Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

Viewing the world through the comparative framework is something that has already brought me great benefit just in reading news articles and keeping up with current events. Mrs. Reed was an excellent teacher. She was very helpful and engaged in the class, and she is also very passionate about what she is teaching.  

AP Class Reviews

Application Essay: Common App Workshop taught by Maya Inspektor

by Students and Parents

Definitely Recommend! posted by Sophie S. on June 14 2020 at 12:23:16

This workshop should be on your list of classes to take. It is so incredibly helpful. The common essay seemed daunting to me and I wasn’t exactly sure how to tackle it, but with this class, I was introduced to the ins and outs of admissions essays and had a thorough review of common grammar mistakes! Each week, a teacher would give detailed constructive feedback and classmates could comment on our essays so that we had a range of opinions. You come away from this workshop with a well thought out essay! Would definitely recommend!  

The Grand Review of Greatness xD posted by Patience Parrott on June 12 2020 at 21:36:29

Yep! Very much so- I feel proud of my essay, and I think it has what it takes to get in. :)

It varied per day, and by how badly my essay needed revision. xD I wouldn't say it was more than 7 hours a week or so, though. :)

I really enjoyed commenting on other people's essays, and it was fun to read what everyone had to say about Drama at the Dentist (my piece of admissions clickbait essay xD).

Yes, absolutely!

Yes, it was really cool to see everyone's essays!

Any student who loves writing- even non-essay-writing- will have a blast in this class. Even students who might not like writing as much will still have a nice progression of steps to follow to make the essay-writing much less painful, and even enjoyable! :D

Spectacular Course posted by Josiah Alons on June 12 2020 at 14:12:37

Awesome class! posted by Madison D on June 12 2020 at 13:17:53

I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of writing a college application essay, but this course guided me through the entire process in a way that wasn't overwhelming at all. Morning Messages broke down the essay-writing process into manageable chunks so I could tackle just one specific aspect per day (which not only made the essay less stressful to write, but also made me focus on every little detail of the piece in ways that I wouldn't have thought of), and the feedback was so incredibly helpful. Plus, I got to get my essay out of the way by mid-June, which is much preferable than the certain months of agony that would have surely awaited me if I worked on it by myself. 100000/10 would recommend!

You need this workshop! posted by Cynthia on June 09 2020 at 13:19:46

Mrs. Inspektor, her workshop, her feedback, everything is excellent. Although it may seem annoying to be confined to a summer class, this is absolutely worth it. It was very flexible and did not take more than an hour or two a day. 

I came out of the workshop with a stellar essay that is ready to submit, better writing skills, and a new set of friends since this class is highly interactive.

We all know you will procrastinate your essay, or you’ll fall into one of the essay traps that Mrs. Inspektor teaches you about, or you will just have an essay that will ”make do.” NO! Why would you when you could have a stellar essay? Take this workshop! Seriously. Thank me later :)

Perfect, Not Excellent! posted by Naiya Byrne on June 08 2020 at 18:56:59

Contrary to my essays, maybe perfection does exist... in the form of this class! It was the perfect timeframe to craft a well thought-out essay, without leaving room for procrastination. The assignments generally took up anywhere from a half hour to four hours each day, depending on how much essay-writing I had to do that day and the length of the Morning Message. I loved every single one of the exercises, and found a lot of value in multiple revisions, especially in the single paragraph ones since it wasn't so overwhelming. My peers were wonderful, and offered constructive yet kind comments on my work. We ended up creating a group chat, and it's been really nice to get to know them more personally! :) This class is definitely for more self-driven students with a good sense of work ethic, but it's very rewarding, providing that you are willing to put in said work. The instructors were all amazing – very supportive and always responded to e-mails within a reasonable time frame! Highly, highly reccomend. This class made the college essay process much less overwhelming! I will definitely be back for more classes next year. Thank you all!

Class Review! posted by Meredith Padgett on June 06 2020 at 04:03:56

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the class?

I normally worked about an hour or less each day. Over the weekends I spent 1-2 hours per day because I did most of the writing then.

