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College Essays 101

What do you know about college essays? What do admissions officers want to read? What should you accomplish with your essay? What kind of approach should you take? Bottom line: do you know—really, really know—what makes a good college essay? Odds are, you don’t. Don’t take it personally, though. We’ve asked thousands of students and parents these questions, and most of them have no idea, either. (Same with a lot of excellent English teachers, by the way.) If you don’t know what a college essay is, you’ll have a hard time writing a good one.

This is where Elijah comes in.

Elijah started working with an EssayQuest mentor about a month before his college applications were due. He had already written two versions of the same essay: one on his own, one in English class with support from his teacher.

We’ll guide you through three versions of Elijah’s essay:

  • the one he wrote on his own in August
  • the one he wrote in English class in September
  • the one he wrote with his mentor in October

We’ll give you some things to think about and point out key concepts we don’t you to miss.

And when you’re done, you’ll know what college essays are all about!

To get the most out of this, please don’t rush, and please don’t skim!