Wednesday’s Parent: Savvy prep for college essays

Writing college essays. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Writing college essays. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

If your college-bound child isn’t writing in a diary or journal, suggest he or she start one now. It’s a great opportunity for self expression. It’s wonderful practice to form coherent thoughts concisely. And it’s an insightful way to prepare for college essays.

Colleges use essays as another way for admission officers to get to know an applicant and measure how he would fit on their campus. Essays are often required as a major part of scholarship applications, too. A great essay can help net a student entry into a choice college and money towards paying for it.

Yet, many students include reading as a hobby but few think about writing for pleasure. In a personal log, students get to record their thoughts and experiences. This provides a double benefit when it comes time to write college essays.

Writing is a skill and like any other skill, it gets better with practice. Also, journal writing is very different from penning a research paper or school report. The former is about personal opinion and the latter is more concerned with facts and expert sources. College essays are looking for student points of view that come from introspection.

So, the first benefit of keeping a diary is practical. It provides practice in writing one’s unique perspective and ideas. Surprise, the second advantage is also practical. A journal is a great resource and inspiration for topics to write about in college essays.

Read Suzanne’s post: 5 College Essay Tips

READ more:

Wednesday’s Parent: Best question for parents to ask to help with college essays

Finding your happy in college prep

6 high school habits leading to college success

RECAP on storify: #CampusChat 6/24/15 Parent’s Guide to College Essay


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Suzanne @SuzanneShaffer and I @pocsmom will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. Our guest this week will be Ethan Sawyer @CollegeEssayGuy of College Essay Guy discussing the parent’s guide to the college essay. You can follow these simple instructions to join a Twitter chat.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.