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Controversy Over College Application
Essay Sites

By PAMELA MENDELS
June 23, 1999

Cambridge Essay Service, is run by Sanford Kreisberg, a freelance writer who taught expository writing at Harvard for years. Kreisberg has been working privately with students on essays for about 15 years, he said . . .

"I say 'look, what do you want to say here? What's your thesis? Could you provide more detail -- and write it again.'" Kreisberg said. "I can't write [the essay] for them. It's their experience."

. . . .

[S]ome admissions officers fear the services take advantage of the nervousness students and parents feel in applying for college and graduate school. "What bothers me is a lot of these services are, in essence, capitalizing on anxiety about the application process," Furstenberg said.

 


Kreisberg refutes that. He says that it is application essay writing that is anxiety-producing and he can assist in making it less painful.

As for feeding inequity, company officials assert that unfairness has long been part of essay writing. The student who has a well-educated parent with time and a grasp of writing, or the student who is enrolled in a better suburban school with essay preparation courses, or the student whose parents pay for a writing coach all benefit from an unlevel playing field, they say.

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[AND WHAT DID THE REPORTER, PAMELA MENDELS, SAY TO SANDY AFTER INTERVIEWING ALL THE PEOPLE WHO RUN ESSAY SERVICES]

Thank you, Sandy.
You more than anyone else I interviewed gave me a real sense of what the business is all about. I only wish I could have worked into the story [your idea about ] the successful essays cited by the Stanford/Harvard alum mags, but I didn't have time by deadline to confirm/get comment from the university end.

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