Your Summer Admissions Essay Checklist

Your Summer Admissions Essay Checklist

1) Start a Journal
The hardest thing about a personal essay is finding your voice—most high schools focus on the academic essay, which is more stiff and formulaic than the admissions essay. An easy way to discover what you sound like when you're not citing academic sources or analyzing text is to start a journal. Every night before bed, take a few minutes to write about your day or what's worrying you or even try some of the prompts in the Common App. The relaxing background should let you tap into your personal voice without the pressure of sounding academic. At the very least, you'll have some snippets saved away for the draft writing stage.

Read More

What High School Doesn't Teach You About The Admissions Essay

What High School Doesn't Teach You About The Admissions Essay

Most high schools focus on teaching you the academic essay: you know, thesis statement, supporting paragraphs, and a closing paragraph summarizing the above. There is a pretty exact formula you have to stick with and not much room for creativity. Your tone is overly formal and you are expected to cite and analyze texts for a unique argument and conclusion. The good news: You spend 4 years learning this academic skill, which is helpful and will be what you are expected to write in college. 

Read More

Testimonial Tuesday: Accepted to Lehman & Hunter College in NYC

Testimonial Tuesday: Accepted to Lehman & Hunter College in NYC

"I have to thank you for all your help! Ms. Shuster's techniques for helping students with their essays are astonishingly effective. She just doesn't limit herself to fix our essays, but rather to make us part of the essay's revision by asking us questions about us that can help, she also ensures we are comfortable with her suggestions. Without Ms. Shuster, I doubt I would have had been able to be as confident about both my personal statement and supplements. All of this is pro-bono."

Read More

Stuck On Your Essay? This Writing Mantra Will Save You

Stuck On Your Essay? This Writing Mantra Will Save You

The hardest part about writing is getting out of your own head and silencing your inner critic. This quote helps remind you that all you can do now is word-vomit your first draft and then take time later to finesse it into perfection. 

Read More