May 1 is National College Decision Day.
For the past 12 months, college-bound high school seniors (and the adults who’ve stood behind them) have actively participated in the college selection process. Today marks the culmination of an entire year’s work, celebrated mostly by posting selfies wearing shiny new college sweatshirts.
But today is not the end —it’s just the beginning.
National College Decision Day is initiation for a whole new group of unsuspecting people: today’s high school juniors (and their parents), many of whom are up against deadlines and decisions they aren’t even aware of yet.
THE FIVE MOST COMMON MISTAKES
& HOW TO AVOID THEM
THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF ANY BODY OF WRITING
25-ISH WORDS THAT WILL MAKE OR BREAK AN ESSAY
HOW TO APPLY WHAT YOU LEARN TO ACADEMIC WRITING AT THE UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL
RIGHT My College Application Essay is the definitive, step-by-step guide to approaching a critical differential of the college application process. This essay not only needs to be interesting, it’s *the great differentiator* between two applicants who look the same on paper with comparable grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, both vying for the same seat in a freshman class.
Using powerful visuals, easy-to-follow instructions, and sample student essays, students will separate themselves from other applicants while crossing the bridge from high school-style writing to the rigors and expectations of undergraduate communication.
This masterclass course is especially for students who ask this question — but not for the reasons you think.
Academic writing at the undergraduate level requires mastery of rhetorical modes, organizational methods, and using the steps in the writing process. Professionals who read these essays can immediately spot the students who haven’t mastered this technique.
Brown’s overall acceptance rate was 8.5 percent in 2019, the lowest in history. • Columbia University saw the largest applicant pool in its history with 36,250 applicants. • Cornell accepted 15.1 percent of 41,900 applicants. • Georgia Tech’s acceptance rate dropped to 18.8 percent.
A record-breaking pool of 40,869 potential first-years applied to the UVA in 2019; 9,726 were offered admission. UVA’s acceptance rate went down from 26.5 in 2018 to 23.8 in 2019. • Northwestern University’s acceptance rate rose, slightly, for the first time in more than a decade to 8.9 percent with 40,579 applications in 2019. • The average GPA of admitted applicants to Virginia Tech was 3.64 and the average SAT score was 1280.
The United States Air Force Academy remained steady at 11 percent acceptance rate. • The acceptance rate at the United States Naval Academy is 8.5 percent.
DISARMS BAD HABITS FROM SABOTAGING IDEAS
This masterclass course is a valuable investment in your undergraduate future. Not all college students are English majors, but ALL college students write, and college graduates are expected to communicate effectively. We use the same techniques taught in undergraduate writing to create a solid foundation for effective communication that grows and develops with the student from high school to undergraduate courses and into their adult lives.
At the time, I was an associate faculty member teaching undergraduate COMM and English courses, including 100-level college writing prerequisites, refreshers on academic writing that show students how to demonstrate what they’ve learned by writing an academic essay.
What I immediately saw was students white-knuckling their way through a rough draft, sometimes using words and phrases that SOUND smart even though the student wasn’t sure what he or she intended those words to actually say. No real communication was happening.
Falling back into the same bad habits that got my students through high school wasn’t going to fly at the undergraduate level, and that became my problem to fix.
I’d pull my university students aside and they could give me the answers. They could articulate what they wanted the essay to SAY — they just couldn’t write it. But they knew how to *write.* They simply didn’t have a foundation to communicate via academic writing.
Meanwhile, I had two high schoolers of my own, plus their friends, and my friends’ kids, and as they all brought me their college application essays (asking if I would “edit” them), I immediately saw the same patterns: high school students clearly not understanding or using the the process. How could I tell? Well, the essays began at rough draft, for starters, most using the completely wrong rhetorical mode and organizational method — both tenets of academic writing at the undergraduate level.
Instead of “editing” these college application essays, I taught high schoolers the fundamentals of undergraduate academic essay writing.
I showed them how to use the steps in the writing process as a tool and how to let the tool do the work for them. I watched as their faces lit up with relief: academic writing follows formulas. The steps in the writing process are the foundation for applying those formulas and, when used properly, make the writing the easy part.
And it WORKED.
I’m Christine. I’m a professional storyteller. I’m a Certified Professional Photographer who holds a BA in English and an MA in journalism. My writing and images have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, and online publications nationwide as both a staff member and a freelance contributor. I’ve been writing, shooting, and teaching — or all three — for 30 years.
In 2017, I created essaypalooza! to share my time and talents as a successful college writing instructor with teenagers looking to land acceptance letters from their dream college.
In 2020, I created Essay Cure to help students of all grade levels understand the framework for academic writing and to help teachers from all backgrounds use the steps in the writing process to create a solid foundation for effective communication that grows and develops with the student from elementary to middle to high school to undergraduate courses and into their adult lives.
What if I got in?
How great would that be?
What difference would that make in my life?
