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Picking an Essay Editor


I always advise students to invite someone to read their essays before submitting them to a college. As a professional writer, I belong to several critique groups and would never dream of submitting work to an editor without having a fresh set of eyes review it first. In the case of college application essays, WHO you ask to read your work and WHAT you tell them to look for makes all of the difference in the world. You have several editors at your disposal:

1. Your English Teacher
Ask your English teacher to read for grammar and spelling mistakes. Ask, “Does this look polished and cohesive?” However, remember that English teachers are not admissions officers. Your English teacher reads an essay as 1 out of 30. The admissions officer reads an essay as 1 out of 1000’s. Your English teacher reads your essay to assign one grade out of many. The admissions officer reads to determine if they should offer you one spot out of relatively very few.

2. Your Best Friend
Invite your best friend to read your essay and ask, “Does this sound like me?” You have a unique voice and natural way of saying things. Many students put on their “intellectual college app hats” and produce essays which sound stuffy and unnatural. Ask your best friend to help you avoid this mistake. Ask, “Is it interesting?” and “Do I sound likeable?”

3. Your Mom/Dad
Ask Mom or Dad to read to answer the question, “Could you pick my essay out of the stack?” (Another variation of, “Does this sound like me?”)

4. A Guidance Counselor
Ask, “Do I make a compelling case for why I chose this school?” You need to connect the dots in your essay and explain why you are the best candidate for that particular school, as much as why it is a great fit for you.

5. A Professional Editor with Specialized Experience
I have edited essays, articles and books and worked with many different writers as their writing coach. My editing packages range from a basic spelling and grammar check, to helping you take an idea to outline, to rough draft, and to completed work.


With the EssayLady, you work with ONE editor (me!) from start to finish for an easy, seamless process. I am your mentor, sounding board, strategist, coach, guide and partner. You are not paying for short-term benefits, but help to achieve your goals. Coaching is always focused on your wants, needs and goals.
Heather Tomasello