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Admit One

Admit One

Writing Your Way into the Best Colleges

College admissions—that is, admission to the school of your choice—has become incredibly competitive. Students and their families prepare from grade school onward to shape school "careers" that will give them a leg up in applying to selective colleges. But sterling academic performance, AP classes, high test scores, and sports and other extracurricular activities are no longer enough to guarantee a slot at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, or the Ivies.

In Admit One, Thomas Richards focuses on a key aspect of the college admissions decision, one that makes all the difference in applications: good writing. This involves mastering the dreaded personal essay—but more than that, it means "writing" a college application with a consistent overarching narrative, one that tells a student's intimate story. Writing has the ability to render the grain of a student's own voice, fully integrated and fully under their own control. More than any other element of the application, strong writing is capable of revealing applicants as individuals from the inside out, allowing admissions committees to make fine distinctions between otherwise identical candidates.

In plain language, Richards draws together this sense of writing as central to college admissions while showing candidates the secrets of creating an effective, beautifully crafted personal essay. From selecting words to shaping sentences, building paragraphs, and even clarifying a voice, Richards's approach is the key to getting a student's application noticed and read. The resulting essay that readers craft will come as close as possible to being a trustworthy representation of a whole person.

Treating the college application as a rigorous intellectual exercise, Admit One contains everything students need to know in order to present themselves with clear-edged precision to an application committee.