How to Write your Essay for Common App Prompt 2

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This is your opportunity to share your problem-solving abilities as well as your resilience. Your future institution is eager to learn how you react to setbacks and challenges.

Here is the Common Application Prompt 2:

“The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? “

Key Tips and Pointers

  • Start your essay in the middle of the action. In this case, start with a “hook” by first describing your experience of failure. Do not be afraid to be “intense.”
  • Be specific about why this incident represents a “failure.”
  • Include at least three key details of your experience of failure. Details can include describing who else was involved, describing your emotions or using pieces of dialogue.
  • Before you write, jot down some of the specific things you learned as a result of this failure. Avoid generalizations such as “I learned perseverance.” An example of a more specific response is: “I learned how to remained focused and optimistic by seeking a mentor.”

You can approach writing Common Application Prompt 2 in four easy steps:

  1. Brainstorm the times in your life when you have failed at something. Choose to write about the failure that had the biggest impact on your life.
  2. Use descriptive language to explain what happened, and exactly how you responded.
  3. Include one ACTION that you took in response to the failure. It is important that your institution sees your problem-solving skills.
  4. End with a self-reflection on the experience. Explain why this failure was fundamental to who you are today, as a college applicant.

If you need help writing your Common App Personal Essay for Prompt 2, you might want to install this Google Docs add-on. The add-on provides example essays, writing tips and smart phrases for all Common App prompts conveniently inside Google Docs.

How to Write your Essay for Common App Prompt 1

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The Common Application essay prompt 1 asks you to tell a unique story about your personal life. This is the story only you can tell! For this prompt, you will focus on a specific experience that shaped who you are today.

Here is the Common Application Prompt 1:

“Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. “

Tips and Guidelines:

  • When you respond to this prompt, try to narrow your focus. Rather than sharing your life story, choose one meaningful detail to write about.
  • For this prompt, you have freedom in topic choice. Some of the best responses to this prompt include stories about a unique cultural background or a standout talent.  
  • This is not the time to talk about classes, grades, or test scores. Do not be afraid to use your own voice to tell the story of an important moment in your life.
  • Be specific! For example, instead of focusing on your family’s culture in general, write about a moment that illustrates a specific cultural experience such as a family meal or traditional gathering.
  • Think of this essay as your chance to share a defining moment or moments in your life story. Readers will get a glimpse into your past and your personality.  

You can approach writing Common Application Prompt 1 in four easy steps:

  1. Brainstorm a few possible moments in your life that strongly influenced who you are today. Choose the one that you find most meaningful and important to your identity.
  2. Start your essay by describing the moment or memory that best illustrates this theme in your life.
  3. Include details to make your essay more personal by using descriptions and dialog.
  4. Conclude your essay by reflecting on how this important moment continues to influence who you are as a person.

If you need help writing your Common App Personal Essay for Prompt 1, you might want to install this Google Docs add-on. The add-on provides example essays, writing tips and smart phrases for all Common App prompts conveniently inside Google Docs.

 

Capturing the Market: How to Write a White Paper

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Capturing the Market: How to Write a White Paper focuses on preparing a white paper that captures your target market’s attention, along with a few pointers on converting readers into buyers with digital marketing tools.

A compelling white paper presents a problem, then communicates a solution. For example, if your company designs and installs solar systems, cite the less-than-desirable aspects of regular energy usage such as rising costs, hidden fees, and surprise hikes on your electric bill. Then explain how your solar energy company’s products save the reader money, qualifies them for tax breaks, and increases their home’s resale value.

Title. Create a strong, buzz-worthy title that makes a reader curious about what your company offers and entices them to read the article.

Introduction. Briefly state your main point with informative and engaging copy that speaks on a personal level, not to a faceless, generic crowd.

Present background information. Speak from an expert point of view to establish trust. Include case studies, visuals, and charts for increased readability.

Solution. The background and solutions you propose are the most important part of your paper. When customers understand the facts, they make decisions based on those facts.

Call-to-Action. A call-to-action gives the reader the opportunity to take the next step – signup, download, call or buy, and this is where you gather contact information to generate leads.

Furthering your marketing efforts. Create a powerful, loaded-with-benefits message on a landing page specifically tailored for your white paper. Use this landing page link in:

  • Emails to your existing subscribers
  • A blog post
  • On your website as a teaser for “free” information

Social Media. Social media marketing lets you humanize your brand with original content and a genuine voice.

