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Navigating the College Essay: A Parent's Survival Guide


The college application process can be a stressful and overwhelming time for both students and parents. With so much riding on the quality of application essays, it's natural to feel pressure to get it right. But with the right strategies and support, including the help of a college essay writing tutor, parents can guide their student through the writing process successfully.

Start Early and Break It Down

One of the keys to reducing college application writing stress is to begin the process early. Encourage your student to start brainstorming and drafting essays well before deadlines loom. For the college essay, this often means the summer before senior year, but many families begin the process even earlier. Breaking the writing into manageable chunks over time makes it feel less daunting. Work with your student to create a realistic timeline and schedule for completing each component of their application, including essays.

Brainstorming Essay Topics

Many students struggle with identifying unique, compelling topics for their college essays. As a parent, you can provide valuable perspective by discussing your student's strengths, experiences, and goals. Encourage them to think about pivotal moments, personal growth, and core values. Brainstorming techniques like mind mapping or freewriting can help generate potential ideas to develop further. An online writing tutor can also assist with this critical ideation stage.

Crafting Strong Personal Statements  

The personal statement is the centerpiece of most college applications. It's your student's chance to authentically showcase who they are and what matters to them. Help your student identify key qualities or experiences they want to highlight, and guide them in telling their story genuinely. Emphasize the importance of illustrating growth, lessons learned, and future aspirations. A common app writing tutor can provide expert guidance in crafting a standout personal statement.

Tackling Supplemental Essays

In addition to the main personal statement, many colleges require supplemental essays specific to their school. These are opportunities for your student to demonstrate their fit with the institution and program. Encourage your student to research each school thoroughly, identifying unique offerings that appeal to their interests and goals. Help them brainstorm ways to connect their experiences and aspirations with the school's mission and culture. College essay tutors are well-versed in approaching these targeted essays.

Knowing When to Seek Help  

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your student may struggle significantly with college application writing. They may be feeling overwhelmed, stuck, or frustrated. If you notice these signs, it may be time to seek additional support. College essay writing tutoring can provide the expert guidance and objective feedback needed to overcome hurdles and produce strong essays. Reach out to reputable services like Hewes House to explore online writing tutor options.

Remember, while the college essay writing process is important, it's ultimately just one piece of your student's application. Trust that you've prepared them well, and that their authentic self will shine through. If you feel you need backup, Hewes House's college essay writing tutoring services are here to help. Our online writing tutors and college application specialists provide tailored support to guide your student to success. Reach out today to give your student the edge in crafting winning college essays.

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