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Concise Advice: Jump-Starting Your College Admissions Essays (Second Edition) Perfect Paperback – January 31, 2011


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Arasian; 2 edition (January 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974386723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974386720
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,988,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If you are currently a high school senior who worries that you've never cured cancer or published a novel and thus will have nothing significant to share at application time, this book is for you. --CollegeConfidential.com Book Reviews

Still writing college essays? Take a look at Concise Advice: Jump-Starting Your College Application Essays by Robert Cronk --Charlotte Observer, Countdown to College

Robert Cronk's recently published book, Concise Advice: Jump-Starting Your College Admissions Essay suggests a clever cinematic model for showing and not telling your story. --Examiner.com

From the Author

Interview With the Author

So, how did this book come about?
I have been interested in college admissions topics ever since my second son was in high school and getting interested in majors and schools. I actually did some research for him in terms of helping him with his list of schools he might look at, found collegeconfidential.com (affectionately known as "CC") and got hooked. It's a site where students get together and discuss admissions, majors, school life, admissions chances, essays, and tons of other areas. I gravitated to the Parents Forum on that site. Occasionally, the subject of essays would arise and I thought I had a "formula" for writing essays. With lots of discussion, I refined the approach and put it into a book.

And the approach was to use movie scripts as a model for "show, don't tell?"

 [Laughs] No, the first approach to the book, while creating similar essays, wasn't really that specific. A germ of the idea was there, but it was only after I read the first draft that the revelation came, Once I had the flash about screenplay structure, all the rest fell into place instantly. I immediately rewrote the whole book tying the approach to films. It just seemed to make sense to me.

Well, it made sense to me also, and I guess to a lot of other people too.
Actually, I wasn't sure what to expect. I can't really judge my own writing, but the words flowed so easily in creating the book that I thought it might be an easy read as well. I showed the manuscript to a few people and was totally surprised to get very positive feedback. People who read it actually got excited about it. I've never had that happen before. I was especially surprised by reactions from three teachers who just raved about it in the context of what they thought would really make a difference in helping their students.

And then you had it published.
Yes, sort of incrementally published [laughing]. It came out first as a Amazon Kindle eBook, then as  what I call a "real book," the softbound version.

Do you think the Kindle version would sell?
The Kindle version had been out only a week and I had done no promotional work at all except to note on CC that I had published this little book. I was waiting for my fist shipment of "real books" and only then I would start some kind of campaign. But before that happened, my sister called and said, "You're number 33 on Amazon's Best-Seller List." That was hard to believe, and I found out that wasn't quite true. It was a much narrower list: Best-Selling Kindle Books in the Education Reference category. See, define narrow enough categories and we can all be best-selling authors. But hey, I was still shocked. And since the list is updated hourly, I watched as it went all the way to Number 4. The positive reviews on the site really helped, I think, as well as the fact that if you searched for "College Essay Advice" mine was the first book that came up. Even searching on "College Essays" brought up my book as second on the list. So even before we started promoting it, it started selling. Frankly, I was flabbergasted.

What's your background?
 I've always loved to teach. I've taught at the high school and university levels and I've even taught an adult GED class. My undergrad degree was in Physics at Georgia Tech and my graduate degree, Information Science, also came from Tech. I also did graduate work at the University of South Florida in Secondary Math Education. I've always thought the perfect job was half teaching and half research. So one of my favorite jobs was working at the Artificial Intelligence Lab of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie-Mellon University. I went to the department and asked to teach at least one class. They responded that it was not what I was hired for, but gave me a section of a computer programming class. I also worked at Bell Labs for many years and now work for Verizon.

Are you still teaching?
Heavens no. I've been out of teaching for a while. But here's a funny story. I recently volunteered at a public elementary school in an area where many of the kids have "transient" families, staying in one place but a short while before moving on. And the class I got assigned to was kindergarten kids! I was impressed with the teacher I was helping. Now that's hard work. Believe me, older kids are so much easier.

