Admissions Essays

How can you help students with college-application essays?

I can guide students through the entire process of writing the essay: from initial brainstorming to final draft. Many students, however, just use me as the final editor of essays they’ve worked on previously. One of my strengths is trimming down essays dramatically so that they fit the required length. In my twenties, I co-edited a book, with Barbara Tran and Monique Truong,  called Watermark: Vietnamese-American Poetry & Prose” (Asian-American Writers Workshop: 1998)            

(Please click here to see my published works and bibliography.)

Below are few sample essays that I've edited, to help my former students.

Sample Edit 1: (Common App Essay: 650 words max)  Question: Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

Sample Edit 2: (Supplemental Essay: 250 words max) Question: Please feel free to tell the admissions committee any additional information about yourself, information that is not mentioned elsewhere on your application.  

Sample Edit 3: (Common App Essay: 650 words max)  Question: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.  If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Sample Edit 4: (Supplemental Essay for UPenn: 500 words max). Question: 
Ben Franklin once said, “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.” Which are you?     © Khoi Luu 2020