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College essay advice from the Twitterverse

Jenna Johnson

There are thick books, long blogs and never-ending threads on forums dedicated to advising high school students tasked with writing the perfect admissions essay for his or her dream college.

But high schoolers are super busy. Who has time to read all of that stuff? So I reached out to the Twitterverse to get advice in less than 140 characters...

@isuadmissions Students should NOT repeat info that is already on the college app. Talk about something new and interesting but not too personal.

@dstao Stay away from bfs/gfs, sex, deep personal issues, or anything too big like the nature of life. Make essay fun to read.

@tylersadonis Think outside the box! There are many unique things that you do that can have significant life lessons drawn from them.

@jessicachu Don't lie/make something up. For some reason, you can always tell.

@jungleland write about your PASSION, what you love and what you stay up all night working on or thinking about not for a class or grade

@richaelohagan Connect everything that you write to a reason why you want to go to that school.

@huskerlocker Talk about the human spirit, ingenuity, innovation. Baby Boomer admissions folks love that.

@huskerlocker More...profess a deep, abiding faith in tenure. Or the postmodern route: Narrative poetry they can't understand, spaced all funny.

@flcfalcons saw the other post about writing for a Boomer audience. It's true. Part of effective writing is knowing your audience.

@lisakcarter Keep the essays short. This who select the students have to read hundreds or thousands of essays, so keeping them short is best.

@dr_grzanka Don't start w/: "As a Christian..."

@gwtoday connect w schools on Twitter, learn e/t you can about em, ask ?s!

@packersgirl Be sure to tell a great story & what's unique about you. Why should they pick you over the other applicants is impt.

@sweetalyssa i wrote about the first time i went to the ballet when i was 4. it's not about what you write, it's about how you write it

@cjseraphin To show my love for ballet, I took the reader on stage with me! Add some drama by showing a vivid day in your own (dancing) shoes

@andyrew53 as cliché as the topics are, try to relate it to something unique to you, even if you think others find it odd. You'll stand out.

What advice do you have? Tell me on Twitter, @wpjenna, or leave a comment here.

Applying to college? Read my other admissions columns, here.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | October 25, 2010; 12:27 PM ET
Categories:  Admissions  | Tags:  George Washington, Iowa State, Twitter, admissions  
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