College Essays 101

What did Spencer have to do to write such a great essay?

Writing an effective college essay isn’t like writing an English paper. Your audience, your intention, and the role you’re playing are all different.

Oh, and it’s not about the War of 1812, Romeo and Juliet, or the differences between mice and rats. It’s about you. And you probably haven’t had to write a story about yourself since what I did over summer break in the sixth grade.


Spencer learned to Write Like a Pro

The thinking, organizing, and writing skills you’ve been developing in high school work great for academic papers. But, not so much for the kinds of essays that college admissions officers want to read.

His mentor guided him through the Write Like a Pro process. On top of what he already knew about writing, Spencer added a new framework and set of writing tools that professional writers use.

Like Spencer, you now have a strong foundation for writing your college essay. You know that:

  • your audience is a bored college admissions officer who just wants to get to know you.
  • your intention is to write an engaging, authentic short story that shows who you are.
  • your role is to write your essay like a teen telling your story around the campfire to friends.  


How will you write your college essay?

You may have what you need right now to do a great job. You’ve got the writing skills you learned in school and the strong foundation you built in College Essays 101.

But most teens find that having some extra support or a process to follow helps make the work a little easier and the essays better.

We created EssayQuest to help you delete stress, write what matters, and breathe. 

Writing college essays
can be a chore

or an adventure

EssayQuest is teen-tested, self-directed, nothing-like-school online program that makes it easier for students to write their essays, and for counselors, teachers, and parents to support them.