Six Terrific Pieces of Advice for Writing a College Essay

College admissions guru Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz details six important points to remember when writing a college essay:

  1. Write as if you are talking to the reader.
  2. Offer readers a story.
  3. Use the first person.
  4. Show, don’t tell. Be specific, descriptive and offer plenty of details.
  5. Avoid generalities, clichés and philosophical or psychological babble.
  6. Make sure that your essay is free of spelling, grammatical mistakes and improper use of words.

College CheerTo which, we would add number 7: Start thinking about what you want to say now, rather than the night or even week before sending in the application. Jot down your central idea of your essay and supporting ideas. Look at them on paper, finding new things to add, what to change, what to take out, and how to say it in your unique voice. Go back frequently and make revisions, each time improving what you want to say and how you write it. As you revise the draft and its thoughts, you’ll start to see exactly what you want to say and how best to say it in your own voice.

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Brain May be Able to Repair Itself from Within

Duke Brain Research ChAT+ neuronJune 3, 2014
Bioscience Technology

Duke researchers have found a new type of neuron in the adult brain that is capable of telling stem cells to make more new neurons. Though the experiments are in their early stages, the finding opens the tantalizing possibility that the brain may be able to repair itself from within.

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Reading for Fun Drops Dramatically Among Teens – New Report

Teen Readers Are LeadersFor those who understand the importance of reading, a new study should sound alarm bells coast-to-coast. Teenagers are reading fewer books, magazines and newspapers these days. Compiling seven studies and surveys conducted by private and public groups on adolescent reading habits, Common Sense Media of San Francisco reports teenagers today are significantly less likely to enjoy reading for pleasure than those of previous generations. Reporter Sharon Noguchi of The San Jose Mercury News covered the story and links to the report.

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College Entrance Exams Measure Intelligence and More

Folder PileIQ Tests and the SAT measure something real and consequential, report researchers David Z. Hambrick, a professor at Michigan State University, and Christopher Chabris, a psychology professor at Union College. Their study, described in an article published online in, indicates the SAT helps predict success in college. Furthermore, unlike a “complex portrait” of a student’s life, it can be scored in an objective way. The lesson for college recruiters and future employers: Smart people don’t just make better mathematicians; they make better clerks, service workers, and soldiers.

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Why It’s Imperative to Teach Students How to Question as the Ultimate Survival Skill

The Student Connection Ask QuestionsTo make scientific progress, Albert Einstein first asked questions. Even if he did not find the expected answer, asking questions often led to discovery of even greater truths than what were searched for originally. For instance, when he was 16 years of age, Einstein asked what it would be like to ride the crest of a light wave? The question became part of a “thought experiment” that would lead to the Theory of Relativity. Writer Warren Berger of MindShift reminds us we all should develop the ability to ask, “Why?” and the other questions in order to make personal discovery and personal progress.

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Truly learning math makes wise thinkers

Dr. Edward BurgerMath educator Dr. Edward Burger, president of Southwest University in Texas, makes an excellent point about learning mathematics:

By thinking through math, I mean understanding the material in a very deep way so that the student can appreciate and (ideally) discover connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Discovering relationships and patterns is not only at the heart of mathematical discovery but also the requisite trait to innovate and create in any space — from big business to the fine arts, from sports to technology, from politics to education.

For the complete article...

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Free Webinar to Kickstart College Journey

WOW Writing WorkshopOur friends at WOW Writing Workshop are offering a free online program, “What you really need to know about starting your journey to college” on Thursday, Feb. 6. The webinar (web-based seminar) will be held from 9-10 p.m.

For details on the speakers, agenda and links to register continue reading…

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