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3 Essential Books for Writing the Personal Statement

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bookshelf personal statementWhile it’s important to recharge your batteries over the weekend and during school breaks, these rest periods also present great opportunities for you to start visiting colleges and learning more about the admissions process in general. That’s why we’ve handpicked three eye-opening books that you could easily read over a long weekend or break. They all offer unique and invaluable insights that will completely change the way you think about the college essay and about writing in general.

1. The Elements of Style, E.B. White and William Strunk, Jr.

We know what you’re thinking. “A grammar book? Who even reads this?!” But it’s a classic for anyone who wants to brush up on the rules of standard American usage. Plus, it’s super short and you’ll know exactly where to look for answers to your trickiest syntax questions.

2. On Writing the College Application Essay, Harry Bauld

This is the definitive book on the college essay – and believe it or not it’s actually a really entertaining read. Even though it was written in the 80s (literally before you were born) it offers amazing advice that is still applicable today. It’s also a great companion read for College Essay Academy, and will help you reinforce what you learn from each video lesson.

3. On Writing, Stephen King

Yes! You get to read a Stephen King book where no one gets murdered or haunted. Even though the book generally describes King’s approach to fiction, the writer of some of the world’s most riveting stories has some amazing advice about storytelling. (And some bold opinions on adverbs.) He also shares details about his life and personal anecdotes that might just inspire you in your own personal writing.

BONUS pick for parents: Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, Frank Bruni

Are you already freaking out? Don’t. Frank Bruni’s honest take on the value of a college education sheds new light on this stress-filled and high-pressure topic. You will be fine. You all will.

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