Conquering the Admissions Essay in 10 Steps

Book review

Conquering the Admissions Essay in 10 Steps

There are many requirements a student must meet and complete in order to get into college: the high grades, the extracurricular activities, the teacher recommendations, the endless forms. However, some students find the most challenging step to be writing the admissions essay. This seemingly straightforward task — write something that will convince the admissions officer to accept you — can be the hardest part of the process, even for those with a 4.0 GPA. That’s where Alan Gelb’s book, “Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps” comes in.


His book goes through the step-by-step process of writing a stellar college admissions essay. Gelb is a professional writer who has come to the aid of many students in the midst of crafting a great essay. He knows exactly what a student should do and what they should avoid while coming up with a topic, writing the essay and revising it. For example, Gelb stresses the common mistakes many students make when choosing a topic. Thanks to his advice, you will know not to be overly emotional or self-indulgent when you finally write the essay. 


Gelb’s book is constructed into 10 chapters and even includes an appendix with real student essays. These chapters correspond with what every student should do when writing (i.e. writing a second draft, revising) but also consider some not-so-obvious parts like storytelling. Gelb knows that every essay must contain a narrative and also is aware that some students might need to learn how to tell a story. Even better, Gelb provides a recap after every chapter that efficiently summarizes the most important aspects of what he is trying to say.


If you are a student starting an essay from scratch and have no idea where to begin, or if you are a student just looking for some tips on how to put the finishing touches on a strong draft, Gelb definitely can help you. His book would definitely be a beneficial tool to anyone applying to college.

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