The Essay Writing Process

Initial Consultation

In the video, Samuel Patterson, III, and Loren Tsang share their essay writing experiences. Sam went on to be selected as a Meyerhoff Scholar at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and selected as a 2021 Rhodes Scholar. Loren went on to receive a full scholarship to Williams College, the country’s top ranked liberal arts college. Despite their AP course enrollment, class ranking, and 1500+ SAT scores, Sam and Loren were admittedly ill-prepared for the essay writing process.

Essay writing is an art form with many components: imagery; word usage; artistic elements; technical elements; non-cognitive variables; structure; and voice. These components combine to tell a story, paint a picture, and provide insight into a student’s character, aspirations, passions, and mastery of the English language. Great and compelling essays can literary tip the admissions scales in a student’s favor, whereas poorly written essays can result in a rejection letter. While high school language arts teacher can provide important assistance in this process, our assistance is based on understanding both literary pedagogy and the college admissions review process.

Our goal of assisting each student in creating a great essay, begins with assessing where you are in the the college admissions or application essay process. One of our college planning advisors will contact you to conduct an initial (free) 30 minute consultation. While a draft of your essay would be helpful, the initial consultation is for us to better understand you as a student, your aspirations, and the purpose of your essay.

In the final analysis, your essay must present your voice, which is why a parent should never write their student’s essay. It is almost impossible for a college admission officer not to recognize that the voice in an essay written by a parent is not that of the student. Not only must your essay reflect your voice, it must tell your story. While you may, and should, acknowledge the support of parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and others, acknowledging their support must be done so within the context of your story and how such persons may have influenced your story, but your essay must not be about someone else—your essay must be about you and what you will bring to a college campus or how you are deserving of the investment in your future by a scholarship provider.

We Guide the Evolution of Your Essay

We have guided hundreds of students in developing great essays by guiding their writing. While language and imagery may result in an interesting essay, successful essays tell a story, effectively respond to writing prompts, provide insight into the depth of your thinking, are void of stereotypes or generations, provide a effective chronology of events, and demonstrate your ability to engage in college-level writing.

Beginning

I currently serve as a lawyer in a peer court where youth [explain peer court, i.e., high school, community, special program?] in the community receive restorative justice to decrease recidivism instead of retributive justice, which increases recidivism. Criminalizing marginalized youth for minor infractions renders them more [what is the data or research to support your statements]susceptible to ending up in our current retributive justice system. This ‘justice’ system is defended because it is a method of ‘deterrence’ even though historical evidence indicates America has built more jails even when crime has decreased. [What is the supporting research?] This ‘justice system’ excels in the purpose of incapacitation rather than trying to help individuals return safely into society. 

Evolution

I serve as a lawyer in peer court, a community service program where juveniles receive alternative sentencing from peers. I help my peers receive restorative justice that decreases recidivism instead of retributive justice, which increases recidivism. A Texas study found that students suspended for minor infractions are twice as likely to drop out and end up in our current justice system. This ‘justice’ system is defended because it is a method of ‘deterrence’ even though throughout the 1900s, America built more jails even when crime was decreasing. About 75% of formerly incarcerated men struggle with substance abuse and a significant percent suffer from physical and mental health issues (Urban Institute). This evidence shows that our ‘justice system’ excels in the purpose of incapacitation rather than helping individuals transition safely into society. I will join NC A&T’s National Black Law Students Association and work alongside peers to pursue solutions to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Beginning

I’ve been able to overcome the disadvantages and struggles of my parents’ divorce and poverty at a young age. [What is the timeframe in which this occurred?] While learning occasionally takes longer, or requires frequently shifting between subjects when I find my attention drifting, I have adapted rather well to schooling. I’ve learned that my challenges do not define me.  In fact, I believe they’ve made me stronger. A learning challenge is not a learning disability. In this regard, video gaming can be as viable of an instructional tool as any other strategy in a teacher’s toolbox. [Be more specific in describing your experiences] Now it’s time to use this to bless others by channeling that focus and love of video games into a Game Design career. [Provide a stronger connection between the challenges and your career aspirations]

Ending

In second grade, I was diagnosed with ADHD, requiring medication. I was easily distracted, frequently out of my seat, and prone to long periods of daydreaming at school; and driving my parents crazy at home. While learning occasionally takes longer, or requires frequently shifting between subjects when I find my attention drifting, I have adapted rather well to schooling. Coinciding with my ADHD diagnosis was a passion for video gaming. Through gaming, I was able to have incredible focus and remain seated for hours. In contrast to having a learning obstacle, I was able to master games—to literally see the programming code. Interestingly, I have met many students with similar ADHD diagnoses who are extraordinary video gamers. We share similar stories of studying, video gaming, followed by a return to studying to be an effective approach to learning. A learning challenge is not a learning disability. In this regard, I believe that video gaming can be as viable of an instructional tool as any other strategy in a teacher’s toolbox. These experiences have inspired me to pursue video game design. I believe that how I have been blessed to overcome my learning challenges provides unique insight as to how I might bless others through innovative video game design for both learning and play.