  • Create a video
  • Write a blog post
  • Facebook – 2.4 million pieces of content shared daily
  • Twitter – information shared over 277,000 times
  • Provide information about your company on LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram

White papers are a wonderful way to promote your business via a website, blog, newsletter, or social media. It’s important to remember, however, this paper is your go-to vehicle for converting readers into buyers, so make sure it is well-constructed, organized, addresses your target market’s problems, and offers solutions your company is prepared to provide.

5 Must-Have Content Creation Tools to Keep in Your Bookmarks

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When you’re trying to write on a deadline, the best help you can get are tools that make it easy to write quickly and efficiently, removing any barriers to putting your ideas into words. Here’s 5 online tools that we recommend you use to create, edit and organize your content.

1. Google Docs

Google Docs is portable office suite software you can access from your desktop, laptop, tablet, and even smart phone. It contains a full-featured editor suitable for creating essays, resumes and ebooks, and makes collaboration with co-authors as easy as possible. It also has built-in version control, giving you the ability to view and revert a full history of changes for any document.

2. Hemingway Editor

True to its namesake, the fantastic Hemingway Editor is perfect for those who wish to create strong and clear writing. The goal of this visually-appealing app is to improve your text’s readability and help you craft a bold writing voice that is sure to arrest the reader’s attention.

3. Grammarly

Grammarly is one of the oldest online grammer-checking tools and is both a webapp and a Chrome extension. Upon entering text, this tool will give you on-the-fly grammar advice, highlighting instances of passive voice, overly-complex sentences, and adverb overuse.

4. WriteWell

WriteWell is more than an editor. With WriteWell, you’ll gain access to dozens of templates. It’s also an ideal tool for organizing a research or writing project, allowing you to group multiple texts in a logical manner.

5. Scrivener

Scrivener is designed for long, complicated writing projects. You can use it to group all kinds of documents together for easy reference, including images and video. Where Scrivener shines is in its range of export options, so that after composing, you can easily do the final editing in the word processor of your choice.

Whether writing an essay or a novel, a research paper or a resume, choosing the right tool can make the process a breeze. Try out these tools and see how easy completing your next project becomes.

Hone Your Creative Writing Skills: 8 Key Strategies

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Creative writing is a unique endeavor, and one that offers great rewards and many challenges. Whether you are an amateur creative writer, or a professional with years of experience, there is always room to improve upon your craft. With the 8 key strategies below, you will complement your skills with clever, effective plans of action in order to supercharge your writing.

1. Utilize professional writing software

There are fantastic resources available on the web which can make a writer’s job less laborious. Novel writing software in particular eases the workload for the writer, so they can focus more on the creative aspect. We are fortunate to live in an era where we have these tools at our fingertips. Imagine writing in the time of William Shakespeare, where everything was done by hand, and all research took countless hours. Or even in the most recent decades of Ernest Hemingway, prior to the advent of the internet.

2. Employ the use of beta readers

Beta readers are typically peers and editors who offer a pre-release read through. It is always beneficial to have more sets of eyes on your manuscript or story prior to release. If you are an amateur author, pick a friend or family member who has at least a little interest in reading. One of the worst mistakes you can make is being your own critic. Often times, a writer will read his or her own work, hearing it (in their mind) as they want it to be heard. The objectivity is lost. Beta readers solve that problem, and their valuable feedback will show the creative writer weaknesses and strengths.

3. Write every day

This may seem obvious, but it is a key strategy worth mentioning. Like any other skill, writing takes practice. The more you do it, the better you get at it. The only way to build upon your writing skill is to work at your craft as much as possible, and then some. You need to put in the hours. Whether you establish a nightly routine of five hundred words before bed, or aim higher, the daily regime will set a writing flow within your mind. You will have ideas follow you throughout the day, and chase you when sleep calls (keep a bedside notebook!)

4. Seek criticism, not praise

Constructive criticism is paramount for any creative writer. While praise feels satisfying and is good for building self-confidence, it rarely fosters self-improvement. You need to find your weak points in writing, whether they be plot, character development, dialogue, or the basics of grammar and syntax. The only way to accomplish this is by humbly receiving criticism from readers.

5. Read voraciously in your genre

There is no substitute for reading. Get your hands on as much reading material in your genre as possible, and get down to it. Make it a daily habit. Start low if need be. Aim for ten pages a day, and work your way up. It goes without saying that this should be an enjoyable task!

6. Stay active on social media

Even if you are not active on social media in your personal life, make it a habit for the sake of your writing career. There is never a downside to making connections, and as stated in point 5 above, we are fortunate to have that ease of access today. This is especially true if you are a creative writer in a very particular niche, such as H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmicism, where finding an audience can be a daunting task.

