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Understanding the college essay

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Is a college entrance essay in your future? Write it sooner rather than later advised, Skaneateles' Margaret Tiedemann.

To understand this college essay, one must first understand oneself. Well, not exactly, but the essay is a piece of writing that focuses on you, the author, according to Tiedemann, an expert on all things regarding college placement. She is the executive director of Educational Consultants located in the Masonic Temple Building at 11 East Genesee St., in the village of Skaneateles. Part of her practice involves how to do what when, and she will even help with how to choose where to go when it comes to higher education.

She offered her expertise for free to area youth on the college admission's essay at The First Presbyterian in Skaneateles, on Friday Feb. 9.

Eight Skaneateles students and their parents gathered with Tiedemann, the Director of Christian Education Linda Fowler, Rev. Lindsay and his wife, Judy.

The entrance essay can also be considered the gatekeeper for many college entrance experiences. Tiedemann said this wasn't always the case and not with all colleges, but today it is a pretty important part of the application. She asked how many parents had to write this essay and most hadn't.

Tiedemann created an outline for the process, surprisingly, the essay is not supposed to be a long document. Instead, it must be kept to fewer than 500 words, or about a page and a half. Each word must count, she said.

She gave six sample essay topics and informed students about what not to write about.

Her number-one pick to write about is your family. It is only personal to you (not the reader), and a little humor or entertainment goes a long way for the person whose job it is to read all these essays.

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