#1: It all starts with a conversation designed to uncover each student’s special spark. We spend 90 minutes (in person or via video-chat) reviewing information we’ve gathered prior to the meeting, brainstorm about possible essay topics, and decide on a topic for the personal statement essay.
#2: Within 48 hours, students are given writing prompts (and a deadline) to begin fleshing out ideas in paragraph form. After the paragraphs are written, a second professional adviser offers feedback, and then the student and primary adviser meet again to decide on a direction for the essay and outline a structure (and a deadline) for the first draft.
#3: Students write a first draft. The adviser reviews the draft and offers timely feedback via email, Google Docs, video chat, or in-person meetings, as geographical proximity permits. We follow-up with email summaries of video-chat and in-person meetings that include reminders about next steps and clear deadlines.