5 Tips To Match The Required Word Count For Your Teen’s Essay

5 Tips To Match The Required Word Count For Your Teen’s Essay


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Valentine’s Day sure give us a lot to think about and feel thankful for regarding freedom, dreams, and love.  The month of February reminds us that although winter lingers, spring remains just around the corner. 

Reflecting on this had me thinking recently: so many teens need to learn that good writing is like the month of February – short and sweet.  

College admissions essays, like English class essays, require a specific word count. The result? From the Common App Essay to shorter college essays to literary analysis essays, students wind up getting in their own way of writing a unique, comprehensive piece because they allow the word count to drive their thinking. 

So how can your teen quickly, in a short period of time, boost the quality of their writing without adding to their list of things to do?  

To write winning college essays as well as earn “A” grades on school papers, students can immediately improve the quality of their writing by cutting out the clutter.

I have seen many students assume the easiest way to earn an “A” on an essay in English class, social studies class, or even with college admissions essays is to write more and fill up all the space available. 

I can still remember my mom, in 5th or 6th grade, telling me, “Amy, you need to fill those blanks for the short answer in order to get an “A” on this social studies class response.” Even now, her words stick with me.

Here are 5 helpful tips to be your teen’s hero to help elevate their essays for more powerful writing, easier college admissions, and less stress for you, parents. 
  1. Quickly proofread and cross out these filler words: really, so, very, obviously
  2. Remove redundant adverbs and adjectives in sentences. Instead, encourage powerful verbs and nouns. 
  3. Put your timer on for 30 seconds and read through the essay draft. Do you understand the main point quickly and without much thought? If not, then what words or phrases can you remove? 
  4. Keep consistent with tenses.
  5. Use words correctly, be specific and precise in word choice. 

Just as Thoreau taught us to “Simplify, Simplify,” you too can encourage your teen to simplify: clear out the clutter, clarify their message, and watch the sophistication of writing soar. 

February is a time to celebrate the intangible gifts in life: freedom, dreams, love…but also a reminder that the best things in life are short and sweet.

If you want your teen to receive 1:1 writing coaching to solidify writing skills like cutting the clutter, boost grades in English class, and prepare for college admission essays, please click here to schedule a quick phone call. We’ll determine which program is best and your teen will be on the way to elevating those essays. 

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