Parents Guide to Writing Private High School Application Essays

Your teenager’s entrance into private high school cannot be taken for granted. With public schools beset with a variety of problems – discipline, poor test results, safety – private high schools offer your child a quality education in a safe environment.

When you request an information package from a private high school, you will discover that essays and short answer essays are required from both you and your teenager. Your teen, who should be comfortable with answering essay style questions will be asked about his academic strengths and weaknesses, his desire to attend the private school and about his hobbies and extra-curricular activities. Questions directed to parents, however, often have a different focus and are designed with different purposes in mind.

Usually, the essay questions directed to parents are analytical in nature. Instead of asking for facts, these questions ask you to speak about your teens character, to discuss family dynamics and to gauge your role as a supporter of the private school. Private high school admittance directors recognize that teenagers who are brought up in a stable, education focused home, are much more likely to succeed than their peers who have less support at home.

Similarly, private school administrators look at your essay answers to determine whether you can be counted on to support the high school financially or through volunteer work. As you might imagine, administrators cannot legally or ethically ask some of these questions but they can draw inferences based on your answers to application questions.

Analytical Questions

For example, an entrance application question may ask what you believe your child can contribute to the XYZ school. This type of question is really asking you to speak to your child’s academic, social, athletic and out-of-school interests. If you have visited the school, reference your visit to show that you have made an effort to learn more about the school. Your answer should address each of your child’s areas of interest and strength. Here is a sample answer to this question:

During our recent visit to the XYZ School, Tommy pointed out to me the well equipped science lab and asked a number of questions about the science curriculum available to students at the school. Tommy has a long standing interest in studying science and he has performed well in elementary school and we believe that he will bring that interest and aptitude to his high school studies. His current teachers note that Tommy regularly asks thoughtful and insightful questions in class. In addition to working hard to perform well academically, Tommy will be an willing participant in the school’s baseball team and/or its marching band. Tommy keeps a busy schedule during the school year and as a well rounded and serious young man, he will represent the ideals and message of the XYZ School now and in the future.

Family Stability and Religious Questions

Other questions will more directly ask you about your future participation in school fund raising and other activities. These questions are designed to evaluate the stability of your home life and your future financial support potential. For example a religious school application might ask about the role your religion plays in your life. A non-religious school might ask why you are considering the XYZ School. Here is a sample answer to this type of question:

Our family is an active member of XYZ church. We are active members of the social action committee and every Thanksgiving, our entire family, including Tommy and his two sisters, volunteer at the XYZ Church gently used clothing center where we help distribute gently used clothes to homeless people. Tommy and his sisters have been greatly impacted by this activity as well as other church related functions. With a hands-on opportunity to minister to the less fortunate, Tommy has a personal understanding of the message of XYZ religion. We try to reinforce that message at home by attending services regularly and making daily prayer a part of our routine. At the XYZ Private Elementary School, both my husband and I have served on the Board of Directors and we are active participants in the school’s Feed the Hungry annual campaign.

Answers like the ones set out above are designed to send a message to school administrators that both you and your teen are serious, dedicated and stable people who will fit in well with the community that develops within a particular private school. If you make an effort to study the type of community that exists within a particular school and you model your entrance questionnaire essay to that community, you greatly enhance your child’s chances at gaining admission.

Source by Jonathan Ginsberg

Get Your Writing Fighting Fit — Self-Editing Secrets Revealed

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How to Get Your Self Confidence Back After Being Torn Down

If you’ve ever been torn down by someone, your self-confidence can take a nose dive faster than an airplane that’s out of control. It’s possible to get your self-confidence back, but you must do some ‘inner’ work. How did you attract someone who treated you badly? How do you really feel about you? Do you think you deserve love and respect? Asking yourself these and other questions will help you get to the ‘root’ cause as to why you’d allow someone to treat you badly. Once you do the ‘inner’ work, you can begin to get you self-confidence back.

How to Get Your Self Confidence Back After Being Torn Down

Journal your feelings. Not facing your feelings is worse than facing them. Instead of dealing with your feelings, you may stuff them with drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, food, and other addictions. Buy a couple of journals and write until you can’t write no more. Get all of your feelings out of your system. When you’re ready, take a deep breath and read what you wrote. It will be cathartic and painful at the same time but at least you’ll face your feelings and will be able to heal yourself.

