Essay Writing In 2020

Tell us why these disciplines stand out and how they inform your future goals.

But remember, we do ask you to apply to a specific undergraduate school at Penn: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, the Wharton School, or the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

And we hope you’ll use the second question to share something about your life experiences, your identity, and your interests beyond academics: how do you see yourself bringing these to your Penn experience? Remember that our Instagram (@Previewing Penn), student blogs, campus visits, and Penn-In-Your-Town sessions are great sources of information, whether you’ve been to campus or not.

Campus visits can be great, but we know not all of you can make the trip – that’s ok!

Earlier this summer, we started to focus on our Penn-specific essay prompt, and we asked ourselves, “Is our current essay helping applicants share their full story?

” We asked some of the counselors we work with, “How can we improve our essay question so that it helps applicants tell us more about their reasons for applying to Penn?

There are five major program goals: ---To revise substantially, through a transformative process of reading and writing, three to five essays and prepare them for submission to publications; explore and try out new forms, styles and voices; and to learn strategies for revising your own essays; --- To study the essay in service to one’s writing goals, and to understand the rich tradition and history of the essay form, and your place within it; ---To understand the publishing marketplace for your essays, create a plan, and engage steps towards publication, becoming a professional writer, and developing a sustainable and productive writing practice; ---To understand craft, how discuss craft, and how to offer feedback at a high level; ---To develop a community of equally committed essayists, receive each other’s support and share in a common sense of purpose.

In service to their revision process, students will share with the class an informal mini-craft lecture related to an issue they are grappling with in their writing.

In service to the goal of publication, each student will present an overview of a current media outlet, magazine or literary magazine of interest to the class.

The class will celebrate the completion of the eight-month program with a reading party, and the cohort will also convene at the Muse and the Marketplace conference (April 3rd - 5th, 2020), where each writer will receive a Manuscript Mart session with one journal editor or literary agent (student’s choice) seeking essays, and join the rest of the cohort for socializing and networking.


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