Keep Your Eye on the Prize with Ivy Eyes Editing

Writing college admissions essay, Ivy Eyes Editing  Let’s face it, the stress of college applications and essay writing can be a headache. During a time when you’ll sift through college applications like you’re panning for gold, it might seem impossible to get through the process alive. The best thing to do is to firstly, keep breathing, and secondly, get by with a little help from your friends.

Ivy Eyes Editing has made it their mission to help clients at every skill level and all applicant groups, whether it be college, MBA, med school, law school, or PhD programs, to “bring out the best in their candidacy and write with color and authenticity.” Ivy Eyes makes this happen by writing with you, not for you, and by pushing your thinking in such a way that will make admissions materials exceptional.  Here are a few tips.

You’ve finally made it to three glorious months of summer vacation. It’s time to hit the beach, catch some sun, and… write your college admissions essays. How in the world do you get started?

While different essays require different approaches, a good rule of thumb is to make an outline. Start collecting stories early, making a skeleton for each. That way, it’s much easier to determine which direction has the most life and authenticity.  

It has to be you, wonderful you.

What is authenticity? In a nutshell, you. What do you bring to the table that no other candidate does?  This isn’t limited to what have you done that no other candidate has, but it includes everything from your writing style to personal detail.  Believe it or not, an essay that is colorful and age-appropriate is more likely to grab the attention of an admissions committee than something that could pass as a legal document.  No admissions consultant can fake authenticity for you. There is something incredible and unique about the perspective of high school students that can’t be replicated. In a world full of admissions consultants that attempt to build ‘super-candidates’, what a relief it is to know that the best you can do is just be you!


So in your endeavor to project an authentic image of yourself, one very important question arises: How much information is too much information? Some prompts call for more personal details than others, but at the end of the day it is important to maintain a good level of balance in any essay. Humanize yourself (most schools are looking to build a thriving and lively campus, not Stepford) but at the same time keep in mind that you’re writing a college essay, not a tell-all autobiography. 

How to Lose a Committee in Eight Ways

  1. Pandering or otherwise merely writing what an AdCom wants to hear. 
  2. Putting a resume in narrative form or going to broad.
  3. Making the reader feel like a passive participant rather than immersing him in the story.
  4. Overly casual or informal language—you’re not texting!
  5. Writing in generic terms.
  6. Meaningless niceties like “I appreciate your consideration.”
  7. Passive voice
  8. Stilted transitions and weak story arcs.

To learn more about Ivy Eyes Editing join us for #CampusChat on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 9 PM eastern on Twitter, where a representative from Ivy Eyes Editing (@IvyEyesEditing) will be our featured guest. 


Valerie McGinnis is a freelance writer and student at Liberty University. Val will graduate in 2011 with a degree in English. Smart See, Smart Do™ is a regular series appearing on