SOS College Resources

Resources for Mentees



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SummerTIME is a summer bridge program for underrepresented college-bound students from LA Unified School District high schools.  Run out of USC’s Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, the program helps students develop their writing and “college knowledge” to ensure a successful first year.

Writing essays in college can be one of the most demanding tasks first-year students will face.   This program offers an excellent opportunity to gear up for the kinds of writing tasks college will require.

Application deadline: May 15
Program Duration: July 6-July 30th, 2010

(Since the program is offered annually, please check website for updated deadlines.)

Requirements: Personal statement, transcript, and one letter of recommendation.

Please reply to this post with news of similar programs in other parts of the country.

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Newsweek: How to Write the Perfect College Essay

Newsweek magazine highlights some tips for crafting an original essay, though it is by no means a definitive guide.

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[?] Personal Statement

Here you can find an exhaustive guide to thinking about, writing, and revising a personal statement. Including many frequently asked questions and personal statement dos and dont’s, provides degree-specific advice and formatting tips.

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Writing the Personal Statement

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue provides a list of personal questions for getting started on writing a personal statement as well as some basic advice on what to include and what to avoid.

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Advice to Improve Your Writing

Express yourself in positive language and use transitions between paragraphs. Transitions, which tie one paragraph to the next, compound sentences, and being concise hold the reader’s attention. Be succinct, and make every word count. Each sentence and every word should state something new, so you shouldn’t be repeating yourself.

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The Must Do and Don’t of Writing an Essay

The Best Do and Don’t of Writing an Essay

The Do

Before you begin writing, choose what you want to discuss and the order in which you want to discuss it. Give it a theme or thesis, and use concrete examples from your life experience to support your thesis and distinguish yourself from other applicants.

The Don’t

Don’t include information that doesn’t support your thesis, write an autobiography, itinerary, or resume in prose. Also, your essay should not be an elaborate excuse for low grades or scores. Essays should be about something that excites you and that you are passionate about.

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Writing the Essay: Sound Advice from an Expert

The University of Virginia website provides an analysis of good, bad, and risky personal statements. Written from the perspective of an assistant dean, the page provides useful insights for students seeking to write an original essay.

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Getting Into College: The Personal Statement

Getting Into College: The Personal Statement is a great resource that provides its readers with much needed information to successfully write an engaging personal statement.

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Admission Hook

This site gives extensive tips for writing a personal statement and features videos discussing the application process. Check out the blog for more writing tips. The organization also offers annual scholarship opportunities.

Here is a sample video:

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