Better College Essays? There’s a Platform for That

“What are colleges looking for?” “What’s a good topic? “What should I write about?” If you’ve had high school students or worked with high school students, you’ve undoubtedly heard that from teens attempting to scale the last and most frightening hurdle: their college application essays.

Problem solved: Story2 teaches students how to tell their stories out loud using the power of storytelling to write powerful essays in their own voice.

Our storytelling friend and guest author Carol Barash, PhD, is co-founder of Story2, an online writing application that helps students “build a bridge” from what they’ve done already to what they want to do in the future. Story2 teaches students–of all ages–how to tell their stories in an honest, authentic way.  

Story2 is the perfect compliment to Barash’s book Write Out Loud.  Write Out Loud is an excellent workbook that guides students through the process of crafting excellent college essays.  

The Story2 essay process begins with 16 personality traits, helping  young people find their voice and their moment and tell their story out loud. The video stories are transcribed and, with some great editing tools, they are on their way to a great essay.

In addition to some really cool tools, Story2 provides a positive place for kids to tell their stories. Here’s an example of a young man from Iraq whose school was bombed:

The platform outlines six steps:

  1. Find a moment
  2. Create a draft
  3. Create a map
  4. Revise your map
  5. Build your essay
  6. Focus out

In the last step, parts of the story that take place in a student’s head (phrases like  I thought, I felt) are brought into the real world where readers can experience how the student changed and what they learned through sensory details and dialogue.

Carol believes that these real world stories will support students in making a deeper connection with admissions officers, potential employers and fellow students. And she’s right. Pairing the book with the website, students will learn to deliver a one two punch in a knockout essay.

The EssayBuilder dashboard helps even procrastinators plan and complete their essays through a structured process. The Story2 writing process can also be used for Linkedin profiles and cover letters.

Great college essay are a good start, but, as Barash explains, “our goal is to teach everyone to tell their unique stories out loud and to use storytelling to speak and write more powerfully.” he Story2 platform is such a great writing coach that we think many more uses will be identified and developed to help students tell the stories of who they are and what they want to do in the world

Most recently, in the ComputED Gazette’s 20th Annual Education Software Review Awards (Eddie Awards) Story2 won the College Admissions Essay Website category. The awards target innovative and content-rich programs and websites that augment the classroom curriculum and improve teacher productivity, providing parents and teachers with the technology to foster educational excellence.

Posts on storytelling from Carol:

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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