7. Utilize the advice of authors you know and admire

Read Q&A’s from authors you know, respect, enjoy, and admire. They do not have to be famous, best sellers. If their work resonates with you, it would behoove you to hear what they have to say. Many creative writers with experience in their genre can weigh in on the process of writing in general. They can advise on good habits to form, how to build a novel from start to finish, and things for amateur writers to avoid. See what worked for them, and try it yourself.

8. Conquer writer’s block

Every writer, especially creative writers, will face writer’s block at one point or another. Sometimes it is a minor inconvenience, other times it is a hideous beast that needs to be brought down. There are many schools of thought on how to deal with writer’s block. Some experienced writers advise walking away from the keyboard (or pen and paper), and simply taking a break. Others face it head on. Avoid the pitfall of giving up too easily. Sometimes writing through it, even if you are not happy with the work, will clear up the block and allow you to get back into the creative space.

The creative writer has a duty to constantly look for new and unique ways to improve themselves and their abilities. All creative writers have their own voices and styles, but even latent talent needs to be paired with hard work. By utilizing the above steps, you will see your creative writing skills improve over time, and rejoice.

Is Your Blog Effective? Here’s How To Tell

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Did you know that there are more than sixty metrics to consider when determining the effectiveness of your blog? Readership, followers, and location are just the beginning — there are a lot of details to look at. Part of determining success is deciding what your goals are.

Part of determining success is deciding on what your goals are. If you don’t know your goals, you can judge how well you’re doing, or whether you’re achieving what you set out to do. When looking at goals, there are a number of things to keep in mind, such as readership and engagement.

For engagement, consider: how many people comment on your posts? How many share them or write their own posts in response to something you said? And how many of the readers that do comment, return to read and comment future posts? These are good indications of how much influence your blog has. If people just read and then leave without a comment, you probably aren’t making as much of an impact as you want.

If your blog is about promoting your business, how many readers become customers? And how many of those customers return for future purchases? If they keep coming back to your business because of what they read on your blog, then you can deem the blog successful in that endeavour. Additionally, consider how many customers come because readers have told them about your business. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and can make your blog very successful.

These are just a few indicators of what makes a blog successful. Consider your goals and look at them individually, and you’ll be able to determine if your blog is an effective tool, or if you need to make some changes.

Five special things about the “Costco College Essay” for writers to study

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With a well-written college admissions essay, high school senior Brittany Stinson has earned acceptance to six elite schools: Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Stanford. Posted on the internet, her college essay has rapidly gained popularity. Five unique things about the “Costco College Essay” stand out: vocabulary, voice, action, creativity, and introspection.

Vocabulary.  Word choice is critical in college admissions essays. Stinson not only uses college-level vocabulary, but selects her words with precision. She didn’t throw her churro; she jettisoned the churro. She sprinted rather than ran. In her essay, Costco is not merely “known for” oversized portions; Costco is notorious.

Voice.  The first few paragraphs of Stinson’s essay are written from the perspective of a young child. She selected an unusual voice for a college admissions essay, but also created a memorable personality. The churro-chucking child makes an immediate impression and invites the reader to learn more.

Action.  Stinson’s essay is characterized by strong action verbs. Her minimal use of passive verbs keeps the narrative moving and the reader engaged. Whether in childhood recollections or adult musings, Stinson shows us herself in action: rampaging through Costco, sprinting down the aisles, scaling a mountain of toys, filling a shopping cart, enjoying a hot dog, purchasing a ham, sampling chocolate truffles.

Vocabulary, voice, and action are key elements of all good writing, no matter the purpose or format. Stinson uses the first three elements well, then adds two more elements that are specifically important in college admissions essays – creativity and introspection.

Creativity. The College Board, a non-profit organization that connects students to colleges, offers this tip for crafting the best college essay: “Find a creative angle.” Creativity is the ingredient that will gain the attention of admissions officers. Stinson used the creative technique of linking a trip to Costco to her lifelong quest for knowledge.

Introspection. No college essay is complete without a personal statement.  Rob Franek, writing for The Princeton Review, has this to say about recounting versus reflection, “Anyone can write about how they won the big game or the summer they spent in Rome. When recalling these events, you need to give more than the play-by-play or itinerary. Describe what you learned from the experience and how it changed you.” Stinson expertly transitions from recounting her childhood adventures at Costco to her adult experiences and concludes, “My intense desire to know, to explore beyond the bounds of rational thought; this is what defines meIn essence, I subsist on discovery.”