WORK WITH ONE OF OUR PARTNERS OR
WORK DIRECTLY WITH OUR PROFESSIONAL WRITERS
Our professional writers provide personalized feedback and instruction to students in our courses. We partner with vetted college counselors across the U.S. and internationally; students already working with one of our partners have access to our courses.
RIGHT My College Application Essay© is an investment in a student’s undergraduate performance. Scholarship offers often accompany acceptance letters for qualified students who demonstrate use of academic writing at the undergraduate level in their college application essay.
“ESSAY CURE HELPED MAKE THE COLLEGE PROCESS MUCH LESS STRESSFUL.”
“Going into my senior year, I didn’t know what I wanted to write about, and I felt a lot of pressure around the Common App essay in particular because colleges kept emphasizing how important it was for admission, and the prompts were really lofty. The most I had done with essay writing was the five paragraph “AP Lit” essay, and I quickly found that that approach wasn’t going to cut it for my college essay. It was hard to decide what to write about because I’d read a bunch of examples of college essays online (like “Examples of College Essays that Worked”), and I didn’t know how I would even go about writing an essay like that.
You made the process so much easier by helping me brainstorm and write an essay that made my application more personal to me. It even turned out that my Common App essay was one of the strongest parts of my application. Showing you ideas for drafts and running drafts by you was enormously helpful for me because it gave me an honest, expert opinion from someone with a lot of insight into the perspective of college admissions officers. The most helpful part for me was the process we went through. First, I would show you a draft. If it was on the right track, you would point out directions I could take it or encourage me to do some more thinking and get back to you. I went through a lot of drafts, but even though this sounds like a lot of work, I was actually felt very relaxed and on-target about it. Overall, Essay Cure definitely made the college process a lot easier and less stressful to navigate.
One suggestion I would give for next year is to offer up the course during the summer, since a lot of kids start essays then. Also, I know it would probably be super helpful to parents who are stressed about college stuff coming up next year.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Essay Cure to a friend.
Thanks again, Christine.”
Here’s what students, parents, & teachers say:
The college application process is designed for you to present yourself in the best possible light.
Yes, your grades and test scores are important, but lots of college bound students know how to write, and have 34s on their ACT and 4.0-whatevers. The competition is fierce. The college application essay is sometimes the only chance students get to present their best possible self to admissions officers by writing an essay that reaches the limbic system of the reader’s mind. We show you how.
This course uses the same techniques taught in and required of undergraduate writing
because, COLLEGE! What if you get accepted to your reach school?
For many students, essays are nebulous, mysterious, evasive tasks and that’s scary. These students often mistakenly believe that they are not one of the chosen few that the Universe has deemed should write.
Yet as they’re staring down the face of college applications, they realize they MUST write — and the writing doesn’t end with the application essay.
We walk you through the steps in the process, teaching you the technical skills you’ll need to do the work. At the end of the course, most students are relieved to learn just how easy writing essays can be!
Masterclass method for undergraduate academic writing
INCLUDES Exclusive Content
40 instructional videos (bite-sized, easy to watch instruction)
38 lessons (view syllabus here)
Bonus lessons (including sample student essays)
Full transcripts of all video lessons
Personalized instructor feedback on six course assignments
Four, 30-minute one-on-one Zoom meetings with the instructor
SEVEN supplemental handouts
The Most Common Mistakes Students Make When Writing a College Application Essay (& How to Avoid Them)
Live Q&As and unlimited access to instructor for quick questions
WORK ON YOUR OWN SCHEDULE AT YOUR OWN PACE
PERSONALIZED INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK
COLLABORATION WITH PARTNERS
WE WANT STUDENTS TO LEARN & PARENTS TO BE 100% SATISFIED.
Parents, in our experience, students who do the work learn. It’s that simple.
Our course requires students to check in a assigned intervals to show us their work.
Our refund policy is clearly spelled out in our Terms & Conditions. If you feel your student is doing the work and is not learning and/or our instruction has not been helpful, please reach out to us immediately!
Blog exclusives, deliverables, and bonus lessons include:
THE BLANK PAGE & FACING THE BLANK PAGE
“It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything. I am not able to begin. I simply skip what should be the beginning.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke
TOPIC VS. THESIS
There is no “wrong” answer to your college application essay prompts. There is only YOUR answer, and how well you support that answer determines whether the reader follows along with you and is somehow moved by what you say.
SHOW ME, DON’T TELL ME
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
WRESTLING WORD COUNT
Prepositional phrases almost always add unnecessary words.
+ other readily useful ways to cut words without sacrificing your voice.
SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAYS
We’ll show you actual student essays that got them admitted — and we’ll also show you how those same essays looked before the writer took our course. You be the judge.
THE FIVE MOST COMMON MISTAKES (& HOW TO AVOID THEM)
We’ll show you our secret sauce that you’ll drizzle over essay writing for the rest of your life by the time you finish our course.
HINT: It’s not about the writing.
Christine’s university students had this to say about her teaching:
COMM 170 Student
“I gave this class the score of 10 because it was really helpful. It really clarifies the correct ways to write a successful paper.”
