I’d love to tell you about my method outlined in The Art of The College Essay that has made me so successful and has gotten my students into the schools of their dreams.
What Makes My Method Unique
Sitting on the other side of the table in college admissions, I read tens of thousands of boring essays! In fact, it was the most boring job I ever had!
Once in a blue moon, an essay would wake me from my stupor. I would be so captivated by the essay, I would have to wake the admissions officer next to me, and say “Get a load of this!”
Let me tell you, unless this student had glaring red flags, it was almost impossible to say no.
Why are almost all college admissions essays boring?
Because students are using principles they learned in writing 5-paragraph essays to write their college essays.
But remember, the college essay(s) is a narrative personal statement, not a 5-paragraph analytical essay!
The problem lies in one particular element: Teachers often confuse (and conflate) product and process.
Product is what you want to end up with. Process is how you get there.
Since you want to end up with an intro, body and conclusion, it makes sense to start with an intro, right? After all, the intro comes at the beginning. Why not just start from the beginning?
That’s the surest recipe for that which shall not be named! (Writer’s block)
Personally, I could never introduce a topic until I know what I want to say about it.
I start in the middle – en medias res – and write the intro last. Instead of starting with an intro, I write write write on the topic and then read what I’ve written to figure out what I’m trying to say.
I call this experience of write write write Free Writing – and it is at the very core of my method.
You need to get lost in order to get found.
This is what I’m known for and what distinguishes my method from all the others out there!
My goal is to FREE students from the chains that bind them. I get them to write their hearts out in the anxiety-free zone of the FREE WRITE where they don’t need to worry about grammar, punctuation, or even order of ideas.
This method takes the stress out of the process and adds in the success.
It’s much easier to go back and excavate – cut and paste – than it is to generate ideas in the first place, so the idea is to generate ideas in the worry-free zone and then engage the more “critical” part of the brain to order them, edit and proofread them.
If you try to edit while you’re writing, or even try to figure out what you’re trying to say while you’re saying it, you’re sure to run into . . . that which shall not be named! And that’s a nightmare, as we all know.
I outline this method in my book The Art of the College Essay in a way that’s lighthearted, clear and easy to use.
I had a blast writing this book and it has helped tens of thousands of students write the best (and most important) essays they have ever written in their lives.
I used the method I describe in the book to write the book! I know it works.
And I’m always so excited when I can pass it on to others – to students writing their college essays, and to the teachers, counselors and parents who help them along the way!