Friday, August 8, 2014

Book Review: Admissions essay bootcamp

ASHLEY WELLINGTON, MA, founded college prep company Mint Tutors ( in 2010. With degrees from Princeton University and St. Andrews University in Scotland, Wellington has worked with several premier tutoring agencies. She lives with her husband and daughter in New York City.

Founder of elite college prep agency Mint Tutors, Ashley Wellington shares hard-hitting essay-writing advice tailored to each student's strengths and potential pitfalls, inspiring students to write as if guided by their own personal college admissions tutor. 

My Review:
"College essays do more than just showcase your writing ability; ideally, they illustrate your priorities, admirable traits, creativity, and academic promise."

Besides being a  beautiful example of how to use a semicolon, this sentence serves as the book's thesis statement. In 176 pages, Ashley Wellington shows us how to turn away from the old "grammar + sob story = perfect essay" formula to start writing admissions essays that really show off who we are. She walks you through everything from finding your student type (I'm a dabbler with a dash of secret prodigy) to how to write cliches if you're really set on writing them.

While I'm a bit past the age of admissions essays, this book makes me wish job applications had an essay section--I'm sure now I'd be able to get any job I want. But the reason I picked this up was to see if it was good enough to pass on to my sister, who is nearing that age of college applications.

The good news: I would buy this for her in a heartbeat.
The bad: The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way in this entire book was the second to last sentence: "I hope you found this guide helpful."

First of all: Yes, of course I did. You do this for a living! Don't go doubting yourself by introducing the possibility that anyone could find this book unhelpful. If it was unhelpful, I wouldn't have made it all the way to the end. Second: This is a book, not a blog post. Own that.

Star rating: Last sentence aside, five of five.

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