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CEA Blog

Writerly Nerds of Wisdom: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Topic: Essay Tips  |  Posted on June 3rd, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Students Ask: “Is it bad to start a college essay with a paragraph that is really short?”

Topic: Essay Tips  |  Posted on June 2nd, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

Q: Would it be bad to start with a two-sentence paragraph? All the rest of my paragraphs are normal length. A: When it comes to the college admissions essay, capturing the attention of an admissions officer can be difficult, and an opening paragraph that challenges traditional writing conventions can be an effective way to stand […]

CEA Comics Corner: The Procrastinator’s Inspiration

Topic: College Admissions, Essay Tips  |  Posted on May 29th, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

(Image by Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes)

Students Ask: “What is the fastest way to come up with an essay idea?”

Topic: College Admissions, Essay Tips  |  Posted on May 28th, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

One of our student Facebook friends asked us a great question this week, and as we began to respond, we realized the answer would be helpful to many of our essay-writing disciples.  Thus begins our new CEA series, “Students Ask” in which we will call for questions each week and expound upon the ones we […]

Let’s Talk About Cents: Is Writing A College Essay About Money Too Scandalous?

Topic: College Admissions, Essay Tips  |  Posted on May 21st, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

Recently, New York Times columnist Ron Leiber asked students to submit college admissions essays related to “money, class, working and the economy,” and was rewarded with 66 entries to comb through alongside Harry Bauld, the author of On Writing The College Application Essay.  Together, the two men selected four essays they found both compelling and […]

Writerly Nerds of Wisdom: Stephen King

Topic: Essay Tips  |  Posted on May 9th, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” -Stephen King

It’s Science!: Stand Up For Success

Topic: Essay Tips  |  Posted on May 8th, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

Even when we talk about how it starts, our students are sedentary.  You’re going to sit down and write that essay.  An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal suggests that we should all be doing our work standing up, or at the very least, sitting up straight.  The advisors at CEA should take some lessons […]

Lessons from The Columbia Class of ’17: Honesty Is The Best Revenge

Topic: College Admissions, Essay Tips  |  Posted on May 2nd, 2013  |  Written by Stacey Brook

The Columbia essay controversy is already dying down, but one response to the leak of 70 recently accepted students’ self-posted was particularly notable.  A few days following the internet ambush of the public Google drive that housed these winning admissions scripts, Noah Samotin, one of the Class of ’17 contributors, published a piece in teen […]

Productivity Quick Tip: Disconnect Yourself

Topic: College Admissions, Essay Tips  |  Posted on May 2nd, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

Trust us, we know it’s hard: we love the internet just as much as you do.  Disconnecting yourself from that wi-fi connection can feel as unnatural as swimming fully clothed or spending Saturday night at home watching a Lifetime movie with your parents.  Still, if you allow yourself to work internet-free for an hour or […]

Why The Columbia ’17 Freshmen Should Be Proud of Their “Pretentious” Admissions Essays

Topic: College Admissions, Essay Tips  |  Posted on May 1st, 2013  |  Written by Stacey Brook

Long before the Internet provided a platform for the mass critique of a seventeen-year-old applicant’s painstakingly polished prose, writing the personal statement has been a process fraught with tension and self-doubt.  But as several new additions to Columbia University’s class of 2017 recently discovered, even after your essay secures your admission to the school of […]

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