College Essay Weekend Agenda

At Write the World, we have years of experience getting teens to hone their craft and write authentically.

Since our founding at Harvard University in 2012, we’ve been drawing in young writers with monthly competitions, thought-provoking prompts, and the thrill of making new friends through reading and writing.

Day 1: Find Your Narrative

Log in to Zoom from 12–3:30pm ET to start your journey:

  • Join your classmates in writing to and discussing six prompts and free-writing opportunities, each building on one another to make the essay-writing process approachable and enjoyable
  • Unpack the Personal Statement prompt choices from the Common Application and answer a series of questions to help you identify the prompt most promising for you.
  • Review exemplar essays together, going line by line and teasing out what makes them so effective.
  • Step into the shoes of a word-weary admissions official, who is likely to read over 400 essays during each admission cycle.
  • Begin your essay outline, your draft, or your revision. Finish up writing by 5:30pm Eastern, to give your personal advisor time to read all your day’s writings and leave feedback for you overnight. Consider peer reviewing your classmates’ brainstorms and submissions—everyone loves encouragement!

Day 2: The Full Draft

Log back in from 12–3:30pm ET to see the now-familiar faces, ready to focus in on getting to a full draft:

  • Spend some time with your advisor’s feedback from the day before. What will you take with you as you work your draft? What new ideas are percolating?
  • Weaving together the things you’ve gathered already—topic ideas, scenes, reflections, potential places to begin, and elements that create context, create the roadmap for your essay.
  • Conference with your advisor on your progress, working through challenges and getting expert eyes on your plan.
  • Take a moment to zoom out from the details and remember why you want to go to college, and what you want it to be like there. Challenge yourself to answer this question in three sentences: “What is at the heart of my essay?”

Final Steps & Revised Draft Due

  • After Day 2’s Zoom session, complete and revise your draft, working through three additional prompts to guide your revision.
  • For best results, read back over your advisor feedback, revisit your Day 1 and Day 2 prompt responses, and return to your chosen essay question and make sure your draft adequately addresses what’s being asked.
  • Reach out to your advisor with any questions.
  • Submit your revised draft by 5pm ET on Monday. Your advisor will review and send comprehensive, in-depth feedback by the end of the day the following Wednesday.
You know you’re going places.
Make sure Admissions knows, too.

College Essay Workshops from
Write the World.

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