The Art of the College Essay: A Writing Workshop

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Allowed Grades: 11th Grade to 12th Grade

Program Description

Event Details

The Art of the College Essay with Tessa Rossi

Wednesdays, June 5 and June 12, 6pm - 8pm (must attend BOTH sessions)

Please bring a marble notebook to use for your writing.  NO laptops or phones will be allowed in this class.

The college application process asks a great deal of the applicant. In addition to all the completed forms, submitted grades and scores, and requested recommendations, students are expected to present the sum of their life struggles, achievements, and the demonstrated qualities they possess--all under tight constraint. In cases where these qualities are quite similar between applicants, the essay can play a crucial role in distinguishing applicants. A well-crafted college essay draws upon craft elements to engage the interest and advocacy of its reader, the admissions counselor. 

This course consists of two two-hour in-person classes. In the first class, we’ll study the form and purpose of this essay. We’ll review prompts and read successful essays with an eye for what works well. You’ll receive a prewriting assignment to be completed for use in the next class. At our second meeting, we’ll brainstorm and mine your prewriting to incorporate those ideas along with other prompts into the opening and outline of your essay. At the end of this class, you should have a map for the writing journey. You’ll then write your essay over the next few weeks.

Finally, you’ll have an opportunity to submit your essay for feedback in a fifteen-minute conference on Zoom with instructor Tessa Rossi.

Tessa Rossi teaches writing at Purchase College. She writes, serves as Managing Editor of Prose at Variant Lit, and founded Mediated Contagion: The Reading Series as well as the Hen Hud Free Library Writing Workshop, which she led for eight years.