This online workshop is designed to help students produce a top essay in response to a 2019-20 Common Application essay prompt. This workshop isn't intended merely to be “practice” or “instruction,” but rather students should emerge from this workshop with an essay that they can actually use when they apply to colleges in the fall. Almost every college uses the Common App today, but students who know they want to apply to colleges or scholarships that use different prompts are welcome to work on those essays in this workshop instead.
This summer, we'll offer intensive three-week workshops:
- Workshop 1: May 20 - June 9
- Workshop 2: June 10 - June 30 (Note: Work in this workshop will be supervised, and essays commented upon, by Magdalene Baert. All of the instructional content and structure is the same.)
- Workshop 3: July 8 - July 28
- Workshop 4: July 29 - August 18
These intensive workshops will involve instructional messages every weekday and essay drafts due at the end of each week (Sunday). Students should expect to spend up to several hours of work on their essays each day.
This workshop is aimed at homeschooled students who will be seniors in the fall of 2019, but anyone is welcome to participate. Students who wish to prepare more than one admissions essay are welcome to register for more than one workshop.
We'll cover the following topics:
The rhetoric of college applications. What is the purpose of these essays? What do admissions officers spend their days reading, and what do they dream of reading? What kind of persona should you convey, and what pitfalls should you avoid? What unique benefits and risks come with being a homeschooled applicant?
How to strengthen writing while cutting words. The Common App essays have a tight 650-word limit, which is a good thing: most essays can become more vibrant when words are cut. I'll help you learn to choose specifics over generalities, streamline syntax, polish grammar, and write with power.
How you can shine through your essays. My main goal for this workshop is to help you bring your voice through your essays, while also helping you figure out what aspects of your experiences and personality will be most appealing to admissions officers. I want you to emerge with an essay that sounds like you-- and that makes you sound irresistible!
The workshop will involve a great deal of interaction with classmates, as students give each other feedback on their essay drafts and ideas. If any students feel uncomfortable sharing their essays on our password-protected class website, they are welcome to opt out of some of this interaction and e-mail me their drafts instead. No interactions will occur via live chat, so students can complete their work at any time of day. Mrs. Inspektor (or her co-teacher, in Workshop 2) will give extensive, tough, specific, and encouraging feedback on at least three drafts of your essay. If you choose to revise your essay further after the class is over, the teachers will be happy to comment briefly on further drafts. This is not a graded “class” and will not appear anywhere on an official transcript.
Past students have been accepted into Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and many other top colleges, and many of them also received generous merit-based aid offers. Some of them have even received personal letters from admissions officers complimenting them on their essays! The uniqueness of each essay that comes out of the workshop. We won't write your essay for you; We'll try to help YOU write the best essay you have in you.
How to register:
To register, simply submit payment for the workshop via this store. Mrs. Inspektor will contact all registered participants two weeks before each workshop starts.
As each section fills up, the option to pay for admission to this workshop will disappear from the online store. The size of each workshop is limited to twenty students.
Maya Inspektor has almost a decade of experience teaching AP English Language and AP English Literature via PA Homeschoolers. As a teacher, her passion and strength lies in helping students bring out their own writing voices and work through the process of revision. She has informally helped students with admissions essay writing for years, and she has offered these workshops since the summer of 2016. If you would like to see a sample of a student's admissions essay drafts (shared with permission) or if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Magdalene Baert (leading workshop #2) is a former co-teacher for both AP English Language and AP English Literature with Mrs. Inspektor. She was also a former student and teacher’s assistant for these classes while she was in high school. Ms. Baert attended New York University and double majored in English Literature and French Studies. While she was in college, she co-taught with Mrs. Inspektor for three years. After graduating in 2016, Ms. Baert has been working for a French marketing agency as a translator, editor and project manager where she edits and proofreads translations daily. Over the past few years, Ms. Baert has also worked with high school students as a tutor and has informally worked with students to help them with their college applications. She recently edited her sister’s application essays to law school! Although Ms. Baert currently works in translation, she has plans to be an editor one day and to be involved in the field of education. She has written college recommendations for several of her students and is quite familiar with what colleges are looking for in student applications.