Now is the time most high school juniors begin their college planning process. As the March and April tests bear down upon us, everyone at home or at school seems to be debating whether to take the ACT or the SAT (or both). Some juniors are heavily immersed in discussions with family about the college planning process and others are waiting for college night with the school counselor and/or the upcoming Latino College Fair and the NCAC College Fairs at the NYC Convention Center. It is evident however, that the journey has begun when each day more mail and marketing brochures arrive from colleges near and far.
Although resources are abundant, there are far too many for students and their families to research without becoming overwhelmed. The application process is generally linked to writing the college essay. There are many great apps and tools available to assist students in writing the essay. In our experience at the College Prep Academy, many students have found that using the Common Application saves time, stress and helps to streamline the process.
To help reduce stress for both parents and students, The Common Application’s website, www.commonapp.org, has provided answers to frequent questions and easy-to-read tips for success.
https://www.commonapp.org/how-prepare: For families unsure of where to begin, or how, the Common App provides a four-year timeline that highlights important actions needed and their deadlines that are crucial when applying for college.
https://www.commonapp.org/virtual-counselor: In the age of technology, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter continue to reign supreme. As such, counselors have decided to utilize social media to help answer burning questions and clear up confusion via the hashtag #AskVirtualCounselor
Below are some of the articles and websites we have found helpful in essay writing.
Writing the essay can be one of the biggest challenges in the application process. Learn how these students approached their college essays.
Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay
Trying to write a college application essay and running into writer’s block? These tips will help you take on the essay with confidence.
3 Ways to Approach Common College Essay Questions
College applications usually contain one of three types of essay questions. Find out what they are and learn the best strategies for answering them.
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Sample College Application Essay 1
Read this example of a college application essay. Analyze how it could be improved, and then compare your suggestions with ours.
Sample College Application Essay 2
Read and evaluate this sample essay. Analyze its subject, tone and structure as well as the writer’s style. Then read a point-by-point critique from an expert.
RELATED APPS for ESSAY WRITING (Source: https://collegeinfogeek.com/writing-apps-and-websites/)
Coggle – a free mind-mapping tool that can help you organize ideas.
Storyline Creator – a mapping tool that’s built around individual characters and the flow of events in a story.
Evernote – my second brain. Pretty much everything I write starts out as a note here. Here’s another article I wrote with additional Evernote tips.
Scrivener – a full-fledged application for writing a novel. This is what I finished writing 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades with.
Novlr – a new alternative to Scrivener. It seems like it has a nicer design, but fewer features. I found some recommendations for it on the NaNoWriMo forums.
Byword – a minimalist Markdown editor for OS X. You don’t need to know Markdown to use it… but Markdown is really easy to learn.
Twinword Writer – a tool with a built-in thesaurus that suggests alternative words when you pause in your writing.
Write or Die – an app that will punish you if you don’t keep writing. Punishments can range from annoying noises to “Kamikaze Mode”, which starts erasing your writing!
Written? Kitten! – A more positive take on the Write or Die concept; instead of punishing you, it rewards you with pictures of kittens every 100 words.
750words – the name describes it pretty well; this is a site that can help you build a daily writing habit. It’s got pretty cool stat-tracking as well.
Daily Page – a site that gives you a different writing prompt (e.g. Write about your favorite leader) every day.
Mendeley – I’m not a grad student, but I’d use this if I was. It’s a free tool that can help you manage research documents and PDFs.
editMinion – a tool that can analyze your writing and pick out weak and over-used words. It can also tell you if your sentences are too short or long.
Coffitivity – plays coffee shop noises to give you a nice working atmosphere – a good alternative to white noise generators.
Brain.fm – a web app that uses AI to generate music that’s supposed to help you increase your focus and attention. The site even has research to back up their claims. I’ve tested it a few times, and while I’m not sure if the music is truly working or just providing a placebo effect yet, I will way that it’s pretty darn good music for working.
OTHER USEFUL WEBSITES:
Source: http://tech.co/best-writing-apps-2-2014-07 includes other lists as well.
