Lesley is a writing coach who steps students through the process of crafting vibrant, revealing, and engaging application essays and personal statements. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but provides essay help to applicants across the country and overseas.
For students starting from scratch, Lesley generally starts with a brainstorming questionnaire to get a sense of their personalities, passions, experiences, achievements, and goals—in advance of a video call. A promising topic area is then identified for a free-write (rough, non-intimidating, stream of consciousness writing) meant to uncover important clues about who a student really is and the stories s/he has to tell. The subsequent first draft is usually written with a clear theme in mind, the second is about shape and structure, the third about flow of language and transitions, and the last polishing and punctuation. This process is repeated in an abbreviated way for additional/supplemental essays.
After the initial call, drafts and recommendations are exchanged via e-mail, and questions resolved over the phone or through a video call.
Once a list of target colleges is drafted, Lesley can tailor a spreadsheet that allows for the grouping of similar essay prompts so the student can, wherever possible, adapt one essay for more than one purpose. She can also provide each student with a timeline to keep him on track and avoid any last minute emergencies.
For clients who have topics under control, and need no assistance with time and deadline management, Lesley is available simply to provide insightful and detailed recommendations on their drafts.