Select Page

, you’re finally a writer!

Now you get to work on tone and language.

You’ve come a long way!

Now, some people may say: 

, this looks like a bunch of horribly written, crappy stories stuck together!

And you could reply:

Why, yes! It is! I’m quite proud of it actually.

And you should be, because it’s the rough draft of a college essay that says more about you than most college essays. Yours can be in the top 10% of all essays, maybe even better.

Remember how you got here:

First, as a Thinker, you made a list of some stories from your life and wrote a bunch of crap — your baby chicks.


Then, as a Storyteller, you got clear about your message and strategy, played and experimented with options and structures, and got to where you are now — you chose your baby chicks and lined them up in a row.


Now, as a Writer, your mission is to bring your essay to life and to make the language shine — you’ll use construction lines and erasers and new set of tools we’ll share with you to turn your baby chicks into…


But before we give you the big picture on how you’ll do that, let’s check in again.

How do you feel about what you’ve accomplished and starting the Writer phase? 


Pretty good

Hooray. You deserve to feel good. Maybe even great. You’ve accomplished a lot, you’ve learned a lot, and you’ve done a lot of good work, and you’re well on your way to an essay you can be proud of.

To get there, just keep going through the steps of the Write Like a Pro process. Using these tools and practicing these skills that will lead you to a great essay.


Hey, you’re not alone. Most people feel a bit mixed at this point. You’ve made a lot of progress, and you can see there’s more to go to get to the essay you will be proud of.

Remember, writing well takes real effort, especially when it’s a new kind of writing and the stakes are high. To get the essay you hope for, you’ll need to put in the time and work.

Just keep going through the steps of the Write Like a Pro process. By doing each step, you will gain the tools and skills that will lead to a great essay. 

Don't ask

Ugh. We get it. We’ve been there. Don’t get discouraged. We know you’re on the right track. Really. Good writing takes a lot of time, effort, and focus, especially for this kind of personal writing that you’ve probably never practiced before.

Have you ever noticed there are so many people who say “I want to be a writer” but really aren’t? Now you know why.

It helps to remember that you’re learning the tricks and tools that successful, professional writers use to be successful professional writers.

It’s your college essay and you wouldn’t be here unless you want to do a good job. You can have confidence knowing that thousands of students like you have successfully used this process.

Just keep going through the steps of the Write Like a Pro process. Each step builds up to the next step, which will lead to a great essay. Even if it’s hard to see how now, we know you’ll get there.

Now, read this comic

The Oatmeal does it again! As you read this comic, think about the difference between the tools you use in high school to write school papers, and what you’ve learned so far in EssayQuest. 

(Errr, this one is also not entirely safe for work. If you’ve survived the first two comics, you’ll be good!)

We’d like to thank The Oatmeal for his brilliant comics, and for letting us share them with you.

Check out his website and online store (with games and books you may love).

As a Writer, your mission is to learn new tools, and use them to transform your rough draft into a ready-to-submit Strawbeary.

You’re going to be shifting gears a bit in the writer phase. Up to now, this has been a step-by-step process. Every activity builds on the ones that came before.

There are a couple more linear activities in the Writer phase, but then we’re going to teach you new writing and editing tools. Some of them are crazy simple. Some are a little more sophisticated. And the most powerful tool is simple, but it’ll take practice to get good at it.

With your new toolkit, you’ll go to work on your essay. You may bounce around, get stuck, find a solution to a problem, decide it’s all garbage, discover that it’s fantastic…and eventually, you’ll have an essay you can be proud of.

In this phase, we’ll share videos from accomplished writers to give you a sense of what the experience of writing can be like. Sometimes it’s frustrating, and sometimes it’s thrilling. Just keep moving forward!



The Writer steps

1. Immerse yourself in polished writing

First, you’ll read essays with your focus on the tone and language. 

2. Create your intentions for tone and reader experience

Choose how you want your essay to sound.

3. Bring your essay to life

Add five super-slick fancy writer’s tricks to your toolbox.

4. Learn some simple new writing tools

Add a set of straightforward tools to bring your writing to the next level.

5. Make each word count

Use the most powerful tool we’ve ever seen to trim down your language and  polish your sentences to perfection. 

6. Make it flow start-to-finish

It’s time to add the perfect opening, transitions, and ending for your essay.

Once you get this far, you’re in the home stretch. We’ll show you how to do a close walk-through of your essay on your own or, even better, with someone else. You’ll fix what needs fixing, have it proofread a final time, and apply to college!