Essay Escort plans transition from privately-run editing group to club

Essay+Escort+meets+in+the+MVHS+library.

The Essay Escort team discusses upcoming changes at its biweekly meeting in the library. Junior Brian Fan, who founded the organization two years ago, hopes to establish Essay Escort as a club early into second semester. Photo by Varsha Venkat.

Varsha Venkat

Essay Escort plans transition from privately-run editing group to club

Essay Escort meets in the MVHS library.
The Essay Escort team discusses upcoming changes at its biweekly meeting in the library. Junior Brian Fan, who founded the organization two years ago, hopes to establish Essay Escort as a club early into second semester. Photo by Varsha Venkat.

Updated on Nov. 23 at 9:06 a.m: Essay Escort was not passed as a club by Legislative Council.

When he first entered high school, junior Brian Fan struggled to find adequate help for essay writing. After several lessons with various tutors, Fan realized that affordable and qualified tutors are difficult to find. Fan decided to start his own organization — called Essay Escort — to help students by editing their essays, applications, research papers and other forms of writing for free.

“Sure, maybe [the professional] quality can be better, but the problem is that they’re not hands-on,” Fan said. “They don’t know exactly what the high school teacher wants. It doesn’t have the thought of a high schooler writing it, and Essay Escort solves all that.”

Increased publicity

Since the organization’s inception, Fan has wanted to increase the organization’s presence at school; while he started off with minimal publicity, he eventually invited others to join the team and help him spread word about the organization. Now he has decided to take the publicity to another level by establishing an Essay Escort club on campus.

Fan initially approached a number of his classmates to get the word out about his new organization. Slowly, submissions started trickling in, and Fan decided that he needed to form a team of editors to help him keep up with the demand. He also decided that it would be better to have a website for convenient submission of papers. The Essay Escort website features a resources page which lists around 50 sites which provide tools to help users improve their writing skills. It also has a submissions page with instructions for essay submissions and a link to a sample essay that the editors have graded.

According to Fan, the best part about the website is that anyone with Internet access and a Gmail account can submit their essays and other literary papers that they would like edited. The group receives over 10 essays per week through email and maintains its member base through such email exchanges.

However, according to Essay Escort’s Chief of Electronic and Information Technologies, junior Kevin Xia, it was not until late last year that the organization established a strong foundation.

“When I first started [a year ago] it was undeveloped, kind of disorganized, and not many people knew about it,” Xia said. “It’s growing more and more popular, it seems more professional now and its nice to see that progression.”

[blockquote]It’s growing more and more popular, it seems more professional now and its nice to see that progression.[/blockquote]

Now, two years after its conception, the once “disorganized” group has developed a large user-base ranging from middle school students to college students from various parts of the nation including San Diego, Los Angeles and even the East Coast.  

Becoming a club

Having established strong relations with many of its online users, Essay Escort has turned its sights to becoming a club. Literature teacher Mark Carpenter, who Essay Tipswill be the club’s advisor, believes that the organization can be a helpful resource for students.

“As an English teacher I think that two of the most valuable things that can help a person are examining the issues in another person’s writing and of course having that extra set of eyes over your own writing,” Carpenter said. “I think that feedback from a reader can be valuable and I do hope people using [Essay Escort] take feedback as [a supplement].”

Fan submitted a club application earlier in October and with club approval underway, the Essay Escort team has started planning club activities for this year. According to Essay Escort’s Vice President, junior Ajay Gopinath, some of the team’s plans include hosting writing workshops, having presentations by guest speakers on how students can improve their writing and sending members to competitions.

“We know at MVHS there’s tons of competent writers, but we also want to give them the opportunity to demonstrate these by having writing competitions with prizes that are funded by our sponsors,” Gopinath said.

The organization already receives a monthly sponsorship from Teen Ink and is aiming to partner with other companies to provide a better service to its users. Essay Escort will use its club as a branch through which it can reach out to the MVHS community and in turn increase the traffic to its website.

Fan also hopes that by establishing a club, Essay Escort’s legacy will continue after he and his editors graduate. If he has the time, Fan says he would also like to continue working with Essay Escort while he goes to college and possibly establish the organization as a professional non-profit after that. But for the time being, Fan is content with Essay Escort’s success.

“[I want to] give it some sort of authority in academic writing [so] that students look up to it, give some sort of prestige to the editors who have worked so hard to get where they are now, get the funding, get the sponsorship, get it out there, establish our position in [writing] competitions,” Fan said, “And that’s gonna make me pretty happy.”