The best college essays are written from the heart of the student. That doesn’t mean that essays always have to be serious and deep. But it does mean that your essay could only have been written by you.
I recently read a book called “True Notebooks” that gave some of the best examples of writing from the heart that I have ever read. “True Notebooks” is written by Mark Salzman and is his story about teaching writing to violent teenage offenders in a juvenile detention facility waiting to be sentenced.
The teenagers in this book are not well educated and not motivated to learn. They don’t know, or care about, proper English syntax. But the writing they produce is moving and heartfelt because they are writing about what they know.They are not writing about world changing events but rather are writing about the small things that their lives revolve around.
These teenagers are not worried about impressing a college admissions officer with their writing. They are just writing because there is not much else to do will waiting sentencing. I will caution readers that the language used by the teenagers is often crude and may offend some people. But in their world, that is how people communicate.
I think every student should read “True Notebooks” before beginning to write their college essays. It will help you understand what writing from the heart really means and it will also make you understand how blessed you are to have the life you have. So stop by your local library and pick up a copy. You will be glad you did.