Well, I wish you continued success. I think your book will be a real lifeline for students struggling with essays.
Thank you. The feedback I've gotten from students themselves is so much more important to me than all the other reviews. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Got book for my current HS student.
lpro
If you love the movies, and the story arc; from anticipation, to building the plot to a great and memorable ending that stays with you... you will love this book.
Momoftwo
This book gives valuable advice on writing essays.
Wendy Chase

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By beehivemom on November 1, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My daughter was feeling over whelmed by the multitude of essays and free response questions that were required on the Common Application and the individual supplements. This book not only helps students get prepared to write in a direct and simple manner, the step by step process helps them create unique and memorable essays that will stand out during the admission cycle. Some of the prompts out there today can perplex even the most intelligent of students and this book helps get to the core of what these Admission Committees want.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary on November 17, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Jump-Starting Your College Admissions Essays comes along just when we need a fresh, step by step plan to help students write college essays. Examine the ponderous ACT or SAT Test Preparation Books to fully appreciate this efficient and witty approach to the dreaded college essay. Students who avoid yet another weighty tome willingly read this concise book with short friendly chapters and "do-able" suggestions. Mr. Cronk seems to have his finger on the pulse of this particular need, and his perspective gives readers straight-forward advice that will inspire students already well schooled in English essays and history papers, to write a reflective and insightful narrative. This little book gives concrete advice, models the process, and demonstrates the metamorphosis of real student essays. The advice circumvents the essay advice steeped in classroom-teacher-talk and/or guidance-counselor-suggestion and inspires a student-- whether weak, average or gifted-- to find his voice and write an essay he can own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Kolstad on October 5, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Essays are the 'mystery round' of college applications. What are they looking for? How do you go about creating one? Can you use the same one for different applications? How do you know if your essay is good enough?

This book offers an approachable methodology for creating essays that anyone can use. In a very breezy manner, Cronk shows not only how to craft a core essay, but how to adapt it to dozens of different situations found on typical college applications.

The book includes both a methodology and a set of examples that are not only analyzed but also adapted to satisfy different requirements.

The book is concise, as the title suggests, and easy to read. Anyone creating application essays will find that this book will reduce their stress levels dramatically.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caroline on June 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The author of this book provided me with invaluable guidance as I faced the daunting task of crafting college essays last fall, and it paid off in spades when I received acceptance letters from some of the top schools in the nation.
This book is concise and straightforward but rich in wisdom and creative advice. It will give you the tools to write a phenomenal essay and find meaning or inspiration in unlikely places- a single moment or seemingly unremarkable event- especially if it seems like your life isn't all that extraordinary. Concise Advice vastly simplifies the overwhelming process of applying to college, and I would highly recommend it to any/all highschoolers as they consider and plan for the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Chase on November 1, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
This book gives valuable advice on writing essays. It is written to help students with college entrance essays, but actually it is extremely helpful for anyone who needs to write an essay. My high school aged son found Concise Advice easy to read and full of beneficial tips for writing essays. The book helped him get started writing in a non-threatening manner. It then helped him to come up with methods to write interesting papers by using simple straight-forward strategies. My son loved the way the book related writing to movies. We both HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to anyone who has to write an essay.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Nelson on September 29, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
There is no doubt that the application essay can make the difference between college acceptance or rejection (or, as we used to say before e-mail: a fat or thin envelope). Admissions directors want to build a class full of interesting and unique students, but unfortunately most of the essays they read are boring and repetitive.

This book is great for all of those high school juniors and seniors sitting down with a blank piece of paper trying to figure out what to write. "Concise Advice" provides a step-by-step process to help them overcome writer's block and craft an entertaining and compelling personal statement. Cronk then demonstrates how to modify it to answer just about any essay prompt on a college or scholarship application. By following his advice, they will have a better chance of getting more of those coveted fat envelopes or congratulatory e-mails.
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