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How to Get Started with College Essays: AJ Tutoring’s Program!


Are you not sure where or how to get started with college essays?

Are you wondering what colleges are looking for? Our college essay coaches are here to help. While we’re happy to make recommendations for students of all ages, rising seniors benefit the most from college essay work.

Here are 5 tips to help you get started:

  1. Ensure You Understand the Prompt: Understanding the prompt is crucial; clearly grasp what the essay asks you to discuss. Take the time to brainstorm and think deeply about what the essay question is asking you and how it relates to your life.
  2. Create an Outline: Create an outline to organize your thoughts and structure your essay before writing. An outline can help you stay on topic and cover all the points you intend to address. It acts as a roadmap for your essay, helping you transition smoothly from one point to the next.
  3. Show, Don’t Tell: Use specific, vivid examples to illustrate your points. Rather than simply stating that you have dealt with adversity and can overcome challenges, show this through a story or example that demonstrates your resilience in action. Descriptive and detailed writing can make your essay more engaging.
  4. Be Yourself: Your essay is a chance to show your unique voice and personality. Don’t try to mold your essay to what you think admissions officers want to hear. Be authentic in your writing. This authenticity is what sets a memorable essay apart.
  5. Solicit Feedback: Once you have a draft, seek feedback from teachers, mentors, or peers. Fresh eyes can offer valuable perspectives and catch errors. No one gets an essay right the first time; writing is a process.

For more customized and indepth advice we recommend you connect with one of our college couseling experts. Our team is trained to help you understand how to get stared with you college application essays.

We also limit our college essay support to students who aren’t already working with an independent college counselor. Independent college counselors typically support their students through the college essay writing process. If you aren’t working with a counselor yet, AJ Tutoring can offer comprehensive support throughout this admissions process!

Our college essay coaches work with students 1-on-1, taking them through our 10-session course that covers every step from prompt selection and brainstorming to final editing. 

Over the course of 10 sessions, students typically complete three college essays (often including the Common App personal statement and the UC PIQs if needed).

However, we know that students and college applications are unique! We can design a flexible program for students who:

  • would like greater support throughout the college essay planning and writing process
  • already have college essays written and want a final round of feedback
  • …are looking for anything in between!

Our essay coaches can meet in person or online to accommodate your busy school year schedule. 

Give us a call at (650) 331-3251 or (408) 345-5200 if you’d like to discuss college essay support and better understand how to get started with you college essays!


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