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“Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.”

~ Mortimer Adler

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

~ C.S. Lewis

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

~ G.K. Chesterton

“If [the gospel] is dull, then what, in Heaven's name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore-- on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe.”

~ Dorothy Sayers

Suggested age range: 16-18

Class structure: three-hour workshop with one-hour review the following week

Tuition: $30

Official grades: No

Required books: None

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Mastering the College Application Essay


“Thank you for teaching the College Application Essay class this summer. The information you gave was very helpful. She has started writing her essays and now understands how to approach the prompts.”

“Thanks for offering the essay workshop. He was not looking forward to it, but he found it very helpful. He said it was well worth our money. I appreciate your efforts!”

“It truly helped us get off the ground and it gave him confidence to take on some challenges this year.”

The personal essay is one of the most important and most dreaded elements of a college application. The ideal essay is unique, relevant, memorable, and concise, but thatís easier said than done. Instead, too many essays end up being meandering, vague, or formulaic.

In this workshop, we will look at how to brainstorm, organize, and add rhetorical style to a personal essay. We will consider what sort of information should go into the essay and how it should be presented for maximum effect. The material is aimed at high school juniors and seniors who are already competent essay writers and want to particularly focus on crafting an excellent personal essay for college applications.

The workshop consists of a three-hour lecture and discussion period (either online or in the classroom, depending on the class), followed a week later by a one-hour online session. For online classes, students should have a microphone so they can engage in class discussion. After the initial three-hour workshop, students will spend the week actually writing personal essays based on what was discussed. They will then send those essays to the instructor, who will select several representative examples for discussion purposes during the online review and application session.