Across the country, parents and high school seniors are in the middle of the daunting college application process, especially the much-feared, often misunderstood personal essay portion. How important is the essay section? Enough to potentially make the difference between getting into the school of your choice, or landing on the reject pile. A lousy essay can sink a student with terrific grades and test scores; likewise, a compelling, well-crafted essay just might push a more moderate achiever over the top and into class next fall.

Perhaps Danes are enjoying an income bubble” like the housing bubble that we’ve lived through in the U.S. Is the Danish economy reaching a bubbling, boiling point based on their oil-production-based economy? As long as Denmark has oil and oil remains expensive perhaps this economy will not go bust. I think maybe the Danish economy is a one-legged stool.

Anyone who claims that labor cost does not drive cost must have spent most of their life living in academia. As a retired former business owner i can tell you labor cost is a major factor in the price you set. Before you are allowed to buy yourself a cup of coffee you legally must make sure that the employees are paid. The cost of paying these employees is the one single largest cost in operating a business. This is a domino effect since the cost of materials is set based on the suppliers labor cost. After 35 years in the same business i can easily say my two highest cost were labor and government regulations. You can sit up in your ivory towers of academia and look at charts and read all the data you want. But until you get out into the real world and operate a real business then you cannot comprehend what it takes to operate a business.

Throw in a twist. Take a piece of writing you had all planned out—or even finished—and add a twist ending. And instead of trying to reverse that twist and get back to what you’d originally planned, run with it in a new direction. See what your brain can do with a roadblock and try to incorporate the twist as organically as possible. You might surprise yourself and end up with an even better ending than you had before.

Your Essay. Your response to the passage should examine the author’s choices in presenting the argument rather than the informational content of the passage. You will want to discuss how the author assembles the argument rather than restate what the argument is.

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A: In 1998 I was a nurse working for a software company. I wanted to take a fun weekend workshop so I circled ads in Gourmet Magazine, which was still around then, for places like Vermont and New Hampshire. One day this beautiful application package from Le Cordon Bleu arrived.

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