After each meeting, the student should spend at least one hour to incorporate the previous session’s feedback, make improvements to writing follow-up drafts, and to further develop the essay’s themes and tonality. At each subsequent meeting, the student and I will review the essay to-date and continue to build upon the foundation by refining the essay’s structure, content and style. After four-weeks of meetings and homework editing, the college essay should accurately and meaningfully reflect the student’s ideas in responding to the essay question and show a substantial improvement from their initial draft.
On Thursday, Aug. 24, first-year students moved into their residence halls at Connecticut College. I’ll bet if you had asked them where they were last year at the same time, they’d say: where you are now. And if you asked how it was to write the essay, they’d say it was one of the most challenging parts of the application.
With college costs increasingly becoming one of the most expensive investments (sometimes even more than a house), it is important for the student’s essay to break through the clutter and differentiate the student from other applicants. I have developed a four week, step-by-step process that helps to effectively manage the creative development of the writing process.
Countless parents and students have asked me to read their writing or help a student to begin the writing process. My purpose in creating College Essay Coach is to develop and share a structural framework to assist in writing the college essay. The goal is for the student to feel accomplishment with each step taken. Within four weeks of one-on-one meetings and homework editing, the student will develop and write a personal and impactful essay that reflects their ideas, thought process and future interests. The college essay writing process will help the student with the SAT writing section and future college writing assignments.
The four week process includes weekly two-hour meetings at the student’s home or at my office. For our first meeting, the student will bring a rough draft or an outline of their college essay. This will allow us to benchmark at each stage of the writing process how the student’s essay has progressed. Our discussions to evolve the writing process will include brainstorming, word exercises, and organization techniques.
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Woo hoo! A lab where you don't even need to wear goggles? Sign us up! Our college essay lab will walk you through your application essay, how you can wow the pants off admissions officers. Seriously. When they call to invite you to their university, they will be pantsless. Don't let it bother you.
It’s a little-known fact that even the students who absolutely love to write struggle with the application essay. So if you’ve been biting your nails or tearing your hair out even a little, you’re not alone.
A good reviewer will help you to see your essay's strengths and weaknesses clearly. They'll point to where you may've strayed from the question, failed to address it, or failed to answer all its parts. They'll give you a sense of where your readers may feel lost, confused, unsure of your meaning, or unconvinced by your evidence or logic. They will brainstorm with you about the question, asking probing questions to help you answer the question in a way that brings your key strengths to light, and that helps you fill in information that is scant or missing and weed out or reduce extraneous details. For the purpose of revising a college application or award essay, it may also be useful to have a reviewer who has specialized knowledge of the audience and purpose toward which this type of essay is directed. In the end, good reviewers will not attempt to rewrite the essay in their own words but will instead guide you toward improving your own draft. Their feedback will help you to revise the essay more successfully and in less time than you could manage on your own.
Your college essay should be a brief essay about who you are and what you intend to study at the academic institution of your choosing. You should write an essay that is strong and personal while being specific and focused. You will need to speak about who you are and who you hope to become. You need to connect who you want to become with the institution you believe will help you achieve your goal. You should note what you have studied while in high school; what activities you have joined both in and out of school; and you should write specifically about how the college of your choice meets your needs.
An outline involves three parts: 1) introduction, 2) supporting facts, 3) conclusion. Developing your outline is like building a house-- without a solid foundation or BIG idea, the walls will cave in. Your introduction needs to be connected to your personal BIG idea that best explains the essay topic. The supporting facts should explain a logical flow of information which collectively supports your BIG idea. The conclusion is your opportunity to reflect on your personal thoughts, share insights and create images that illustrate how the BIG idea is meaningful to you.