application & personal essay writing

For several years, I have tutored students in college application essay writing. Application essays, alongside personal essays in general, are both a passion and an expertise of mine. I believe in the power of personal essays to reveal the specificities of experience, and explore the rich complexities of individual personality –– in ways that not only perform utilitarian functions, but also realize aspects of selfhood that inform writers for the rest of their lives.

From “birds eye” feedback to nitty-gritty line edits, I am willing to stay with you to make your essay as good as it can be.

student testimonials

At the beginning of my college application process, I hit impenetrable writer’s block. It seemed impossible to convey myself in a short, single essay. But after speaking to Professor Roberts––having someone to not only brainstorm with, but get insight from––I was able to approach my essay with a newfound sense of clarity and direction. And I felt genuinely excited about it.

The Zoom sessions, in particular, were extremely helpful; an outside perspective was crucial to help me understand what pieces of my essay were missing or lacking. Because my essay tackled complex issues like culture and identity, it was essential to have someone to work through these ideas with me. This back-and-forth made the specific concepts even more poignant and impactful.

These sessions, coupled with multiple rounds of detailed line-edits, ensured that every word of my short essay held significance and contributed meaning. The prose, structure, style, and purpose of my essay developed monumentally over the course of our sessions. Each session provided a new perspective.

It was a relief. I felt much more confident in the essay, and, in turn, far less stressed and anxious throughout the application process.

Ultimately, after a lot of help and guidance from Professor Roberts, I was able to achieve the seemingly-insane task of capturing my personality and identity in a mere 650 words. And it paid off tremendously.”

      -Catherine, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Class of 2024

“Writing my Common Application essay was something I was particularly anxious about. However, working with Mr. Roberts on the first draft, and talking through what I felt I wanted to convey about myself, was extremely helpful.

The process genuinely made me think with better clarity. It didn’t feel like a “write and send for line-edits’ kind of thing, but more like a collaboration—although the line edits made a significant difference as well. My final essay is a piece of work I am confident with. When I look back at my first draft after reading the final draft is like, I see notable change.

The Zoom calls personally helped me a ton in order to navigate my way through the essay and gather my thoughts more cohesively. And, of course, having Mr. Roberts’s view on something that I wrote was crucial in making the essay worthwhile. He helped me strike a balance between personal and straightforward, under the dark cloud of a rather small word limit.

I am grateful to have gone through this process because, beyond refining my essay, it also helped me look at my own writing more critically. And that, in my opinion, was perhaps the biggest takeaway.”

       –Shayeza, Wellesley College, Class of 2023