Brad, Jordan, and John are MIT grads who founded Prompt to make people better writers.
As writers, they all separately came to the realization that defines Prompt: receiving writing planning instruction and written feedback is the best way to improve writing skills.
In 2013, they found each other, and in 2014, a company was born. Today, Prompt is a world leader in writing education, supporting more than 50,000 learners. Prompt provides fully-integrated writing education solutions, combining instruction, curriculum, and feedback. Prompt supports learners of all ages, working directly with educational institutions, companies, and individuals.
Here’s a short history of Prompt and our philosophy as told by Brad Schiller, our eternally optimistic CEO:
Writing is structured thinking – not just grammar. We focus on the higher-order aspects of writing: content, structure, and clarity. This strengthens critical thinking and written communication skills.
Our approach is that of a great educator. We use evidence-based methods to build generalizable and transferable writing skills that enable people to write independently across any subject.
The most important thing we offer is time. The world’s education system is not set up to support people with writing. It’s a math problem (our founders did go to MIT after all). Let’s say an educator has 100 people across their classes. Spending just 5 minutes providing one-to-one instruction and feedback on each person's essay would take over 8 hours. Now, we know 5 minutes is not enough. At Prompt, we’ve found common essays require 12-15 minutes, and critical essays, like those for college admissions, require about 45. As such, a great educator would need to spend over 20 hours supporting each person on a single writing assignment – along with everything else they need to teach.
Prompt delivers time. We offer a variety of standard and custom solutions to meet the needs of educational institutions, companies, and individuals. The result is more individualized attention per person and dramatically improved writing outcomes.
We accept fewer than 2% of candidates into our network and continuously monitor their performance. We have a rigorous process for onboarding new instructors and coaches. We screen for certain traits: personableness, thoroughness, thoughtfulness, and tone. Then, coaches go through tens of hours of orientation and evaluation before they’re admitted to the network.
Our Writing Instructors and Coaches have a wide range of life experiences and backgrounds, including teachers, academics, journalists, authors, and playwrights. We find there are many common threads: 80% have an advanced degree (all have undergrad degrees). 75% have prior teaching experience. All are passionate about working with people to improve their writing skills.
Writing instruction and feedback is really hard. It is very different from math, test prep, or spoken language tutoring. In writing, there are many shades of “right” and many ability levels. We've figured it out and have the capacity to provide tens of thousands of instructional hours per month.
We use evidence-based methods. We collaborate with many of the world's leading writing researchers and instructors. We integrate the highest-efficacy approaches into programs that get results.
We excel at operations. The first step is to identify talented instructors and coaches who are personable, thorough, thoughtful, and relentlessly positive. The second step is to implement a clearly defined process instructors and coaches follow that builds self-regulation skills and grows each and every person’s abilities. The third step is to operate as a managed community, allowing more experienced instructors and coaches to quality check and support their peers.