What sort of student would do well in this class? Would you recommend this class to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I think any kind of student that wants to succeed would do well in this class. Personally, writing is not my favorite, but this class made it seem fun. I loved getting helpful, detailed feeback (something not many teachers take the time to do normally). I would definitely reccomend this class to a friend.

Wonderful Class! posted by Sophia Chan on June 05 2020 at 15:57:54

This coursework guides you through the process of crafting an effective admissions essay that is uniquely yours, from choosing your topic to unveiling your personality within the 650 word limit (Side note: this class is not just for the Common Application! Mrs. Inspektor will help you with other application essays too :) ). Mrs. Inspektor is friendly, approachable, informative, and helpful. Her Morning Messages (small lessons that are shared every weekday) and feedback are invaluable. There is no doubt that I will carry the things I've learned from this workshop with me wherever I write. I definitely recommend this class to any high schoolers who are preparing applications for college!

Loved The Session! posted by Crystal Mathew on June 05 2020 at 12:50:37

This workshop was very helpful! I was really worried about the essay portion of the application but now I'm much more relaxed about it. Mrs. I really helps the students understand what the admissions officers want to see as well as how to get there. Her Morning Messages had a ton of information that helped me craft my essay, I know I wouldn't have been able to write the essay I have without it. Being in a class with students who are all writing their essays too really motivated me! I'd definately recommend this! 

Incredibly Helpful! posted by Jocelyn K on September 23 2019 at 22:13:15

Going into the college application process, the Common App essay was definitely what I was dreading the most. I went away for a summer program this past summer, so I wanted to try and get at least a draft or two finished before leaving home for six weeks. With the detailed (and helpful!) guidance of Mrs. Inspektor, I left for the program with a huge weight off my shoulders—I'd come away from the workshop with a nearly-final essay. Mrs. Inspektor's Morning Messages and thorough feedback was incredibly helpful. I can't recommend this enough for any rising senior! This workshop probably took be about 5-6 hours of work per week. 

Every Senior Should Take this Class posted by Maya Powell on August 22 2019 at 11:10:39

Anyone who is working on their college applications should take this class. During the first week Mrs. I focuses on helping us understand what colleges want to see in your admissions essays. She helps you choose a good focus and explains what makes a focus bad. During the second week Mrs. I comments on our first drafts suggesting what we should add to make our essays stronger. The morning messages focus on cutting extraeneous words and strengthening our essay. The third week Mrs. I comments on our essay line by line giving us more specific comments on what we need to fix. It really has been an invaluable class, I have saved many of her morning messages to refer to when writing scholarship application essays. 

Definitely would recommend. posted by Justin Peterson on August 20 2019 at 11:35:37

So, if any of you have taken Mrs. I's other classes, you already know she's a good teacher. Even though this is shorter, it's just as good. Her comments are very useful, and her Morning Messages helps you make your essay stronger in multiple ways. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, regardless of where you're trying to get in to. A strong application essay never hurt anyone.

I'm not very good at writing reviews, but yeah I liked this workshop. I'm not a super strong writer, so it was nice to have guidance.

One step closer to college.... posted by Grace Wiratunga on August 20 2019 at 04:54:47

I can definitely say that this class really helped me understand more about writing an essay for applications.  Mrs. Inspektor guided me in what I should write about, even though I started out with different ideas.  I learned what admission officers want to see, and I chose to write about something kinda personal, even though I'd never really shared about it before.  Mrs. Inspektor was so encouraging and her advice was always spot on.  The Morning Messages had so much information and I think I would have never come out with a decent essay without them. 100% would recommend this class! I really enjoyed every second of it. (: 

Awesome workshop! posted by Raya Kenney on August 19 2019 at 20:51:34

I would highly recommend this class to any high school junior thinking about college! Not only did Mrs. I share amazing insights, but the turnaround time for essay corrections and recommendations was fast and I never felt like I was waiting for feedback. I was in Ms. Mitchell's section because I registered late, but her feedback was just incredible! Writing the essay takes time, effort, and a lot of self-reflection. I was working at least an hour and a half a day on my essay and/or the daily assignments posted on the wwwboard. Everything assigned, though sometimes harder than I initially expected, helped me when I got to writing the essay. Now, I can use all the things I learned (such as balancing ethos, pathos, logos, and how to choose a structurally sound anecdote as a base) for future college essays and have access to amazing materials provided by Mrs. I!