Admission Essays: An online service for students who need to write good essays and application letters. It provides dozens of free essays to use as samples for students’ work. Here, everyone can learn how to write good papers and compose great application letters.
Dictionary.com: This resource provides more useful information for students than just definitions. A thesaurus, citation formats, many links to useful tools, a style guide, and formats for punctuation, capitalization, and abbreviations – you can find it all here.
Encyclopedia.com: A perfect place for research, where students will find links to many reference books and such well-known and authoritative encyclopedias as the Columbia Encyclopedia and Britannica. More than 100 dictionaries are available here to search for different information related to college writing.
Bid4papers.com/college-paper.html: A resource for students who want to get more experience in college paper writing, learn how to do it properly, and understand all the nuances of academic writing. This resource provides high-quality services together with a very good theoretical base for young people to start writing their essays professionally.
Find Tutorials: A website where students will find a big collection of academic tutorials to help them deal with academic writing. All tutorials are reviewed on their quality, and you can easily see which of them are worth the attention.
TED: Studying in college is impossible to imagine without this online resource, which collects video talks from experts in different fields. You can watch videos on relevant topics, read articles written by professionals, and organize events.
HippoCampus: A good resource for students who are not sure they’ve understood all the material properly. Here you can find lectures and a lot of other information on psychology, algebra, economics, biology, sociology, and many other topics.
As the excitement from the acceptances of last application cycle settles, the anxiety and eagerness of the next class of applicants begins to rise. Rising seniors are increasingly interested to find out what colleges and universities are out there, and what they want to pursue in higher education. For those who want to attend a city school, New York University will, without a doubt, be a consideration. With 6,000 students in each class and the endless opportunities that New York City has to offer, NYU is one of the most attractive universities out there. Take a look at the following essay intros from NYU students on AdmitSee:
Class of 2019
What can I offer NYU? One of NYU’s prominent features is its active involvement in underprivileged areas. So why should a “forprofit” ideal contradict the concept of helping the poor? As a future freshman here, I will combine NYU’s culture of community service and its strong business background to fuel our students’ entrepreneurial endeavors. View full profile.
Class of 2020
I stared at my polished railing as the photons danced in the humid air allowing me to perceive reality. I could taste salt water in my crimson lips as I stared into what I thought was oblivion. I snapped out of my depressive trance and wiped away my tears. I couldn’t be weak, not now. Moving back to Bangladesh was, in the eyes of a 12 year old, a curse. Keep reading.
Class of 2019
I waited patiently outside of the men’s bathroom. My 6-year-old brother insisted on venturing in by himself. Reluctantly, I left him go, but I was worried. In reality, only five minutes had passed, but to me, it seemed like an eternity. Five minutes turned to six, and my heart sank as I heard him screaming frantically from within. My fears had been realized; my brother was in trouble again. Without hesitation, I rushed into the bathroom to find my brother crying at the top of his lungs. Continue reading.
Class of 2019
Memories of exciting battles like these are safely snuggled away in the pages of some of my most beloved books, and in their fantastic, otherworldly settings I have become the confident girl I am today. When I was younger, I seriously struggled with self-acceptance. Watching movies like Mean Girls or The Breakfast Club, I could never pick out people who looked like me. Leading ladies were gorgeous and delicate, not tall and awkward with afros that struck fear into the hearts of passersby. Insecure, I skulked into high school, the proverbial black sheep amongst ravenous coyotes and mama bears. See full profile.
Class of 2019
This was all very different to me. It wasn’t the fact that I was on a plane. I had flown many times before. It wasn’t the fact that I was flying to Europe. I had done that two years ago when my family returned to Moscow with my adopted sister. This time, it had to do with me. I was sitting next to an old English man with ruddy skin that glared my direction every time the cabin jostled and I accidentally bumped him. I was flying by myself to go somewhere I had never been before. I was flying to London. View full profile.
Applying to college?
View the app files and essays of accepted students.LEARN MORE
Are you looking to apply to NYU? Make sure to search through profiles of students accepted to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!
About The Author
Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.