Personal Essay Writing Crash Course

From: $110.00 / month for 3 months

Grades:  10th–12th

Class:  No live class (self-paced), however live “office hours” will be offered to meet with instructor

Dates (Summer):  Start on or after Jun 10 – must complete by Aug 30, 2024

Prepaid:  $299

Instructor:  Farrar Williams

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Course Description

Note: This is a self-paced course, however the instructor will ‘meet’ with students at agreed on times periodically throughout the course. It is a rolling start between June 10 and July 8, 2024, but the course must be completed by August 30, 2024.

Writing about yourself, your experiences, and your own perspective can be hard. It’s also something that a lot of students don’t get enough practice with as they focus on academic writing in most courses. However, personal narratives and perspectives are a focus of most college applications. In this summer mini-course, students will get a crash course in how to create a personal essay. We’ll take the essay process through brainstorming, drafting, revising, and polishing. Students will emerge from the class with a solid personal statement essay as well as several shorter writing pieces.

For students who are rising seniors, they can potentially use this essay for the Common Application and other college applications. For younger students, the course provides a chance to dive into memoirs and hone their writing and revising skills.

Course Structure

Our weekly meeting will be used to brainstorm and workshop as well as include lessons about personal essays and engaging your reader with beautiful or eye-catching writing. Work is paced out so that while students will create a single, polished essay by the end of the course, they will work on that essay and other assignments in a step by step way. The first half of the course also contains short essay reading assignments.

Who should enroll?

Rising seniors who would like to write their personal statement essay for college over the summer. Rising sophomores and juniors who enjoy writing and would like to try writing about themselves or who would like to get a head start on understanding how to write a personal essay for college.

Technology Requirements

                • High-speed, broadband Internet
                • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
                • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

My goal as an educator is always to help your student move forward in their skills with writing. Students start in different places. This is why I give extensive feedback on writing assignments and make myself available to meet with students about their essays. Grades for this course will only reflect having completed the work and participated in the assignments. They will not be evaluative of writing. All evaluation will come through narrative feedback.


Communication is through Canvas. Parents and students are encouraged to reach out.


Required Texts


There are no required materials for this course. I will provide essay models for short reading assignments. I will also provide a list of suggested resources for further essay explorations.


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Instructor Bio

Farrar Williams

Farrar Williams is a longtime educator with experience teaching in a variety of settings and levels. She has her undergraduate degree in history from Mount Holyoke College and her master’s in education and teaching from Goddard College. Farrar spent many years as a humanities teacher and administrator at a small Quaker middle school, where she honed her belief that education is a process, not a product, and that the goal is to bring out each student’s individual light. For the last decade and a bit, she has been homeschooling her sons, writing, and teaching in homeschool co-ops and drama groups. In addition to teaching, she’s currently an educational consultant and works with homeschool families on college admissions. When not teaching or working, Farrar is probably solving sudoku, reading a YA novel, or trying to resist putting in another batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. She lives in Washington, DC. Contact: fwilliams[at]


All classes taught by Farrar Williams