"This session, we talked about the un-scored writing portion of the exam. We began with an overview of how an outline is written, and I gave a brief tutorial about how to translate this information to an essay. The remainder of the time was spent by the student writing an outline and an essay about her idol: her mother.
She had a difficult time coming up with the idea about who would be a suitable role model to write about, because the essay topic was "To whom do you look up to and why?" She wanted to find an answer that people on the admission side of the schools would see and like. I stated to her that it can be difficult to come up with a topic to write about, but it shouldn't be something you don't know a whole lot about just in order to impress whoever you're giving the essay to. I encouraged her to write about something that she knows a good amount about, so that she could come up with sufficient details about why she idolizes that person. I told her to spend about 3-5 minutes on the test just coming up with her main idea, and then listing three big reasons that support it.
Before too long, she had written out her outline, with three supporting details about each big reason why she idolized her mother. We then talked about the transition of this information from the outline to the essay, and how sentence structure should be varied, and about sometimes adding an extra sentence into the essay in order to adequately explain what you were talking about. For instance, one of the reasons that she idolizes her mother is that she is a hard worker, and that she had decided to quit her job as an attorney in order to fulfill her role as a mother. I said to her that this is probably best explained in two sentences, one about her mother's previous job, and one about her decision to leave it to help raise her family.
The remainder of the session was editing the essay and making sure that the essay was read out loud (whispered this time, because her mother was in the next room) But I still emphasized the point that if you don't read it out loud to yourself, you might not catch some awkwardly worded sentences that you would have skimmed over with your eyes. I encouraged her to finish her essay with a funny point initially, but since this essay didn't really have a humorous tone to it, I told her that she should finish it in another way. I'm not giving anything away, but it was genuine and adorable.
All in all, this was a heart-warming and extremely productive lesson."