A Quick Overview

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Welcome!

In the Writing Personal Essays course, you will learn the thinking and writing skills you need to write a stand-out essay. The course includes guidance for how to tackle application essays, timed essays, and general five-paragraph essay form.


How the Course Works:

Each lesson focuses on one skill you need for writing an essay. Rather than thinking about everything all at once, we'll build skills step-by-step so that by the end of the course, you understand each part of an essay. You'll learn how to problem-solve each part, too, so that you can blast straight through any block, no matter what arises.

Most of the lessons will take about 15 minutes to complete. Each video includes hands-on practice, and a take-away activity to help you practice afterward. We recommend completing two lessons a week for four weeks. Most writers will then want to spend (at least) a couple weeks drafting and revising essays to solidify their skills.

If you're working on application essays, these last couple weeks are an excellent time to work on those final pieces. However, during your practice activities, swap our questions for your real-life ones, if you like. You might as well get a jump start on that important thinking. Also, if you're headed into a timed essay test, don't miss the bonus material (coming soon!) to guide you through strategies for planning and drafting an essay in a short amount of time.


Your Support Team:

If you're working through this material with a mentor, your mentor is one of the most important people on your support team. You will also want to choose a sibling, teacher, or parent who you see on a regular basis who can be a sounding board for you as you work through this material. Sometimes, outside perspective helps us remember qualities of ourselves that are important to share. When we're taking on a challenging project, it's also helpful to know we have a solid advocate cheering us on.


If you're working through this material on your own, it's even more important that you enlist a team of supporters. You will need someone to help you schedule time to do your lessons and homework. You should choose a problem-solving partner, someone who can review your writing with you and help you brainstorm solutions to challenges that arise. You will also need an editor, someone who can help you see structural or mechanical issues in your writing that you may not yet see. Finally, you'll need a solid advocate, too, someone who will remind you that you've got this, encourage you when you feel stuck, and help you make it through all the way to the end.


Supplies Needed:

This course includes a companion workbook. Before starting on the videos, you'll want to download and print it using the link below.

The only other supplies you'll need for this course are your favorite writing material and paper for your notes. We always recommend collecting all of your class materials in one folder so they're easy to find. We often look back at past ideas in the course, so make sure not to throw your notes and ideas away!