College Liftoff: Writing Portfolio

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College Liftoff

Columbus, OH engineer Aaron Greene founded College Liftoff in 2009 to help families navigate the financial, academic and written requirements for applying to college. His clients graduate ready to "lift off" in their future careers without mountains of debt to repay. Today, Aaron gives presentations all across Ohio and consults with families all over the world.

LIftoff Marketing

Liftoff Marketing was born the same month as College Liftoff. We collaborated to choose a company name that suggested Aaron's experience as an aviation engineer while stating benefits to clients. A full branding package followed with blogging and oversight of College Liftoff's first website. In 2011, Liftoff Marketing founded the online College Liftoff Writing Center, where we guide students as they write their college essays. A step-by-step essay guide curriculum included design and copy from the team. College Liftoff continues to expand its excellent services and social media with help from Liftoff Marketing.

Excerpts from Writing Center Reviews

Student essays are confidential, but here are some examples of the feedback that students receive.

+ See if you can begin fewer sentences with the word "I."

+ "In addition, earning the award…" should be a new paragraph. You don't really need "In addition" -- "Earning the award taught me" would be a nice strong paragraph beginner.

+ "I hope to attend…" You've already been accepted to the program, so you don't hope to attend, you will attend! Begin with something like "This fall I will be one of only a few women attending the University of Michigan's Materials Science and Engineering program."

+ You have a fantastic line in the middle of your essay: "I had been preparing for this moment for awhile and I didn't even realize it." Because most college admissions people will read only the first paragraph of your essay, what do you say to making that your first sentence? It sets the reader up with suspense, anticipation and curiosity.

+ I wouldn't mention this to every student, but because you plan to pursue marketing, it's relevant to you. The climax of your essay as I read it is "I was taught that giving up is never an option." The core of that statement is really quite powerful. That's the reason you believe this school should admit you. Can you use an active verb (maybe from your SAT vocab list) instead of the passive voice "I was taught?" Which person or experience taught you that? By writing that sentence in active voice instead of passive voice, you'll not only have a stronger climactic sentence, but you'll also focus part of the essay on someone besides yourself, which will be very refreshing for the reader. It adds flavor to the story.


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