Theory of Opinion

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What’s an SFD? How about a PFD?

It’s a Stinky First Draft!

As college advisors, helping our students create compelling, memorable

and differentiated application essays is critical to their success (and ours).


And while a first draft is meant to be rough, it may also lack the substance

or direction to take it somewhere great.


Do you need new ideas to help extract uniquely compelling essays from your students?


Do you find that many high school students don’t understand that college essays are NOT just another expository writing exercise?


Prior to COVID-19, admissions officers have shared, “We see lots of students with exceptional GPAs and strong test scores, so college application essays really matter. Yet, so many applicants’ essays are boring and lack impact.”


When drafting a college essay, some students may not know where to begin. Given how many colleges/universities will be test-optional for the Class of 2021, stellar college essays are going to be more important than ever before.


CounselMore’s webinar featuring Paula Friedman, Founder of The

Academic Match, will help you to learn about a proven resource that can

help turn SFDs into PFDs (Promising First Drafts).


Join us on Tuesday,

June 9 th at 10am PST to learn more about BIG Essay Idea Cards, an

interactive process that really helps your students share and learn more.


Originally launched in 2016, BIG Essay Idea Cards were designed and

tested by three IEC’s, (my sister Linda Litner, my business associate Jodi

Sears, and me).


Since selling out the first run, we updated the cards in 2019 to enable counselors to identify “aha moments” while demystifying the college essay writing process for students. BIG Essay Idea Cards have become a popular resource used by college advisors across the U.S.



Paula Litner Friedman: College & Career Advisor, Founder of The

Academic Match based in Westlake Village, CA and the part-time College & Career Center Advisor at Oak Park High School in Oak Park, CA. Consumer insights/market researcher in the CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry for 25+ years prior to becoming an independent educational consultant in 2011.

Paula graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Psychology and French from Duke University. She earned her MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and her College Counseling Certificate with Distinction from UCLA. Paula has been married to her husband Howard for 31 years. They have 2 grown sons (Dan-29 and

Jeremy-almost 26) and a senior rescue dog (Sparky-15).


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