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The College Admissions Essay & Beyond

Session B: July 20 - July 30, 2021
9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
College Prep
English and Writing
Jane Robbins Mize

In this class, you will learn how to write a college admissions essay that expresses your individual spirit, interests, and achievements. We’ll address questions such as: How do I begin? How do I revise? How do I know when it’s finally ready to submit? Over the course of two weeks, students will have the opportunity to brainstorm ideas, write first drafts, and receive feedback from a group of supportive and savvy peers.

Along the way, you’ll also work toward discovering and developing your personal writing process. As you prepare for undergraduate coursework, you’ll be asking yourself: How do I work best as a writer? How do I find inspiration? How do I respond best to feedback? Many students learn some version of “the writing process” during their time in high school—but writing isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice. We’ll discuss alternatives, expansions, and enrichments of the process as students find their unique, creative voices.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will learn what makes a successful college admissions essay.
  2. Students will draft a college admissions essay and receive feedback from instructor and their peers.
  3. Students will study versions of the writing process, discover how they write best, and develop their identity as a successful writer at the college level.

Week 1

Day 1: The Basics of the College Admissions Essay
Day 2: Discovering Your Writing Process
- Reading: Selections from Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Day 3: The Art of Brainstorming
Day 4: The Imperfect Outline
Day 5: Writing the First Draft

Week 2

Day 6: Peer Reviews
Day 7: Breaking Out of the Writing Process
- Reading: What It Is by Lynda Barry
Day 8: Academic Writing is Creative Writing
- Reading: Selections from They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing by Graff & Birkenstein
Day 9: Finding Your Voice