a natural flow in a relation of a particular event that was really interesting... hope that helps!</p>