College Application Essay Class

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Stressed Out About Your College Application Essay?

Take action!   Get a head start on the application process and ease your anxiety about writing a great college essay.  Since test scores and grades on your high school transcript only provide a limited view of who you are and what you have to offer, the essay might be one of the most important parts of your college application. The average college essay reveals your likes or dislikes. A great college essay gives admissions officers the opportunity to discover your voice through your writing. What do you want colleges to know about you that can’t be communicated through the numbers?

During this eight-hour class, you will:

  • Familiarize yourself with the new Common Application writing prompts
  • Brainstorm ideas for potential essay topics
  • Read and annotate examples of engaging essays
  • Receive personal feedback on your drafts
  • Write a polished narrative-driven essay that will capture the attention of an admissions office

Course Ideas:

This could be a five- or eight-hour course, depending on how much students want to write at home on their own time or during the sessions at the Learning Center.  This course would be better suited for students who aren’t sure what to write about and need help getting ideas for their college application essay.  (Students who are already generating rough drafts on their own could just take advantage of my advice and feedback at an hourly rate.)

Much of this course would be adapted from a personal essay unit that I use in my own 11 AP and 12 Regents classes.  Many of my students have claimed that this unit produced the most personal and meaningful writing they have created.  I rely heavily upon NPR’s radio program “This I Believe” and many of their educational materials for generating ideas and developing well-written personal essays.

Hour one: “50 Things I Believe” activity

Hour two: Become familiar with the Common Application essay prompts

Distinguish personal essays from memoirs and personal narratives

Hour three: What do you really believe?

Craft value statements/Brainstorm important moments and life events

Hour four: What works? Annotating effective essays

Hour five: Write the first draft

Hour six: Peer review (if multiple students enroll)

Writer’s conference: mine for diamonds in the rough/respond to feedback

Hour seven: Write the second rough draft

Hour eight: Fine-tune and polish the final piece

Focus on grammar, syntax, diction

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