Over the 23 year history of MEK Review, we are constantly looking for ways to better serve our students. Whenever we see an academic area that students are persistently struggling in, our dedicated teachers and academic counselors come together to design innovative programs to solve those problems.
This passion for helping our students is the reason why we are excited to announce the launch of our newest program: the Introspective Writing Program!
This program is designed to help 11th graders build up the necessary narrative skills they need to write amazing college application essays.
Why this Program is Needed
For years our college essay coaches have helped students write stellar college application essays during the summer and fall of their senior year.
This is the perfect time to write these essays as students generally have a clear idea of their college list and those colleges have released their official college essay requirements and prompts for that admission cycle.
However, we noticed a recurring problem among many of our students: they have no idea how to tell their story.
All throughout high school, their education has shifted away from narrative writing to expository and analytical writing. They have spent their time writing book reports on Shakespeare, not writing stories about themselves.
So it’s no surprise that many students feel lost when suddenly as a senior, they are asked to answer college essay prompts such as:
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story.
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation, title and author at the beginning of your essay.
These essay prompts are narrative. They require a student to tell a story and have a clear and compelling voice.
Through the expert help of our essay coaches, many of these students learned to find their voice in the short time before college application essays are due. But for some, it was a real struggle. No matter how hard they tried, their essays were surface-level, boring, and unclear.
If they simply had more time, practice, and earlier guidance on how to write a narrative essay, they would have had a less stressful college application journey and found their voice before Early Application and Early Decision deadlines.
That’s why MEK Review created our Introspective Writing Program.
Who this Program is For
We tailored this program to help incoming and current 11th graders learn how to write compelling narratives and find an authentic, compelling voice that will show college admission officers a more complete picture of who the student is and what they can contribute to the college.
This program is especially helpful to students who:
- Have a significant weakness in narrative writing
- Struggle with brainstorming
- Speak English as a second language
- Have little to no extracurricular activities
- Are high performing in the classroom but have little to no experience with narrative writing
How this Program Works
11th grade is generally too early to write specific college application essays. Colleges do not officially release their supplemental essay requirements for the year’s admission cycle until the summer. Plus, many students have experiences during the summer that they want to share in their application essays.
However, it’s not too early for a junior to work on narrative writing in general, especially since the Common Application essay prompts and many supplemental essay prompts are very similar from year to year.
In fact, for many students it is necessary to begin before the summer, if they want to build up the necessary skills before application deadlines.
Students in IWP are given prompts that are modeled after real college supplemental essay prompts. They meet with one of our expert college essay coaches for 6-10 meetings, each 30 minutes long, to learn how to brainstorm, outline, revise, and polish narrative essays. After the 30 minute session, they spend an hour writing independently. Every 2 meetings, they complete an essay.
Many of these completed well-crafted essays have the potential to be used for their official college application essays.
By the end of the program, students know how to tell their story in a engaging, polished, and authentic way. In the summer and fall of 12th grade, when they transition to writing their official college application essays, they will have a vastly easier experience with a much stronger and compelling final product than if they had waited.
How to Get Started
Students can sign-up for our Introspective Writing Program by calling us or emailing us today! We are currently offering live virtual sessions with our expert coaches for a completely safe, risk-free, yet still highly effective experience. Once the COVID-19 crisis has passed, we will offer virtual and onsite options for your convenience and preference.
We look forward to hearing from you!