Foundation Year Writing Preparation

Foundation Year Writing Preparation

11/7/2017
As part of the college application process, every applicant must tackle the challenging task of mastering the college admissions essay.  Over a relatively short period during the Foundation Year, KGSP students learn to master the art of writing and perfecting a statement that reaches beyond grades and test scores to represent their individuality, uniqueness, and potential.  KGSP recipients are fortunate to benefit from the specialized support of their Foundation Year advisors, instructors, and university writing staff.
 
Foundation Year advisor at University of Pennsylvania, Kristin Franco, met with writing instructor Erick Hyde to learn about his writing course insights:
 
Q:  What specialized experiences do you bring to your position in the Foundation Year at U Penn?
A: I have worked for several years in a college admissions office, giving me unique insight into what admissions officers are looking for in successful applicants.
 
Q: Why is writing a strong essay important to the U.S. college application process?
A: Test scores will open the door for consideration to a great school, but a unique and well-written essay is what will make you stand out and get you accepted.
 
Q: What process do you advise for students on the writing process?
A: The first step in the process is to contextualize the essay. I ask students to think about how the essay will be used by the admissions office, and to understand the audience of the essay (who is reading the essay, and what do they want to learn through it).   KGSP students and I study samples of both strong and weak writing, to learn what works and what doesn’t. The next step is to just start writing!  It’s important to focus more on general ideas in the early drafts, and then more on technical revision once the essay content is formulated. I also steer students away from common pitfalls like using clichés.
 
Foundation Year instructors like Erick Hyde are incredibly valuable components of the KGSP Foundation Year program, preparing students for success in their undergraduate applications to the U.S.’s top undergraduate institutions.   
 
 
Foundation Year writing instructor Erick Hyde meets with a KGSP student to discuss feedback on writing