5 Tips for Writing Your College Application Essay

Happy college app month!

Your college application essay isn’t the sole determiner of where you go to school, but it should live up to the rest of your stellar qualifications. Read our following tips to turn in the best essay you can, and good luck!

1. Be you. This may seem obvious, but a college application essay is meant to show its audience something about your character. It’s your opportunity to show off something about yourself that can’t be deduced from your transcript. That means that you should not launch into a list of your many achievements and activities over your high school career. Instead, choose an anecdote that shows the depth of your personality that can’t be seen in mere test scores. Have a clear focus and write one story well.
2. Develop your tone. Before writing the story of you, think about how you’d like to come across to a complete stranger reading your essay. Though the goal is to let readers know how great you are, too much of that can sound like you’re bragging. On the flip side, holding on to disappointments or injustices you may have encountered in your education can sound like you’re whining. Brain storm on paper some adjectives that describe how you’d like to be perceived and keep them in mind as you write. Strike for somewhere along the spectrum of proud and humble, and if you can add a touch of humor for levity; besides a well-woven story, tone is what helps you really jump off the page.

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10 Bookish Costume Ideas for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner! If you’re looking for a costume idea, we’ve collected our top 10 literature-inspired outfits here by level of difficulty, so you can look bookishly awesome no matter how much time you have on your hands.

1. Ishmael, from Moby Dick


You’re just one name tag away from “Call me Ishmael.”

2. Fifty Shades of Grey


Witty and racy. Head to your local hardware store for some free color sheets and you’re done!  Continue Reading ›

And the Nobel Goes To…


The Nobel Committee has announced its pick for the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature, and the winner is Patrick Modiano. Not familiar with the French novelist? You’re not alone; Modiano’s celebrity is far more modest than that of fellow candidate Haruki Murakami, as well as last year’s winner, Alice Munro. Yet he is referred to by the Swedish Academy as “the Marcel Proust of our time.”

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October’s Teacher’s Corner Column: How To Be Proactive and Organized Year-Round

Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.

Whether you’re a new teacher or a classroom veteran, the school year can feel overwhelming, more so than ever since the demands of standards-based testing and professional development have grown increasingly complex and time consuming. Teaching now seems to require holding down two jobs at once: teaching kids with one hand and meeting a plethora of administrative mandates with the other. It’s tough to carry such a load day after day without sinking under the weight.

According to the old proverb, “A stitch in time saves nine.” It’s true, and it’s still good advice. Being proactive takes a little time, but it saves a lot of work and heads off problems, making a difficult year more manageable and less stressful. Here are a few ways to save yourself in the classroom by acting sooner rather than later:

  • Organize your paperwork, but don’t overdo it:
    • An organizational system shouldn’t be so complicated that it takes hours to create and you have to remember what’s filed where when you’re looking for something.
    • Backing up critical information is a must, but recording the same information in multiple places wastes time.
    • Making lists keeps things on track, but if you have so many lists you need a master list to keep track of them, you’ve overachieved! (I’m speaking from experience here, so trust me.)

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New to eNotes.com: Research Paper Starters

We do the digging so you don’t have to.


When you don’t know where or how to start your research paper, dive into an eNotes Research Paper Starter. We clearly explain and analyze over 1,500 complex subjects so that you can concentrate on learning what you really need to know and writing a great paper.

Why use a Research Starter? Two reasons:

  • easily fine-tune the thesis of your paper
  • locate expert sources without spending precious hours scouring a library database

Read on to find out more about this latest feature from eNotes!

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Answer Questions, Earn Money for School – eNotes’ New Scholarship Program

Each month we’re awarding a $500 grant to one of our standout students. Could it be you?

Welcome to a new kind of scholarship program. At eNotes, we don’t need you to write an essay to try and stand out from the millions. We just want you to share your knowledge with others and help your fellow students get through their homework assignments.

Contribute your answers to eNotes’ Homework Help and you’ll be automatically entered to win a $500 grant each month! How does it work? It’s simple:

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eNotes is on Pinterest!

Check out our first three Pinterest boards as we collect tips and tricks to help you study and teach smarter.

Dorm Room Ideas

College Dorm Decoration/Organization Ideas, futon/lounge under one lofted bed, work/organization (TV too) under another lofted bed

School Binder Organization Tips

Even after graduating college I still use binders and notebooks. It helps me organize all my thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, goals and steps to achieve them, etc. This is a cute decoration idea for my binders - go and do

Teacher Tips and Tricks

I am so excited to try using a teacher binder this semester to help me stay organized! Great tips for making it fit what you need. #teacherbinder

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