COLLEGE ESSAY WORKSHOP

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COLLEGE ESSAY summer writing workshop

How important is the college essay?

Certainly the most important criteria for college admissions is the student’s GPA, strength of curriculum, and test scores (if required). However, when applying to colleges, especially selective schools, most applicants have similar academic profiles. So what else do colleges look at to determine admittance? Extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and the college essay/personal statement are factors which reveal character, personality, motivation, and fit for the college.

You have a unique background, interests and personality. The college essay is your chance to tell your story or, at least, part of it. The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you. Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine.

Admissions officers have to read an unbelievable number of college essays, most of which are forgettable. Many students try to sound academic rather than sounding like themselves. Others write about a subject which they think will impress admissions officers but has no personal value. 

The college essay can set you apart from others and allow college admissions to look at you beyond numbers. It can be the determining factor of matriculation into the school of your choice.

COURSE

DESCRIPTION

The two weeklong Essay Workshop begins in a dynamic, small virtual setting, then moves to individual virtual meetings to complete the entire essay process. From the development of an original and compelling idea, to the drafting and revision process, every student will benefit from a professional review, and will leave the workshop with a vivid and meaningful College Application Essay. Each class will have a maximum of 30 students.

Here are the topics covered in the virtual classroom setting:

  • Importance of the essay and what admissions counselors are looking for in it

  • Common Application Essay Topics and Supplemental Essays: Including often written topics and recent topics
  • Sample College Essays will be read and analyzed
  • Writing techniques
  • Revision and General Rules for Writing and Grammar
  • Personal Writing Style and Voice
  • Personal Assessment Prompts to help with ideas for topics

Individual Meetings

  • Students will have two or three (depends on student’s needs) individual virtual meetings with their instructor.
  • All virtual meetings will be done in Zoom and students will have opportunities to choose dates/times.
  • Students are responsible to sign up for individual meetings which typically last 20-30 minutes.

Typical Class Schedule

  • Monday: Virtual Classroom Setting
  • Wednesday/Thursday: Virtual Meeting with instructor to discuss topic selection
  • Sunday: 5pm Rough Draft is due. Instructor will review and return to students by Tuesday at 5pm.
  • Wednesday/Thursday: Virtual Meeting with instructor to discuss rough draft.
  • Saturday: 5pm final draft is due.
  • Sunday/Monday: Virtual meeting with instructor if needed.

WORKSHOPS

Cost per student: $330

WORKSHOP I

June 14 – June 27

Jonas Halley

Instructor of Composition & Philosophy Dean College. M,Ed. Fitchburg State College, PhD University of Rhode Island (anticipated completion 2022).

WORKSHOP II

July 6 – July 19

Jonas Halley

Instructor of Composition & Philosophy Dean College. M,Ed. Fitchburg State College, PhD University of Rhode Island (anticipated completion 2022).

WORKSHOP III

July 19 – August 1

Denise Oliveira

Instructor for URI College Writing Course and English Department Chair at Westerly High School, 2003-present. National Board Certified 2014. M.Ed. University of New Haven.

WORKSHOP IV

July 26 – August 8

MELISSA TALLARDY

Instructor of English and Film Studies, Westerly Public Schools, 2000-present.
M.Ed. Western Governors University

*A maximum of 25 students.

WORKSHOP V

August 2 – August 15

DAVID TANSKI

Instructor of American and British Literature at La Salle Academy, 2005 – Present. M.Ed. Providence College

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if I can’t attend the virtual class on Monday night?

No problem, the class will be recorded so you can watch at your convenience. However, we recommend you’re able to view it by Tuesday, so you don’t fall behind.

Does the instructor sign me up for my individual virtual meetings?

No, students are responsible to choose a time. We offer two days to choose from for each meeting time so students have flexibility to fit their needs.

What if I’m not comfortable with virtual learning?

No problem, we will have tutorials on our site so you can see how to use Zoom. If you still aren’t comfortable the instructor will walk you through it.

What if I register and pay for the class, then decide to cancel?

You can cancel with a full refund up to one week prior to the start of class. After that you may choose another class (if open), otherwise there are no refunds.

Is the instructor responsible for the final draft?

The instructor will provide advice and support in the choice of topics and the entire process of writing, but students are responsible for drafting on their own and completing the final essay.

How do I secure a spot in the class, since it was sold out last year?

You need to register and pay in full to secure your spot in class. Once 25 students register we will offer a wait list.

I think the college essay course helped create a Common App college essay that I can feel proud of. I liked the in-person meetings and those corrections one-on-one strengthened the quality of my essay. I also liked the note-taking and reading previous college essay class prior to writing the essay before the meetings. I feel that the class component of the course gave me the tools I needed to think of a strong topic and create a sufficient first draft. All in all, I had a really great time and I am proud of my essay. Thank you so much Mr. Tanski, without your help, my essay would not be at the same level it is right now.

Very helpful, would recommend! Gave me the motivation to start and finish my essay during the summer.

The class and the revision meetings were very helpful. I definitely felt ahead of the game because my essay was done before the start of school.

I found the College Essay course very insightful. I learned many new techniques and tips about writing the college essay. The meetings helped me to solidify what I was writing about and how my essay was going. It helped to relieve the stress of getting it done and knowing it is done right. I would recommend this course to others because it was an easy way to get essay done and relieve the stress of writing it during the first semester of school.

I think that this course was extremely helpful, it was really nice having the essay done over the summer and having one less thing to worry about. The individual meetings were the most helpful part of the whole course.

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