“The quality of the essays was unbelievable. I had worked with other educational professionals on application essays in the past, but these essays were by far the best I had ever written!”
– applicant parent, 2017
Supporting your child through the application process can be stressful. The scheduling alone requires a spreadsheet to manage open houses, standardized testing, and interview days. Then comes the formal application, which includes multiple essay questions for parents. How can you ensure top quality essays while juggling so many responsibilities? In addition to hiring an application coach, here are a few tips to get you started:
Ideally in the summer before the application year, begin to collect important information about your child:
Brainstorming is crucial to any compelling finished piece of writing. Reflect and allow yourself time to engage in writing freely about your child’s academic, social, and emotional growth without judging or editing your writing. If you are feeling stuck, an Uplift writing coach (email@example.com) can help draw out important information with guided questions. Keep all of your writing, even if it won’t go into the final essays.
Do Your Homework
A lot of written information can be found on each school’s web site. Your essay responses need to reflect your understanding and commitment to a school’s unique mission and identity. Consider printing out pages on the programs you find especially interesting at each school and citing them in your essays.
“Rewriting is the essence of writing well–where the game is won or lost.”
— William Zinsser
Starting the application process early will allow you time for revision, the most critical step in the writing process. Revising works best if you give yourself some time and mental space after the original writing and then ask yourself some hard questions, e.g. “Is the organization logical?”; “Is this the best possible example?”; and “Am I answering precisely?”
Adhering to word count demonstrates respect for the committee and willingness to follow directions, in other words, humility. At times, extenuating circumstances will require additional clarification and explanation in the form of a letter. However, in general, cutting extraneous information will strengthen your essays. If you are having trouble figuring out how to stay within the word count, or what can stay and what should go in your response, reach out to an Uplift coach who has experience with the genre of the personal narrative and can help with the discernment.
In early December, it is time to polish your essays. Professional editing at this point will guarantee an impeccable final version. While no one expects you to be an English major, mistakes in grammar, spelling, or word usage distract from the impact of your response. Remember, the admissions committee is made up largely of teachers. Having a professional Uplift application coach edit your work will give you the peace of mind to submit your essays early, before the committee is inundated after winter break.
Although January’s application deadline may seem far away now, parents often feel differently in the fall. Giving yourself the time to reflect and organize your thoughts this summer will help you enjoy the application journey with your child in the coming school year. If you have questions about the application process, or, to set up an initial appointment, please visit http://upliftwriting.com/application-essays/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.