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Is Your Teen’s College Essay a Stress Point for the Whole Family?

I have the solution.

One of the most important writing projects in a high schooler’s life is not written in the classroom or with the oversight and input of their English teacher. And even the best college counseling office in the world cannot guarantee the one-on-one support many kids need through the college essay writing process.

As a professional writer and teacher of writing, I have coached a few hundred students over the years. I know that when parents try to help, things can become tense. It’s no one’s fault… it’s just the nature of teens and parents. So if you want to preserve your relationship with your teenager, let me take the heat.

My college essay package includes four Zoom coaching meetings, close readings of two essay drafts with detailed feedback, and professional proofreading of the final product.

1. Brainstorming the topic. On a Zoom call with your teen we will make sure the essay topic has legs. This means the student loves the topic and feels good about it (ownership), the subject is likely to catch the attention of an admissions officer (relatable/non-generic), and there is enough supporting material (stories and insights) for it to take off. (This meeting is important even when students think they have a topic selected. We can give each and every essay topic a stress test to make sure it holds up. If it doesn’t, we’ll find something great to replace it.)

2. The outline. Outlines are empowering for writers on a mission—and isn’t that the definition of a college-bound essay-writer? In our second meeting, the student and I will create a clear path to follow. We will also ensure that the supporting material/data/stories/information is all there in a bullet list to draw from during writing. If there’s time, your student can write the opening paragraph in this session. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. When the first draft is complete, it gets emailed to me to read closely before step 3.

3. First draft review. We meet to workshop the draft. I will point out where word choices can be stronger, chronology might be clearer, anecdotes more compelling, and conclusions more powerful (logical or pointed or moving or whatever the goal is). I will also alert the writer of grammar and punctuation errors, giving brief mini-lessons as needed.

4. Final draft review. In our final meeting, we will go over the final draft your student produced based on the revisions we discussed in our last meeting. I’ll ensure technical accuracy too.

Your student must feel full ownership while also being supported to produce their best work. This includes objective, professional feedback from me that they’ve successfully produced a strong and well-written college essay.

Want to learn more? Visit my website or reply to this email for pricing and availability or to ask questions.


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