In high school, it seems, peer editing can get left behind. When it comes time to college apps, though, take advantage of your friends as an awesome resource.
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Here are a few reasons why your homies especially those one or two years older than you are the best people to edit your essays. Balance is key, and friends are the best people to tell you when your exaggeration has gone overboard. They know you super-well maybe even better than your parents , and will help you slice through the fluff and keep it real. When did your parents apply to college?
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Yeah, I thought so. Your peers are going through or have gone through the exact same process as you, so they know what colleges want. This leaves your essay flat and without any real insight into who you are.
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Chances are your classmates are doing a lot more writing than your parents. So, finish up those essays and get into editing mode! Commenting on documents or using Google Docs is hugely helpful in the editing process, ensuring the utmost clarity in your revisions. But be careful that in their desire to assist you, that your "voice" does not get lost. You essay should sound like it was written by you- a 17 or 18 year old and not by a something.
And while English teachers know all the grammar rules, college essays should not sound like a book report. Personal essays showcase a more casual and creative style of writing. Don't show your essay to more then one or two individuals because if you follow everyone's advise- it could end up being weaker. I would say that you must have someone proofread your essay. People don't tend to see their own spelling mistakes, typographical errors, etc. Although the content of your essay is definitely your own, and you should take responsibility for proofreading your work as you do it, it's a good idea to let several other people look at it to see if you're making yourself understood and don't have any glaring errors.
Remember that the way you express yourself should and will reveal something about you to the college admissions officers.
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The same situation occurs when students get too much advice on their college essays. Getting one or two trusted people to proofread is worthwhile as long as they understand their role is to point out errors and make suggestions, not rewrite your essays into their own voice. You run the risk of receiving contradictory advice when you have more people proofread.
Make sure the final essay sounds like you and is representative of your best work. For example, you can have a grammar expert pick apart your essay to before you submit it in order to avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Yes, in fact I suggest that you have someone proofread it. Proofreading means to search your writing for errors--typographical, grammatical and spelling mistakes. Especially in this age of spell check, proofreading is critical. There is a BIG difference between someone pointing out a grammatical error and someone rewriting your paper.
I'll never forget reading the essay about the girl who volunteered as a candy stripper I do believe she meant striper! While it made me laugh, I was not going to remember her for the right reasons.
Having a fresh perspective is critical if you are trying to avoid the careless mistake. It's crucial that your essay be free of spelling and grammar mistakes. Since you will spend hours with it, your own eyes can easily skip over errors without seeing them, even if they are obvious and something you would normally catch.
I suggest that you make clear to this reader that you are ONLY asking for proofreading. It's also useful to have someone read your essay who knows you well and can answer the question "Does this sound like me? Again, give this reader clear instructions about the feedback you are requesting. Last, if your essay deals with a technical field with its own jargon like computer programming or ballet , you'll want to have a reader familiar with that language read your essay to make sure that you've used technical terms correctly.
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