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About College Bound: The Write Stuff Help

Nancy Frieder hopes her passion for assisting students with their college and post graduate application essays shines through in her blogs. She created The Write Stuff Help to reduce the stress for the applicants and their parents by helping the student pinpoint an essay topic and write it in a... Read more

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Sochi 2014

The Olympic Task of a Compelling Essay Opener

Sochi 2014 Photo | Val 202

Sochi 2014
Photo | Val 202

As much of the world watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the spectacle was worth a billion dollars. That’s more than most of us could contemplate, much less could spend in a lifetime, even if we had it. Was it worth it?

In truth, the answer may vary depending upon who is asked. Sports fans may not think so; fans of pageantry might. A better question might be, “Why was it opened in such a grand fashion?”

The answer is simple: to draw the audience in. The Olympic planners are saying, “Pay attention. What’s in store will be magnificent!”

This is what I advise students when they are working on their college application essays. They must grab their audience (the admissions officers) right from the start, opening their essays in a way to encourage reader to want more.

There’s a lot invested in the Olympics. It’s not just the years and long hours of practice the athletes put into their sport. It’s not just the facilities erected. It’s not just the expense of broadcasting the event around the world. It’s not just the enormous amount of security measures taken to thwart off terrorist attack. The list is mind boggling!

When the Russians decided to spend upwards of a billion dollars to open the festivities, at least for those planning it, the expense was worth it. It was a billion dollar promise that there would be more fantastic things in store–so stick around!

I’m not suggesting anyone needs to spend big bucks on an application essay, or any on writing for that matter. All I’m saying is the writer must invest heavily in effort to capture the reader’s attention right from the start. Follow up that promise with a solid body of work, and then complete it with a bang. (I’ll likely be writing about that in my next blog post!)

That’s all I have to say. I’m more interested in what you think. Did you enjoy the Opening Ceremonies? Do you feel it was worth the expense? Do you feel enough time is spent on the opening paragraph of the application essays? Am I nuts to be associating the Olympics with trying to get into colleges or grad schools? I love hearing from people, so don’t leave me hanging…

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Nancy Frieder

About Nancy Frieder

Nancy Frieder hopes her passion for assisting students with their college and post graduate application essays shines through in her blogs. She created The Write Stuff Help to reduce the stress for the applicants and their parents by helping the student pinpoint an essay topic and write it in a way to attract admissions officers. Those who work with Nancy not only improve their writing, but also learn to target an audience with a unique reflection of themselves in a way that their test scores and GPA cannot.

Nancy has lived in Montgomery County for more than 27 years. She has held reporting and editing positions for both local and national publications, and enjoys substitute teaching in Montgomery County Public Schools. Nancy and her husband just became empty-nesters, as both of their children now attend college. Their dog, Fez, is getting more attention than ever!

Catch up with Nancy on Facebook and at her website The Write Stuff Help.

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