You Can Write A Great College Application Essay

A practical, welcoming, hands-on guide to getting your essay drafted and polished.
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  • Lectures 15
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

You might feel anxious about writing a college application essay. The good news is that the essay is your chance to make your application shine, and with a little bit of guidance, you can give yourself the best chance to succeed.

In this course, we'll work through real practical activities that help you write the essay. You'll do some easy exercises to help you generate interesting ideas, choose a topic and produce a first draft. Then we'll show you how to polish that draft and make it stand out.

By following these exercises, one step at a time, you'll build up the material for a great college application essay.

What are the requirements?

  • Gather the application materials for the colleges you are considering applying to.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand what college admissions committees are looking for.
  • Develop several strong topics and choose one.
  • Write a "no stress" draft to get started.
  • Revise the draft to develop a great thesis.
  • Polish your final draft.

What is the target audience?

  • High schools seniors and others applying to college
  • Parents, teachers and counselors supporting young people applying to college.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Getting Ideas and Getting Started

Getting ready and getting motivated.


Getting clear on why colleges want the essay and how it supports the rest of your application. You'll also start your first exercise to find the story you want to tell about yourself.


We'll look closely at some example essay prompts and start to understand what is being asked for in the prompt from your dream school.


We'll go through several easy exercises to help you find good topics for your essay.


These exercises will help you dig deeper into your possible topics to start finding the best one to develop.

Section 2: Developing your topic and digging deep

Now we'll take a break from the writing exercises for some more lecturing. By the end of this lesson, you should understand the importance of providing detail and how to do it effectively.


A step-by-step recipe to shape your topic and develop a first thesis statement to guide you the rest of the way.


Another break from the writing to cover some of the things many students worry about it. You also have a chance to look at some example essays that were successful.


It's time to ease into writing your first draft. You know what would make it less scary? If you write a zero draft instead. Try the simple tricks in this lesson, and you'll get past the most challenging part of the college application essay.

Section 3: The drafting process

In this lesson, you'll learn how to test the strength of your thesis and reassure yourself that you're on the right track.


In this lesson, you'll learn to take command of all the exercises and messy drafting you've done so far and pull it into shape. You'll see put an outline together to guide you the rest of the way.


There's a pleasant surprise lurking in this lesson. It turns out you've already written most of the first draft! By now you know what you're trying to say, and you just need to write it over again with your clear goals in mind.

Section 4: Making it great

In this lesson you'll learn that every writer, even the most experienced, make lots of mistakes, and you'll learn their tricks for finding and fixing them. By the end of this lesson, you'll have an application essay that is close to perfect and that you never thought you were capable of before.


In this lesson you'll learn the secret ingredient to making any piece of writing as strong as it can be.


Do you want to lesson to the lessons only on the go between working on your exercises? Here's the complete audio file.

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Instructor Biography

Robert McGuire, College writing teacher

Thank you for considering my course. I've been working with writers of all levels for years. I am a college writing instructor with ten years of experience teaching at several different public and private universities, and I consider myself more of a writing coach than a teacher. I’ve seen every kind of difficulty that college students have with their writing assignments, and I’ve learned that 90 percent of them boil down to hesitation and anxiety. If a writer can just find a way to start the pen moving and keep it moving, then the rest -- organizing and editing -- isn’t that hard to improve at. I also have extensive experience with writing in a variety of professional contexts. I have worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist and as a copywriting specialist for businesses and nonprofits. I am the owner and operator of McGuire Editorial & Consulting, LLC. I look forward to working with you.

Instructor Biography

Ashia Tokponwey, Digital Marketer

I am an up-and-coming marketer with a passion for digital trends, consumer brands and opportunities to contribute innovative ideas to help change the world as we know it. I am currently working as an Executive Assistant at Hearst Magazines, one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines, with 21 U.S. titles and close to 300 international editions. My experience entails working as a social media coordinator for a global L'Oreal brand and working as a consultant for companies who are looking to expanding their digital outreach.

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