Extremely valuable class posted by Edward Ross on August 19 2019 at 06:14:42

This class helped me get my Common App personal essay written. I wish I could write faster because the feedback from Mrs. Inspektor is extremely valuable. I have never had a class in which someone gave me such insightful, detailed, helpful feedback. It made me wish I had known earlier and had taken other courses with her.

I am a slow writer so giving feedback to other students took me forever. I hope it helped someone because I also had difficulty turning things in on time. I would actually have liked a slightly longer course with more time to brainstorm ideas for all the essays at the beginning and more time to write in between.

I think this class is good for students who want to work hard over a short period to get this essay done over the summer. I don't even want to mention how many hours I put into the class, but as I said, I am a slow writer. It helped me a lot to get so much done now, that I wish the class was repeating so I could get the rest of my essays finished with this kind of help and feedback.

Every senior should do this! posted by Aislinn Niimi on August 16 2019 at 11:23:27

This workshop was extremely helpful.  I had two first drafts about different topics, and I couldn't decide which one to use.  I didn't know what colleges were looking for, but Mrs. Inspektor was able to tell me which essay showed my personality more, and told me that colleges want to get to know YOU.  She also helped me revise my essay to showcase my academic side, while keeping the essay focused on middle grade fantasy fiction.  I'm very pleased with the result, and would recommend this workshop to every rising senior.  A bonus of this workshop was getting to read other student's essays.  Some of these students I've known from PAHS classes for years, while others I've just met for the first time, but getting to know them through their essays was amazing.  


Admissions essay Workshop Review posted by Rachel Shey on July 27 2019 at 20:42:30

Yes, I am very happy with the final draft and feel like all my bases are covered in this aspect of college apps.  I'm glad, as this is a very stressful process for everyone and getting this out of the way earlier is going to make the process tremendously easier.  

Probably about an hour a day reading the message and replying, although I spent about five hours finishing the first drafts and maybe two to three hours on the last day refining and cutting down.  

I found the Morning Messages extremely helpful, as were teacher critiques.  

It's safe to say, not really?  I'm much more comfortable about the process of writing application essays which will probably be helpful as I go into my senior year, but it's not like I've become really passionate about writing application essays.  Writing about myself is still difficult.  However, teacher comments helped me 'get to know myself' better.   

Three weeks doesn't give a lot of time for student interaction, but I enjoyed reading other people's essays and using them as inspiration for my own.  

This class is probably most helpful to people going into senior year/college application season.  It's also mostly geared toward the Common App Essay, whereas I was using the UC Personal Insight Questions; nevertheless, most of the advice works for my short response questions pretty well.  

Great Essay Workshop! posted by Kaeleigh D on July 11 2019 at 17:19:10

Going into this workshop, writing an application essay for college seemed like a very daunting task, but Mrs. Inspektor helped me learn how I could best let my voice come through in my essay. With detailed daily posts and assignments, Mrs. Inspektor helped me learn how to not just write a "good" essay, but also one that speaks to who I am. I really like how my essay turned out, and I feel that the college that reads my essay will understand a lot more about me after they read it. I would really recommend this workshop to anyone who is applying to college! 

Highly Recommended! (with Ms. Baert) posted by David Brodsky on July 04 2019 at 19:07:54

My college essay is done, and it's the end of June! Need I say more?

For me, writing a college essay was the most dreaded part of the college applications process, and I'm really happy with the essay I now have. In the three week workshop, there are relatively short daily assignments (especially in the first two weeks), and there is an essay draft due at the end of every week, to which you recieve extensive comments.

I think you need 5+ free hours a week for the workshop.

