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“But I can’t write!” is the wail I hear repeatedly when my students realize they have to write essays that will help launch them into the next stage of life. However, the truth is that they, like every other writer, simply need help. I discovered Alan Gelb’s book Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps this spring as I was digging for ways to help my students. I knew that I had found a gold mine of tips and step-by-step directions, and even better, this “gold mine” was student-centric and designed to be used by students. I want to get this book into my students' hands this year as we tackle the college entrance essay together. They will have writing prompts and chapters to read which we will then discuss in class as we work collaboratively to create and then edit, and edit, and edit essays that they can be proud of and that will help them get into the college of their choice. However, what I really expect them to gain from this book and our time together is a better understanding of the writing process as a whole. I also know that they will develop a growing confidence in themselves as writers and editors. These are driven and intelligent students who are ready to move beyond the bounds of our small town and the safety of familiarity. They just need a little extra help.

About my class

“But I can’t write!” is the wail I hear repeatedly when my students realize they have to write essays that will help launch them into the next stage of life. However, the truth is that they, like every other writer, simply need help. I discovered Alan Gelb’s book Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps this spring as I was digging for ways to help my students. I knew that I had found a gold mine of tips and step-by-step directions, and even better, this “gold mine” was student-centric and designed to be used by students. I want to get this book into my students' hands this year as we tackle the college entrance essay together. They will have writing prompts and chapters to read which we will then discuss in class as we work collaboratively to create and then edit, and edit, and edit essays that they can be proud of and that will help them get into the college of their choice. However, what I really expect them to gain from this book and our time together is a better understanding of the writing process as a whole. I also know that they will develop a growing confidence in themselves as writers and editors. These are driven and intelligent students who are ready to move beyond the bounds of our small town and the safety of familiarity. They just need a little extra help.

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