Beginning

We surely shall see the sun shine soon! As a Ghanaian-American, the legacy of Ghana’s first president and renowned Pan-Africanist, Dr. Osagyefo Kwame Nkruma, lives within me. [Let’s change the structure of the opening]If given the opportunity to speak to all of the African people during the 19th century, I my speech would be guided by some of his inspiration as a catalyst for change: [Let’s change the language]

Greetings fellow Ghanians, and to all Africans. We are in the winter, and the sun has set early.But I say to you all, We surely shall see the sun shine soon! [Let’s be more succinct and forceful]

I repeat, we, the African people, surely shall see the sun shine soon once the sun finally sets on the British Empire. Or the French Empire. Or any other vice of colonialism. Foreign exploitation is the fierce sentinel that holds us hostage in the pursuit of a more glorious horizon. As long as we are slaves to Eurocentrism, we are prevented from reaching our fullest potential. We must be emancipated, but full emancipation cannot happen for a nation, or a continent divided. [Let’s restructure this paragraph]

Ending

As a Ghanaian-American, the legacy of Ghana’s first president and renowned Pan-Africanist, Dr. Osagyefo Kwame Nkruma, lives within me. If I were to be an anachronism of the 19th century, guided by Nkrumah’s inspirations, I would give a speech to share my prescient knowledge of modern day imperialism: 

Greetings fellow Ghanians, and to all Africans,

We surely shall see the sun shine soon! 

 We are in the winter, and the sun has set early.But I repeat, we surely shall see the sun shine soon when the sun finally sets on the British Empire, and any other vice of colonialism. Foreign exploitation is the fierce sentinel that holds us hostage in the pursuit of a more glorious horizon. We can no longer be slaves to Eurocentrism.

Personal Statement/College Essay

Our services are ideal for students who have already begun their essay as working on any project is best when you have the materials. Some students already know which Common Application Essay Prompt they are responding to and what they want their essay to look like; other students need assistance identifying their ‘hook;’ and others need assistance with structural, stylistic, and grammatical choices. Whatever the case, our consultants and editors will provide general proofreading ensuring all spelling and grammatical mistakes are corrected, a critique with suggestions about structuring, stylistic advice encompassing such things as tone and content, as well as suggestions on writing the most compelling and relevant essay. They will also, based on our initial consultation, assist in developing your ‘hook’ while ensuring your essay has indicators of non-cognitive variables to best help your essay appeal to the qualities and types of institutions, to which you are considering applying.

Your Hook

A ‘hook’ is a well-developed self-presentation in a manner as to define your uniqueness as a college or scholarship applicant. While it would be obvious that a top ranked running back has a hook, the hook for one athletic program may be speed, while the hook for another athletic program may be power. Consequently, a ‘hook’ for one college is not necessarily a hook for another college. Another example would be a top academically performing student who is the first in her family to attend college. For a college like Williams College, the top ranked liberal arts college in America, this would be a clearly identifiable hook as Williams College has an institutional mission of admitting and supporting more first generation students. In contrast, a public in-state university may have no such institutional mission. Consequently, being a first generation student would not reflect a hook for such an institution. These are examples of subtle, yet profoundly important nuances that our college advisors can assist you in identifying when assisting in developing your essays, and evaluating the audience for whom you are writing.

Product Descriptions:

Proofreading:

Your essay will be free of typographical and grammatical errors. Includes 2 days of email support.

Word Count:

  • 0-500 $49.95
  • 501-1,000 $89.95
  • 1,001-1,500 $119.95
  • Follow-up consultations $50 per 30 minutes. We offer a 10-20% discount on multiple essays.

Standard:

Includes proofreading services; one critique; developmental editing, which entails receiving an analysis of your essay and a constructive critique with suggestions on how to improve your essay in style, tone, and content; we also provide comments and advice on word choice, structure, cohesiveness, and thematic choices; 7-day email support with your editor.

Word Count/Price:

  • 0-501 $119.95
  • 1,001-1,500 $169.95
  • 1,001-1,500 $219.95

Follow-up consultations $50 per 30 minutes. We offer a 10-20% discount on multiple essays.