Realize that most people are insecure. Anyone that has the need to tear you or someone else down has major self-esteem issues. Send that person that tore you down lots of love and move forward with your life. Forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing. Forgiveness doesn’t mean exonerating the person for treating you badly, it means you release your from the person and situation.

Conduct the mirror exercise. Every day look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” The more you say this, the more your self-confidence will return.

Enroll in a martial arts class. Not only will you lose weight and tone your body, you’ll gain your self-confidence back. Martial arts classes are great for learning discipline. You’ll find your inner strength and will begin to honor yourself more. The more you honor yourself the less likely you’ll ever be torn down by another person. You’ll also learn about trust, loyalty, and honor.

Hire a counselor and life coach. A counselor can help you analyze and get to the ‘root’ issue as to why you were torn down by someone. How did it happen? How confident were you as a person? When did your self-confidence diminish? How old were you? You’ll be asked to go within to find the answers. Chances are you still have some issues to work out from your childhood. Most people do.

Hiring a life coach in conjunction with a counselor is a great way to move forward in your life. A counselor is usually about the past, whereas a life coach is about the present/future. They can work with you to help you regain your self-confidence by giving you solid information that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Make sure you find a coach that goes beyond giving you homework to do. This isn’t coaching — it’s babysitting. You want a coach that will really work with you and hold you accountable. If you don’t do the work, you won’t regain your self-confidence back. You want a life coach that expects you to gain your self-confidence back. They’ll give you the tools but it’s up to you if you use them or not.

Enroll in a self-assertive or self-defense class. This is a great way to learn how to assert and protect yourself. You’ll learn that ‘shadow’ dancing with someone isn’t an option. You’ll know how to handle someone who could potentially tear you down. You’ll be able to recognize signs such as aggression, arrogance, passive/aggressive behavior, and other signs. You won’t allow people to walk all over you. You’ll show them who the boss is in your life and won’t attract them into your life anymore!

Learning how to take down someone who’s trying to harm you will boost your self-confidence. You’ll save your life in more ways than one. You’ll assert yourself and be able to get out of harm’s way at the same time.

Enroll in a public speaking class. Most people are terrified of public speaking — they’d rather face death! Public speaking is a great way to get your confidence back. If you can speak to 50 or more people while staying cool, calm, and collective, not only will you get your self-confidence back, but you’ll have the respect of your fellow speakers.

No one has the right to tear another person down. If you allow this happens this means you don’t honor and respect yourself. Find out why this is and get help to change it. Furthermore, anyone who tears another person down could use some help! Remember that everyone is important and no one is an ‘extra’ on planet earth. Allow no one to mistreat you and take your power back once and for all!

Source by Amandah T. Blackwell

Top 24 Things Every Junior Copywriter Should Know

Ideas

An ad is more than just a visual or headline. There has to be a concept behind it. Know how to tell the difference between what is an idea and what isn’t.

Actions

Call to action: What do you want them to do? You need to expect some kind of outcome from your advertising. What do you want to happen, aside from immediate and colossal sales? How are you going to do it? Know all possibilities.

Agencies

You should know how an agency is run. The positions, titles, and responsibilities of each department. Not all agencies are the same either. Research and discover which one is suitable for you.

Body copy

Some ads just work better with copy. Like difficult, complicated, or controversial subjects. Or when you need to differentiate products. If you want to change someone’s mind or have him or her do something difficult, a catchy slogan is not enough. When writing copy, what you say is more important than how you write it. Style can follow later on.

Campaigns

A campaign is a series of ads that work individually and cumulatively to communicate the advertiser’s message to the target audience. Campaigns from a clients point of view is a more effective, profitable, and longer lasting for their brand. Find out what elements are included in a campaign.

Concepting

Concepting is the creative process when developing a big idea. For example, for a print concept you have to figure out what is the one thing you want to say about the product and how you’re going to show it. Learn tips, techniques and universal methodologies to help you concept.

Critiques

Should be short, constructive and to the point. Phrases should be like :

  • I don’t get it
  • been done before
  • sounds like advertising
  • boring
  • too cute
  • ridiculous
  • sounds like bullshit
  • good

Do’s and Don’ts

Advertising-ese, Laundry lists, Bad taste, Poor grammar, Deadwood, Wimpy words, and Generic benefits are just a few of the many things you must stay away from. Avoiding these common traps will make your ads tighter.