Fantastic Workshop posted by Riva Silver on June 09 2019 at 03:19:27

- This workshop helped me tackle the daunting task of writing a college essay in an approachable and yes, fun, way.

- Less than an hour a day, except for writing my first draft.

- I particularly enjoyed the "jam writing" which was a great exercise in lowering academic filters and writing a true rough draft.

- Yes. In fact, Mrs. Inspektor's advice will be valuable in the short stories I write for fun as well.

- Having the ability to collaberate with other students was a valuable addition to the workshop. I enjoyed reading everyone's incredible stories.

- Any student who needs (or wants) to write a knockout essay.

Concentrated & Beneficial posted by Hope Liu on June 07 2019 at 13:48:27

Mrs. Inspektor's College Admissions Essay Workshop has helped me so much. It has provided accountability for me to get started on the college admissions process and has helped me write an essay that I am very proud of. While this class is short and fast-paced, it is very concentrated with great information that is extremely helpful. After completing AP Lang with Mrs. I this past year, I was very grateful for another chance to work with her again. She is an amazing teacher! I encourage everyone to take any of her classes!

College Essay Class Review posted by Alaina R. on August 20 2018 at 14:07:23

Certainly. I had an almost completed essay by the end of the class that only needed a few minor changes before submission. I feel that it also prepared me to write with better precision and more accuracy for other similar essays (such as shorter college-specific ones).

I worked for about half an hour to an hour a day during the weekdays and about 3 or 4 hours for one day each weekend to do the majority of the work for that draft. I found that this system worked best for me, but the work each weekend could easily be spread out over the week if you prefer not to work on the weekends or for a long period at one sitting.

Actually writing the essay and being able to receive feedback on it specifically was invaluable. I feel much more confident in my application essay now that I’ve had comments and advice (and made changes based on that advice) from a writing teacher who has a lot of experience with this type of essay.

I recommend this class mostly to rising seniors because I feel that is the group that would benefit most from writing the essay during the class, but I also think that any student willing to take an intensive course during the summer would be a good fit!

Mrs Inspektor's College Admissions Essay Workshop Review posted by Ethan Dahlby on August 02 2018 at 16:41:44

Did I feel that this class prepared me for the application essay?

     After taking Mrs. Inspektor's class, I felt a whole lot more prepared for the application essay. When I first came into the class, I didn't know much about the essay or the whole application process, but this class helped me to get more comfortable with them. This course, particularly the Morning Messages, gives you plenty of examples of good application essays, and strategies you can use to improve your own.

How many hours of work per day or per week did I generally put into the class?

     There are daily Morning Messages, which vary in length. The shorter ones can take 30 minutes, while others call for revising portions of your essay, so that might take an hour or two. You will have to write three drafts of your application essay. However, the workload for this class isn't huge; it is certainly less than a "normal" class you would take over the school year.

Are there any favorite assignments that I found especially valuable?

     I found that my classmates' reviews on my essay drafts were particularly helpful, because it gave me several different opinions on my essay, and how I could improve. You will need to review some other people's essays, and I encourage you to give longer, more thought-out reviews.

What sort of student would do well in this class? Would you recommend this class to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

     I would definitely recommend this class to other students, especially if they are unfamiliar with the application essay or process. You will need the discipline to continually work on your essay, but the workload isn't particularly difficult, so most students would be able to do well in this class.

Admissions Essay Workshop recommendation posted by Chloe on August 01 2018 at 18:03:19

This class was a huge help with writing my college admissions essay.  It helped me understand what the essay was and how to go about writing it.  It also pushed me to get it done, so now I don’t have to worry about it.  I connected with other students who were very encouraging and had interesting stories to share.  This class is not easy, it requires a lot of thought and effort, but if you are willing to put in the work, you will be rewarded with a great essay.

9/9 posted by Samuel Jackson on August 01 2018 at 08:28:03

Mrs. Inspektor gives extensive and phenomenal feedback to write an effective college essay. Be prepared to answer tough questions about yourself and spend hours discovering who you are and who you are meant to be. If you do her exercises and commit to work hard for three weeks, you will have a great essay. 

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