COMM 170 Student
“My instructor was knowledgeable and experienced with the course materials. She helped to build my confidence with my writing efforts.”
COMM 172 Student
“She is always available to help with anything and will go above and beyond to make sure you succeed.”
COMM 470 Student
“The instructor for the course was very helpful. She took time to carefully explain the assignments and made sure the instructions were clear.”
COMM 470 Student
“In this, I actually learned more than in the 3 1/2 years of being here. Awesome instructor. :)”
COMM 470 Student
“I enjoyed the interaction with the instructor. It is obvious that she has her student’s best interests at heart. She gave great feedback on assignments and provided additional resources for future use.”
COMM 470 Student
“She is one of the best instructors I have had in awhile. She went above and beyond so that we could understand the information. Additionally, the knowledge that she shared will help me to make better communication choices when I walk into my career. I retained so much from this class!”
COMM 470 Student
“On day one, the instructor wanted to gauge our understanding of English and writing. I appreciate her taking the time to help us. It is unfortunate that this type of class is not given to everyone early on. Christine has helped me sort through the fog of English so that I am not afraid of making a fool of myself when composing correspondence.”
DEMYSTIFYING WRITING, ONE STUDENT AT A TIME.
1) Master academic essay writing;
2) Stop struggling with the writing and avoiding the blank page;
3) focus instead on studying complex concepts & ideas;
4) Confidently & effectively communicate.
Our answers to frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question? Feel free to contact us!
WILL YOU WRITE IT FOR ME?
CAN I PAY YOU
TO WRITE IT FOR ME?
DO YOU GUARANTEE
I’LL GET INTO
MY FIRST CHOICE COLLEGE?
Think about what you are asking here: we are not admissions officers, let alone admissions officers at every college or university in the nation!
There’s a sea of competitive applicants out there, all of whom are vying for a seat. Lots of students have 4.+ GPAs with rigorous AP schedules and 34+ on their ACT. The competition is fierce.
What we will guarantee: if you do the work, you will see results. Meaning, you will present yourself in the best light possible. You will learn valuable writing skills and communication techniques along the way, guaranteeing that no matter WHERE you matriculate, you will emerge as an educated professional capable of effective communication — a trait many employers are eager to see.
I’M NOT A GOOD WRITER.
I FEEL LIKE I HAVE A GOOD IDEA,
I JUST DON’T KNOW HOW TO
MAKE IT ALL COME TOGETHER.
WILL THIS COURSE HELP?
YES. But first, forget about “good” writing and “bad” writing.
Academic writing is about using the tools to follow a formula, and the product is results driven (think grades and acceptance letters.) Academic writing is not subjective (good or bad) — it’s simply effective or ineffective.
“Make it all come together well” is the mystical part of the steps in the writing process that most students have yet to master. In our masterclass courses, we have an entire module dedicated to showing you how to use it! It’s this module that students experience their “ah-ha” moment of understanding when we show you the secret sauce & just the right seasoning. It’s the missing piece of the high school essay writing puzzle that separates the effective writers from the ineffective writers.
While our students are getting the help they need to write whatever essay they are struggling with, they’re also learning the framework to succeed in writing at the undergraduate level, practice that will produce effective communicators as graduates.
ENGLISH IS NOT
MY FIRST LANGUAGE.
That’s not a question!
Either way, it’s not a problem for us. We speak English, so as long as it’s not a problem for you to understand us, we’ll work with you in the final stages of editing to ensure your best use and understanding of fluid English while preserving the nuances of your first language that shine through.
CAN I PAY YOU
TO WRITE MY
COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY?
Since I keep getting the question, I’ll try to answer it in more detail:
Nor do you want me to.
Nobody can articulate your story in the unique way that you can. Once you learn to use and apply the formulas and techniques inherent to effectively communicate content, you’ll forget you ever felt the need to look for such an inferior, quick-fix option.
Plus, we’ve got this thing called “academic integrity.” Check it out.
WHAT IF I TAKE THE COURSE
& IT DOESN’T WORK FOR ME?
If you do the work, you will learn the process. It’s that simple.
In my experience, the only time the process doesn’t work for a student is when the student doesn’t put in the work yet still expects results.
I’m not a miracle worker.
Having said that, I AM a good writer and I’ve proven to be quite an effective teacher. I can teach you how to succeed at academic writing and at communication in general if you are willing to do the work.
If you are doing the work and you feel you are not learning and/or our instruction has not been helpful, please reach out to us immediately!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT MY ESSAY & RIGHT MY COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY?
RIGHT My Essay is mostly instruction only, and it does not focus on only the college application essay but rather on nine different types of academic writing. The personalized feedback is limited and there aren’t as many scheduled one-on-ones with the instructor.
RIGHT My College Application Essay walks the student through one type of academic writing with extensive instruction and one-on-one support from the instructor (with options to add more, if needed.) There are more opportunities for personalized feedback of assignments during the course.
RIGHT My Essay requires more self-study and initiative from the student; RIGHT My College Application Essay stays alongside the student through each and every step.
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