Posts tagged with "Essay coaching"

Rethinking Summer Plans for Teens

red tulips istockIMG_3126Do you think that sending your child to Stanford or Oxford or Johns Hopkins will help him or her get into an “elite” college? This excellent article debunks that myth.

Instead, I’m a huge fan of letting your child drive the summer bus. What does she never have enough time for? In what does he lose himself? Summer is the time to ease up on the classroom stress and let your teen explore outside the usual boundaries. And any summer job — however menial or “unimpressive” — can be a wonderful learning experience. Check out this amazing essay by a Johns Hopkins student who worked at a bakery for the summer.

Of course, if you’re a rising senior, this summer is an excellent time to start working on your college essays, but not in a stressful way. Writing your college essays should be a time of introspection and exploration. If that scares you, then come to my free talk, Writing YOUR College Essay, at Arlington Central Library, Arlington, VA, on 5/22/16 at 7:30 pm.

Or you can hire me. I work with students in the Washington, D.C., area in person and all over the country via Skype and do prefer to get started over the summer. I’ll make you work very hard on these essays, but they will be some of the best, most reflective words you’ve written.

[This photo is from an Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Museum excursions are a fabulous part of any summer.]

Interested in pursuing a STEM career?

The blog, Collegewise ,which is written by professional college consultants, can be a great source of information and sanity for students approaching college and their parents. I haven’t read the whole guide (here) — my kids haven’t leaned toward STEM careers so far — but it looks very thorough and helpful.

Also, I will be coaching rising seniors over the summer on their college essays. Getting the largest one — the 650 word Common App essay — done over the summer is a fabulous idea and will significantly reduce your first semester stress.  Email me or send me a message to find out more or reserve a date.  I promise it won’t hurt.

Happy writing!

Details on My Free Talk

Writing Personal Essays for College Apps

Excellent college essays can distinguish an application from the pack, but many high school seniors feel panicked by the prospect of writing about themselves.  This free, one-hour talk will explain what college admission officers are looking for in the essays and how you can write the best personal essays possible.

 

What?                            A FREE one-hour talk on personal essays

For Whom?                The Class of 2015 and their parents

When?                           Tuesday, April 29th at 7 p.m.

Where?                         Arlington Central Library auditorium

 

Amy Brecount White is an awarding-winning  teacher, writer, and professional essay coach.

~           Certified to teach secondary English in Virginia.

~           Years of experience teaching both AP and reluctant writers.

~           Eighty articles and essays have been in The Washington Post.

~           Regular contributor to Arlington magazine.

~           Forget-Her-Nots, my novel, was published by HarperCollins.

~           Graduated with High Honors from the University of Notre Dame.

~           Earned an M.A. in English from the University of Virginia.

~           Available for one-on-one and group essay coaching.  (See website.)

 

Contact Expert Essay Coaching to simplify the process! 

amybrecountwhite@gmail.com or www.amybrecountwhite.com.       

Socrates and the College App Essay

True Confession:  I was a Great Books major; ergo, one of my favorite quotes is from Socrates.  “The unexamined life is not worth living,” he said at his own trial.  I frequently share this quotation with my students in essay coaching sessions.

Why?  Because I want my students to see that self-examination is a major point of the college essay.  While college admissions officers certainly look at scores and grades and recommendations, they ultimately want to know that the applicant is someone who has experiences and learns from those experiences.  You might be the youngest person to have climbed Mount Everest, or you may have tutored lepers in India, but if you didn’t learn anything about yourself and the world, those experiences are meaningless.  If you can’t articulate who you are and who you want to be, your essay won’t be meaningful or convincing to a college admissions officer.

Applicants to college aren’t expected to have all the answers, but they should be able to pose important questions they’re not afraid to ask, such as why is my life worth living?  What do I value?  What valuable skills or attitude or aptitude will I bring to this college?

Writing an excellent college application essay is a truly introspective process.  Not only do the applicants have to choose a significant story, accomplishment, or place, they also have to share how that experience reverberates through their lives.  They need to examine their lives past, present, and future.  I am always happy to share the timeless wisdom of Socrates.

 

“Empowered”

CoachSkills_400On the advice of several friends and colleagues, I’m expanding my business into a wider array of essay coaching.  I’m now offering coaching on everything from the Thomas Jefferson High School admission test essays to scholarship essays to graduate schools essays and everything in between. Why?  Because there’s a definite need and because I love it!

It’s great fun to get to know my students and help them find their authentic voices.  One Washington and Lee High School mom, whose son is applying early, said that he left our session feeling “empowered.”  Isn’t that the word that every coach and teacher wants to hear?  I sure do, and that’s one of my primary goals:  that my students walk out of our sessions knowing they have the skills, understanding, and talent to tackle writing in a new way.

My students are some of the best and brightest around, yet they have no clue how to write a strong personal essay.  It’s completely different from writing DBQ’s or a five-paragraph essay or an Advanced Placement analysis. Many of their first drafts are formulaic snoozers that will be easily discarded by an overwrought admissions officer.  I tell my students clearly that I’m not being mean, but honest.  They need to take their writing to the next level, and it’s been tremendously satisfying to watch them do just that.

Happy writing!