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Get started on your college essay

June 16, 2020

Are you looking to get a head start on your personal statement for college this summer? Join us live this July or August for Summer College Essay Boot Camp, or peruse our On Demand College Essay Support videos and materials (available online now)!

A student works on their college essay


At Summer College Essay Boot Camp, a three-part workshop series, you’ll attend three in-depth lessons on Brainstorming, Outlining, and Drafting/Revising, as well as work one-on-one with trained college essay tutors to begin bringing your story to life.

By signing up with your parent or guardian here, you’ll reserve a slot for three consecutive workshop sessions on the week of your choice (July 21-23 OR August 18-20) in either the morning (10:00-11:30 AM) or the afternoon (2:00-3:30 PM).


No matter where you are in the writing process, our On Demand College Essay Support videos are available now to help you tell your story. Whether you’re brainstorming, drafting, or are ready to begin revising, join 826 Boston’s Will Marshall on an exploration of those all-important 650 words, all on your own time!

Lesson 1: Intro to the College Essay

To learn more about the “genre” of the personal statement, start here! This introductory lesson explores what colleges are really looking for when they read your essay, debunks some common myths and misconceptions, and breaks down some stellar sample essays that have been successful in the past.

Lesson 2: The Prompts

So, what do I write about? Choosing the right topic can be one of the most important—and challenging!—parts of the college essay writing process. In this lesson, Will takes a deep dive into each of the 7 Common Application prompts and provides tools for making the most of the word limit and telling your story most effectively.

Lesson 3: Outlining and Drafting

Once you’ve chosen a topic and decided on a Common App prompt, it’s time to start drafting! In the final lesson of our virtual college essay series, Will explains key organizational tools such as the Kernel Essay outlining model, closely examines a final sample essay, and shares drafting tips to strengthen your story.

Corresponding slide decks, sample essays, and fillable PDF worksheets are available here.

Whether you join us at Boot Camp this summer or choose to explore our on demand lessons on your own, we wish you the best of luck in telling your story! 

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