college essays · elaboration · voice · word

Voice Matters

Jacques Steinberg, an education correspondent for The New York Times, appeared on “The Today Show” yesterday morning.  He talked with Natalie Morales about college essays that worked and didn’t work at some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges.  There were three commonalities I immediately recognized in the essays that worked.  First, the well-written essays had a clear voice.  Second, the well-written excerpts Steinberg showed contained relevant details that helped readers to envision what was being described.  Third, the authors chose precise words to convey their message.

When we teach writing, especially to elementary school students, we rarely think about preparing them to write their college essay, which is one of the most important pieces of writing they’ll be judged on in their lives.  However, the next time you’re conferring with your kiddos, think about a teaching point that will develop their voice in their writing.  It matters, as you’ll notice when you read the samples Steinberg sahred.

Click here to watch the video of the Steinberg interview and to read the essay samples.

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