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text 2017-04-28 11:00
How to Write an A+ College Application Essay

Getting admitted to a college or a university these days is quite a challenge. This is due to the high number of applicants while the number of places available remains limited. So, how do you get the chance to be among the chosen few who join the college of their choice?


A college application essay is a part of college application process, and there is a thin line between acceptance and rejection. It describes you as a person, your goals, challenges, and life experiences. The college administrators get to know you better apart from what they see from your academic qualifications and your co-curricular activities. The application essay should not include your whole life story, you should choose one interesting moment in your life and focus on telling about it. Remember that this essay should be interesting and appealing to the admission officers and it should make you stand out from other applicants.


We have come up with a few steps to help you in writing a good college application essay. The best way to go about it is by doing it bit by bit or rather step by step, and we have these simple steps laid out for you.


  1. Read and Understand the Essay Questions and Prompts

This is the first and most important thing to do as you tackle your college application essay. You cannot write about something that you don’t really understand. Read and re-read your essay question thoroughly until you grasp what’s required of you. Take a few minutes to think about the question as this will help you have your ideas in place.


  1. Choose Your Essay Topic

There can be several college essay questions. After going through them you can go ahead and settle on one topic that you’re going to write about. It's advisable that you chose a question that you can comfortably write about without running out of ideas and creativity. Your topic should be original and appealing to the reader.


  1. Brainstorm Your Essay Topic

This is the point where you gather up all your ideas. Before starting to write, you need to think about the message you want to pass across.

Some points to note here are:

  • You begin by reflecting on yourself in relation to the essay question.
  • The next step is to write down all your ideas and then narrow them down to that one idea that describes you. The idea you choose should have enough supporting details and should capture your strengths, achievements, and beliefs.


  1. Create an Outline

Creating an outline for your essay is like making a plan. Plans are easy to work with since you can’t get lost in the middle of your activity. A well-written piece has a beginning, a body, and an ending. Strategize on how you are going to begin your essay and find a tone for your essay based on your ideas.


Make it have that natural touch and feeling. Having a well-laid outline for your essay will save you the agony of losing your course and having to restructure everything in the middle of your writing.


  1. Write the Essay

At this point, you have all your ideas and a well-outlined format. All that's left for you is the writing. At this point, there are some things that you need to keep in mind:

  • Start as early as possible and give yourself an early deadline to enable yourself to come up with a well-crafted statement.
  • Brainstorm first. Brainstorming is very important as it enables you to collect your thoughts before starting to write.
  • Draft your main points. This helps you organize your major points, such as your strengths, goals, and achievements. Make sure that you say something about yourself that hasn’t been included elsewhere.
  • Be original in your writing. This is very important. Remember that you are talking about yourself. Just like in a product review or advertisement, make sure you ‘sell’ your qualities, attributes, strengths, and abilities in the best possible manner.
  • Spend the most time writing your introduction. Make sure that your introduction is well written and that it catches the attention of an admission officer. This will make them read on. Do not summarize your introduction but rather create mystery in it.
  • Ensure that the body paragraphs relate to your introduction. Do not go out of topic. Having a smooth flow ensures that your message gets delivered in a logical manner.
  • Be simple and clear. Do not use big and complicated words in your writing. Also, avoid using clichés. Be creative and imaginative; use transitions well as they help to keep the logical flow between paragraphs.
  • Be concise. Avoid using too many words in situations where just a few words can drive the point home.
  • Start with the major point in the first paragraph and let the others follow it in the other paragraphs. Ensure that each paragraph develops and supports the major point you are communicating.
  • Be natural in your writing. Ensure that you use an expressive and formal voice that shows and brings out your personality naturally.
  • The conclusion should be short and should not act as a summary for your whole text. "In conclusion" or "in summary" are a no-no! Instead, consider linking your conclusion to your introduction. You can also consider finishing with a famous quote that is relevant to your essay content.


  1. Proofread Your Essay

This is the last step. It is very important that you re-read your essay and check for any grammatical errors. Use spell check tools to correct your spelling mistakes and grammar. Letting a close friend or a professional to reread it and give their opinion is an excellent idea. A small error or a mistake in your essay can ruin or lower your chances of being accepted to a college.



Writing a good college application essay can be challenging since the majority of people find it hard to express themselves through writing. Many colleges use these essays as one of the ways to learn about the student beyond their academic benchmarks of test scores and GPA. They use the essays to learn more about the applicants' goals, interests, etc.

Learning from each other’s experience will help you. If you’re writing your essay right now, then we want to wish you all the best. Let us know if our ideas helped, be an inspiration to others. Already written your essay? Let us know what worked for you. Remember, the essay may just be what will help you get into your dream college.

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review 2017-04-27 18:54
Book 20/100: Amy Spangler's Breastfeeding - a Parents' Guide
Amy Spangler's Breastfeeding: A Parent's Guide - Amy K. Spangler

A good beginner's guide to breastfeeding -- it's short and broken into clear sections with illustrations and bulleted text, so it's not intimidating but still packed with really good information. It gets a bit repetitive if you read it straight through (which I did), but I can see why certain bits of important information were repeated often since most people who read this will skip around to the sections that are relevant to them, so the most crucial info needs to be in pretty much all those sections. Would definitely recommend to those who are put off by massive breastfeeding tomes like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding but who are still interested in practical info and tips on nursing a baby.

