Saturday, August 17, 2013

What an Essay Coach Can Do

My webmaster is unavailable, so I can't put this new testimonial on my official website, but I was thrilled yesterday to hear from the mother of a rising high school senior. We had just finished her son's essay (Topic #5: Describe an accomplishment or event ... which marked your transition from childhood to adulthood...) She wrote: "I am, frankly, stunned by how smoothly this went. I thought he might procrastinate more but he really had such a commitment to meet your expectations. You must have a real gift for connecting with teenagers! (in the summer, no less)."

I worked with her son on brainstorming an idea for his essay. We met in person for this, and the remainder of the work we did was via Skype, using Google Docs, to review his essay together. Once he wrote his 1st draft, getting the essay into great shape took 3 sessions. The 4th session was trimming it to 650 words. (I think we got it to 645 words.) In answer to critics and the curious: I DO NOT write essays for clients. I help them find a topic that will enable them to write their best essay, and then I give them a mini-course in writing essays, so that they LEARN how to write these essays as they refine and polish their own work. There are usually a few grammar lessons involved.

This summer, I've also worked with a good number of students strictly by phone or Skype, with no personal meetings.

Few if any students are versed in writing essays like these, since most of their school lives, they've had to write academic essays. These are personal essays. A whole different set of rules and expectations applies.

No comments:

Post a Comment