Hart's Helpful Hints: The College Essay

The City of Riverside has partnered with Steph Hart of Essential Elements: Comprehensive College Planning to present a FREE college prep series for high school students and their parents. Our third session was on Sunday, September 11 and provided an overview on preparing your college essay. After each session, Steph will provide a "Hart's Helpful Hint" with additional details about preparing for college!


Hart's Helpful Hint #3

  • The goal is to write one solid essay and be able to use it for multiple, if not all, admission/scholarship applications that will be submitted. Some adjustment may be required, but the core of your essay should be versatile enough for multiple uses.
  • Throughout the edit process, highlight each use of I, me, or my. While the essay should be personal, look for opportunities to restructure sentences to avoid overuse of these words.
  • Read your essay out loud, not just in your head. Hearing the words spoken will provide opportunity to detect repetitive words and phrases, not otherwise caught during revision.
  • Seek multiple opinions and suggestions. Choose the advice to accept and/or reject. In the end, the final product must remain yours.
  • When soliciting assistance with the essay, ask those most critical, not the people in your life who believe you perfect in all that you do.