For most high school seniors, writing the essay is the most daunting task of the college application process.
High school doesn’t teach students how to write these essays.
High school teaches students how to write 5-point “hamburger” essays:
Don’t use first person.
Use and cite sources.
State the thesis in the intro and then restate it using different words in the conclusion.
So if, like most high school students, you’ve grown up with rigid rules for exactly what an essay needs to look like, you start to think that all essays look like 5-point hamburgers ALL THE TIME.
And then you read the essay prompts for college applications.
And you start to wonder how you’re going to write about what you learned from your greatest failure without using the first person.
Welcome to essaypalooza!
We give you the “cheat codes” to skip right over OMG college apps and level-up to writing a polished college application essay that identifies your strengths, talents, and unique experiences that separate you from those who look like you academically.
See, the college application essay begins and ends with YOU.
It uses a rhetorical mode that many high school seniors are largely unfamiliar with — and that particular rhetorical mode requires one of the three organizational methods.
Whoa. What’s an organizational method? And I think I might know what a rhetorical mode is, but …
Yep! Cheat codes, remember? That’s where we come in.
I’m Christine, the founder and principal writer here at essaypalooza!
My ah-ha moment came as I was working with a dozen or so high school students on their college application essays.
Wait, let’s back up a bit.
I was an associate faculty at the University of Phoenix (Baton Rouge and New Orleans campuses) teaching college essay writing. I found the canned university writing courses didn’t make sense to my particular student demographic because 1) they didn’t have the educational foundation and 2) they didn’t have, as working adults, much practical use for grammar instruction.
So I developed my own course for teaching the fundamentals of college essay writing, improvising to help my hard working, dedicated students learn the foundations and formulas of writing in a way that was both understandable and useful to them. And then we had some fun getting creative and making it relevant in ways that also made it memorable and applicable in their professional lives.
We had so much fun, in fact, that we were wildly successful, and it wasn’t long before word got back to my Campus College Chair and the Academics Director.
I was soon promoted to Lead Faculty for Communications at both campuses, in charge of the entire Communications faculty and also responsible for educating my Lead Faculty peers how to grade academic essays outside of the Communications discipline (Content, organization, and mechanics.) I loved my job, and I was good at it.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my husband and I had two high schoolers, one senior and one junior who had decided to graduate high school a year early.
I also had several friends who also had high school seniors working on their application essays.
So I had two of my own kids, plus their friends and my friends’ kids, who were all working on college application essays.
At some point, it dawned on all of them that they had a college writing instructor in their midst. Almost immediately, the essay drafts starting populating my inbox.
Before I knew it, I was knee-deep in helping students with their college application essays — and LOVING IT!
It was while helping high school students brainstorm, write, and polish their college application essays that I noticed a pattern — and this brings us back to my ah-ha moment:
Needlessly fearful students were white-knuckling their way toward “get it over with” rather than simply using the writing process to effectively communicate and present their unique strengths and authentic selves to admissions officers.
In 2017, I created essaypalooza! to share my time and talents as a successful college writing instructor with a broader reach of teenagers looking to land their dream college acceptance letter.
So here we are.
As students move through our program, we are continually expanding and enhancing as we tailor digital learning to busy high school and college students.
At essaypalooza!, we stand with students facing the enormity of the blank page and we train them with practice, confidence, and flair to find their best voice through writing.
#OMGcollegeapps is a course that teaches academically qualified high school students to present their unique and authentic selves to college admissions officers, separating themselves from those who look like them academically using techniques that dovetail seamlessly with college essay writing.
If you are a high school senior, we give you the tools you need to get that huge college application monkey off your back. Which means you get your parents off your back. Which means you GO BACK to enjoying your senior year.
Are you an academically qualified student who might benefit from our programs?
If you would like to learn more, please sign up on our website to gain access to all of the free content on our blog and to get notified in July when we go live to answer questions and launch the course!