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review 2017-04-24 17:11
All Things New - Bible Study Book: A Study on 2 Corinthians (Living Room) - Kelly Minter

I read this for a Bible study at my church. This was good but usually the Bible studies I read are, "Now what do you think about that verse" where this was "Name the 5 reasons Paul gave for writing to the Corinthian church". I guess the emphasis was on the word "study". It was good but with 5 sections each week it was a struggle to finish it during my lunch hour.

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text 2017-04-12 07:09
"Smashwords Questionnaire / Interview"

I asked a friend to come up with some questions for my 'Smashwords Interview' and these are what he came up with. I've written my answers to each of them. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/reneepaule


You have written five books - one for children - and have a sixth in the pipeline on the human condition. What drives you to write?


What makes a flower grow, a heart beat or the sun shine? I don’t know the answers to these questions or to what drives me to write. I only know that I’m driven and that the ‘drive’ grows stronger with each book.


Many people who read your books are looking for answers yet your books provide none; isn’t this rather a contradiction to being a self-help book?


No it isn’t. If I provide answers to questions people have then some of them will listen to me and I may be wrong - it has never been my intention to become a ‘guru’. Self-help means just that; we need to help ourselves and not rely on others to find solutions for us - which leaves us none the wiser; our strength can only be found within. We must look for our own answers and I can only show you how I’m looking for mine. Having said that, I actually have no answers - just fewer and fewer questions and this has made my heart less heavy to lug around.


What age group are your books aimed at, if any?


When I wrote ‘On The Other Hand’ I thought my audience would be in my own age group (over 50s). I was surprised to discover that younger people like them very much too, so my answer is from around 15 or so upwards.


Why did you start to illustrate your books after ‘On the other hand’ and how did the idea of ‘Dilly’ come about?


I never thought about illustrating ‘On the Other Hand’. Quite frankly, I didn’t even know I had the ability to draw so it never occurred to me - I wasn’t artistic in my youth. When I was writing ‘Just Around the Bend’ an idea popped into my head of a ‘thought bubble thinking’ and I decided to draw it - it was just a bit of fun. From then on Dilly - a thought form that thinks - became a character in his own right and he was good at demonstrating points that I made in the text. I use ‘he’ when I talk about Dilly but I really don’t think of him as either masculine or feminine - it’s just for the sake of convenience.


You do your own illustrations; how do you decide what aspect to illustrate? Your earlier books have fewer illustrations than ‘Stepping out of time’, which has 27; one short of the previous two books put together. Why is this?


Sometimes the Dilly illustrations pop into my head before I’ve even written the point I want him to demonstrate, and sometimes the ‘point’ comes first; I have no hard or fast rules about this and let the illustrations develop as and when they want to. For this reason I can’t really answer the second part of this question. I can tell you however, that the images for ‘Stepping Out of Time’ came to me so quickly that I began to wonder whether my next book would be in comic strip format - as it turned out it was to be a children’s picture book.


Why did you write a children’s book and do you have plans to write more of them? Again, an idea just came to me and I shared it with a friend and we decided to write and illustrate this book together. Yes, I have plans - and ideas - for more. Our children need to learn to think independently (outside the proverbial box) as much as we do. They learn from us and will become the future leaders of our world, so it’s important that we teach them not to be afraid of it.


The latest book you are working on; is this in the same tone as your previous books; will it have more or less illustrations?


I don’t believe that my tone changes, so my answer to the first part of this question is ‘Yes’. To date, I’ve not yet made any illustrations for it or designed the cover, so I can’t answer the second part of this question yet.


Is there much more that you can write about on the human experience before you run out of ideas?


I’m far from short of ideas. If anything, there’s a problem writing them down fast enough before I forget. Because the genres of my books are ‘self-reflection’ and ‘observation’ it follows that my ideas will only run out when I do! But, who is this ‘I’?


If you had to sum up your books in a ‘Hollywood pitch’ for example, ‘Sci-fi Meets Supernatural’, how would you describe it?


‘Beds of Nails and Other Comfortable Places’.


Where do you see yourself five years from now?


I can’t answer that question - I may not be around.


Your books have no mantras to repeat, no exercises or meditations to perform and no means of tracking progress made; in fact, on the face of it there is nothing for the reader to do. How do your books work, how do they help people who read them to help themselves?


Oh but they do have a mantra to repeat - ‘Who am I?’ Ask it and keep asking it. There are three ‘do’s in this question and this ‘doing’ has got us into enough trouble already. There really is nothing to ‘do', as such. We make life so complicated when it should be simple. My books aim to help people to think differently and to let go of all that holds them back from being the best person they can be - from becoming a responsible and mindful person in society. I’m told that my books are both a mirror and a lens, and I believe that to be true. If my books teach anything at all then they teach us the truth about ourselves - steering us inwards - and this is all too often a difficult place to visit.

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