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How to Ask Your Parents for Help with Your College Essay

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How do you tap into your parents’ brains? It’s simple! Ask for questions.

Tell a close friend or family member you trust about your topic and ask him or her to assign you a set of interview questions. If this person read an essay about this topic, written by you, what would they want to know?

Prewriting a response to bitesized prompts is a great way to inspire a new flood of ideas and break through initial free-writing trepidation.

Make sure to request that whoever asks these questions challenges you to dig for details. You are trying to tell a vivid story that stays interesting for the length of an entire essay.

If for example, you’re writing about your journey through the intimidating world of improv comedy, maybe your mom will ask you:

  • What was your scariest attempt at coming up with an idea off the cuff?
  • Which random character do you enjoy playing the most and how do you decide what kinds of details you will try to bring into a new scene?
  • Why is improv scarier than a presentation at the front of the classroom?

Getting a new mind in the mix will allow you to address questions that you wouldn’t have thought to ask yourself.


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