Fiske Real College Essays That Work
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Fiske Real College Essays That Work

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by Edward Fiske, Bruce Hammond, Bruce G. Hammond

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Over 100 real sample essays, plus advice from the leading experts on getting into college.


Over 100 real sample essays, plus advice from the leading experts on getting into college.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 11 Up-This collection of 109 essays begins with an introduction that is clear and to the point. A chapter with practical and humorous tips on writing a great essay follows. Particularly helpful are the references to specific selections that exemplify the trait under discussion. For instance, when offering tips on metaphor, the authors refer to "Essay 93," in which a student talks about the stages of his life in terms of Greek scholars, the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. Divided up by common admissions subjects (a hobby, a significant experience, personal growth, etc.), the writing is good-after all, these compositions were accepted-but attainable by average students with average lives. Some teens have amazing or tragic experiences on which to draw when applying to college. However, most have never met the Dali Lama or lost a loved one. These essays are a great jumping-off point for these young people. An excellent purchase for libraries with any percentage of students continuing on to college.-Morgan Johnson-Doyle, Sierra High School, Colorado Springs, CO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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1. What Makes a Great Essay?
Mention that you're writing a college essay and you'll probably get an earful of advice:

• "Write about your trip to Mexico," offers your mom. "You can show that you've broadened your horizons."
• "Community service always looks good," says Dad. "Talk about your work with Habitat for Humanity."
• "Write something funny," advises your best friend. "They love essays that make them laugh."
• "Make yourself stand out," says your guidance counselor. "In a pile of one thousand essays, yours should be the one they remember."

If you're lucky, you won't hear all of the above-at least not all at once. But the odds are good that you'll get some of it, particularly the one about making yourself stand out. How, exactly, do you accomplish that one? Have you scaled Mount Everest? Overcome a terminal disease? Saved a toddler from a burning building?
Of course not. Neither have 99.9 percent of the rest of us. The best essays are seldom about a dramatic event or "significant experience" that changes the author's life. Real people don't get hit by lightning and suddenly realize that they should live their lives differently. Human development is a step-by-step, day-by-day process that happens almost imperceptibly.

Meet the Author

Edward B. Fiske is the founder and editor of theFiske Guide to Colleges. A former Education Editor of the New York Times, Fiske is known around the world for his award-winning writing on topics ranging from trends in American higher education to school reform in Southeast Asia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The guide was established in 1982 when, covering higher education for the Times, Fiske sensed the need for a publication that would help students and parents navigate the increasingly complex college admissions scene. The guide, an annual publication, immediately became a standard part of college admissions literature and it is now the country's best-selling college guide.

Fiske has teamed up with his wife, Helen F. Ladd, a professor at Duke University, on several major international research projects regarding the development of education in various countries. Together, they are co-editors of the Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy, the official handbook of the American Education Finance Association. Fiske's journalistic travels have taken him to more than 60 countries on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development, UNESCO and the Asia Society.

Born in Philadelphia, Fiske graduated from Wesleyan University summa cum laude, and received master's degrees in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and in political science from Columbia University. He is a regular contributor to the International Herald-Tribune. In addition to the New York Times, his articles and book reviews have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Chronicle of Higher Education, Los Angeles Times, and other national publications.

A resident of Durham, North Carolina, Fiske serves on a number of boards of non-profit organizations working for access to college and international understanding. He is also a founding member of the board of the Central Park School for Children, a charter school in Durham.

Bruce G. Hammond was editor in chief of The Insider's Guide to the Colleges and was managing editor of four editions of The Fiske Guide to Colleges. He is the author of Discounts and Deals at the Nation's 360 Best Colleges and is the school and college expert at Parent Soup, a division of

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Fiske Real College Essays That Work 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okaaay.....I didn't really understand that....or the explanation special. And the word is 'psychic' least I think that's what you were trying to spell. Hope to see it improve after publishing...