Execution

Demonstrate the product in use. Show the product itself. Present a close-up of some critical part of the product. Emphasize not the product but a person connected to it. Go a step further and show the lifestyle the product helps create. Ridicule the product. Make fun of the audience. Make old ads new. Find an old form and breathe a new sensibility into it. There are so many ways to present your message. Do the opposite, don’t look anything like an ad. Despite intentions, traditional ads scream, “I’m an ad!” Just do something else instead. The majority of people hate ads. Learn how to make them appreciate it.

Headlines

Before you’re satisfied with one headline, run it past this check list. Should cover at least some of these guide lines.

o Let your headline sit for a while. Do you still love it a day later? Or are you embarrassed to repeat it out loud to somebody?

o Does your headline/ visual make sense or is it completely irrelevant?

o Can you omit anything to make it stronger?

o Try not to use puns unless it serves a purpose.

o Can you do the “billboard test” and still have a concept that makes sense?

o Does your headline appeal to the reader’s self-interest?

o Does your headline attract readers into the body copy?

o Is this the best you can do? Can you do a list of great headlines? Think campaigns.

Humor

Finding out human truths will make your ad all the better. What do people say to themselves and each other about your client’s product category or brand? What do people all notice but never speak on? What has your own inner speech been saying to you?

Images

Don’t decorate an ad to death. The strongest ideas are the simplest. Art directing is equally as important when crafting an ad. Find the best way to show your idea. Don’t limit your self or give excuses that Google or gettyimages didn’t have the picture you were looking for and “this is all you had to work with”. Be resourceful.

Inspiration

Start a visual scrap book. Sketch, doodle, include jotting down anything that makes you laugh. Ways and actions people respond to things…

Interviews

Be prepared to correctly respond when the recruiting director says “So…tell me about yourself.” , “How much do you want to get paid?” , or “What are your weaknesses?”

Layouts

Here are some of many guidelines you should review:

o Did you consider alternatives? (You can never have too many thumbnails.)

o Did you consider the Four Principles of Design?

o Did you use white space effectively?

o Does your layout have a pleasing and logical visual flow?

o Did you choose display type that matches the tone of the ad?

o Is the body copy inviting to read-the right size and proportion?

o Did you honor the margins-allow enough space around critical elements?

o Did you keep it simple? (Less is more.)

Networking

Online resumes rarely get read. You should spend 70% of your time talking on the phone and networking through people you know. Why do all the grunt work yourself? Talk to people. Ask for informational interviews. Come armed with questions and follow up questions:

o How did you become interested in the field?

o How did you get your job here?

o What skills do you find yourself using consistently?

o What type of background do you think is important for this field?

o What technology skills are critical for new employees?

o How has the industry changed over the last ten years?

o What do you like about this job?

o What is the most difficult thing about this industry?

o What attracted you to the industry?

o What makes someone successful here?

o Where do you see the industry going in the next five years?

o What are the key business issues your company is facing?

o How do you differentiate your business from that of your competitors?

Positioning

Where a brand stands compared to its competitors in the consumers mind. Before you develop the position of your client’s product, you have to ask:

o What is the current position?

o What is the competitor’s position?

o Where do you want to be?

o How are you going to get there?

Process

Getting the facts. Brainstorming with a purpose. Finding the reference/visuals. Drawing a writer’s rough. Working with the art director and the rest of the team. Preselling the creative director and account executive. Selling the client. Great execution. Maintaining continuity. Discovering what worked and why. Know these steps in detail.

Taglines

If they’re done right, taglines can be the most important element of a campaign…

Typefaces

Like many of the design choices you’ll make, your choice of type and color goes a long way toward enhancing awareness and building strategic comprehension. You must have a reason for the typeface you chose. Typography has its own language. Know typefaces and understand them.

Biographies

Know some of the ad greats. At least know who Ogilvy is.

Books

“Hey Whipple Squeeze This” is a mandatory read for anyone getting into this field. Start a library of ad books. Discover other titles that are very interesting and insightful.

Guerilla Ad’s

You’re not just staging a stunt, you’re communicating a brand truth. Stay on strategy. What does your client’s brand need to do or say, and is this a good way to get it done? Know about what benefits and risks you should consider when placing ads in advertising free zones.

Public Speaking

In selling your ideas, you’re also selling yourself. Your insight of the target audience will drive your presentation. It’s very simple-who are you talking to/what will you tell them/how will you deliver the message/how do you know it will work? Don’t memorize. Know your material and speak from the heart, not from memory.

Good Luck!

Source by Sergio Fermin