Deluxe:

Includes two additional Zoom® sessions with one of our college planning advisors including one brainstorming session to not only identify a potential hook, but ensure that your essay provides the strongest possible self-presentation with character and charisma reflective of your uniqueness; two critiques; 14 days of email support.

Word Count/Price:

  • 1-500 $329.95
  • 501-1,000 $429.95
  • 1,001-1,500 $529.95

Follow-up consultations $50 per 30 minutes. We offer a 10-20% discount on multiple essays.

Résumé Writing:

Our one-page academic résumé format is what we use to present students to colleges and reflects a format that has proven effective with college admissions officers and scholarship providers. We have found that students who provide a thorough, well-structured, one-page résumés with their college and scholarship applications have a significant advantage when presenting their application for consideration at a post-secondary institution. With one of our college planning professionals, you will be guided in reflecting on your experiences and prompted to answer questions designed to provide an assessment of where you have been, you achievements, awards, community service experiences, employment experience, extracurricular activities, groups and clubs, as well as leadership opportunities.

Our college planning advisors will speak with you in one 45-minute phone or Zoom© session, and during this conversation you will be asked about your achievements, extra curricular activities, awards, clubs, GPA, SAT/ACT scores, class rank, course load, and college aspirations.
48-72 hour turn-around.

Price: $89.95

Scholarship Essays:

The general difference between a scholarship essay and an application essay is that you will likely alter which qualities and intangible qualities you want to highlight depending on the provider. Scholarship opportunities will vary according to a number of qualities you possess, such as your grades and level of academic coursework, standardized test scores, clubs, interests, gifts and talents, gender, ethnic background, intangible qualities, among many others. With Internet searches yielding thousands, if not millions of results, it would take thousands of hours to go through a fraction of all available scholarships, and perhaps just as much time to determine which scholarships you have a high probability of being awarded. Our book, Show Me the Money, is designed to equip you with the skills to search for scholarship opportunities as well as analyze the results to identify the scholarships for which you are most suited and likely to be awarded [Click here to purchase]. Our scholarship essay package assumes that you have done the research and identified scholarship providers (hopefully for which you have a high possibility of being awarded). We will attempt to get you to answer the following questions:

  1. What will be unique in your story, that you can write passionately about, and will distinguish you from other applicants?
  2. What have you learned from your experiences that have made you a better person, student, athlete, musician, and/or etc.?
  3. How will you provide a strong opening, tell a sensational story, and close with a strong ending?

Includes proofreading services for finalized essays; one critique per essay; developmental editing, which entails receiving an analysis of your essay and a constructive critique with suggestions on how to improve your essay in style, tone, and content to align with the mission and values of the scholarship provider; comments and advice on word choice, structure, cohesiveness, and thematic choices; 5-day email support with your editor.

Word Count/Price:

  • 0-501 $79.95
  • 1,001-1,500 $89.95
  • 1,001-1,500 $99.95

Additional scholarship essays will be $35.95 for essays up to 650 words and $69.95 for essays up to 1,500 words. These additional essays must be submitted at the beginning of your 5-day email support and no later than the end of the second day of email support. Otherwise you will need to purchase an additional individual scholarship essay assistance package.

College Match:

During a one-hour session with our college planning advisor you will be asked questions regarding your financial need; college major; longterm career aspirations; potential college credits from AP, IB, and dual enrollment coursework; and geographical boundaries.

Analyzing such factors as your Expected Family Contribution, ACT/SAT scores, leadership, intangibles, annual income, socioeconomic background, willingness to take out a loan, cultural group, how much of your family’s funds will be contributed to your college cost, Pell Grant eligibility, etc., our team of college planning professionals will come up with a recommendation list of colleges which can accommodate your unique circumstances with the available financial aid options (institutional aid, need-based, need-blind, merit-based, test scores). We understand all too well that many students exit college with mounds upon mounds of debt, that some end up transferring from school to school, or that maybe your single-parent household has just enough income to disqualify you for the Pell Grant but not enough to pay the entirety of your college tuition. Therefore, we believe in more that just providing a list of schools you have high chances at being accepted to, but also in guiding you to the path to solving these problems by exposing our clients to scholarship resources, providing a list of scholarships you are qualified to receive, and by offering some guidance and pointers to strengthen your candidacy for acceptance into the post secondary institution of your choice.

72 hour turn-around for your college match packet. $179.95

Follow-up consultations $50 per 30 minutes. We offer a 10-20% discount on multiple essays.

What We Do:

  • Assist in conceptualizing compelling essay topics
    Edit and proofread papers
    Help you identify your hook
    Critique your essay
    Help you identify well-matched colleges and scholarships

What We Won’t Do:

  • Write your paper for you
    Entertain unrealistic expectations