DAY 1 The College Essay

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DAY 1 The College Essay. Lets do some real research and see what advice other people have to give!! What makes a college essay work? How can writers reveal themselves through writing? . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Slide 1DAY 1The College EssayLets do some real research and see what advice other people have to give!!What makes a college essay work? How can writers reveal themselves through writing? 1http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/going-beyond-cliche-how-to-write-a-great-college-essay/1What do you think college admissions committees are looking for when they read student essays? ConsiderContentVoice Style2Read the excerpt below:During the summer before my junior year of high school, I spent a weekend volunteering with the poor in post-Katrina Louisiana and realized that I am privileged. Most of what these people had had been ripped out from under them and life was very different there from my life in suburban Massachusetts. Amazingly, though, these people still seemed happy. I learned from this experience that money isnt everything.3Now that youve read this excerpt:Do you think this essay will meet the expectations listed above? Does this paragraph grab you? Are you interested in reading more of this essay? What do you think this paragraph says about this student?4HOMEWORK: Read the article(s) you are assigned from the list below, and answer the following questions:a. What are the top three pieces of advice you glean from this piece?b. From whose perspective does this advice come?C. Do you find this advice compelling? Why or why not?http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/essay-comments/http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/tip-sheet-essay/http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/envelope-paik-7/http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/junior-essay/http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/31/us/admissions-essay-ordeal-the-young-examined-life.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/1999/11/07/education/college-prep-the-that-changed-my-life.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/27/us/personal-essay-questions-turning-torture-into-fun.htmlhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/common-app/*You may need to copy and paste the urls into the search bar.5DAY 2ADVICE (last nights homework)Share the most compelling advice from the piece(s) you read. Lets compile a list on the board and discuss the wisdom and limitations of the suggestions.What advice from our list seems most useful?Despite all of this advice, what dont you know about writing college essays? What role does the reader play in determining what works and what doesnt? How can you account for individual, unknown readers as you write?6Group Activity: Form an Admissions CommitteeI hope I get in. Will they like me? I like me. I think I like me. Wait, do you think Ill get in? Somebodys got to let me in. Right? Hey Pick ME!!!7Form an admissions committeeAs a committee, you will now read several sample college essaysYOUR TASK as a committee:Imagine that these essay writers have applied for admission to your college or university. Use the rubric to evaluate the essays and decide whether or not to admit each student. Give each essay a scoreAssume that each student has a similarly strong profile in terms of grades, test scores, activities and recommendations.As a committee, deliver your admission decisions to the class by first briefly describing the essay and explaining what you liked or didnt like about it.8After the final decisionsHow were these essays different from the excerpt with which we began? (post-Katrina)In what ways were they more effective? What is clich? How did these essays avoid that trap? After considering these essays, what else should we add to our list about what college admissions committees are looking for in student essays?9Other resources you may want to explore.10Tips from: College Board and Princeton Reviewhttp://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/essay-skills/9406.htmlhttp://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/essay-skills/http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/02/nyregion/02essay.html?_r=1As well as one thing to never forget:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/02/nyregion/02essay.html?_r=1*You may need to copy and paste the urls into the search bar.11Still having trouble deciding on a topic?A significant relationship I had or have: A treasured object I possess: A time I took a risk: A time I felt humbled: One thing very few people know about me is: Something I regret: A time when I was, or felt, rejected: Something I am really proud of: Something that changed the way I think or look at the world: How I am different from most people I know: My greatest fear: A time I felt truly satisfied: A person I admire: An object I own that tells a lot about me: Something funny that I did or that happened to me: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/teaching-topics/teaching-topics-10-personal-writing-ideas/NEW COMMON APP PROMPTS TO FOLLOW. YOU MUST CHOOSE A PROMPT FROM THE NEW COMMON APP PROMPT LIST FOR YOUR FINAL EXAM.12TOPICSIt is often preferable to write about the mundane - What small moments in your life might make for good personal statement material? For many seniors, choosing the topic for a personal statement is more difficult than actually writing the piece. But dont fret. Some of the more mundane moments in life make great essays, Christopher Burkmar, Princeton Universitys associate dean of admissions, assured guidance counselors at a conference last month.If you are applying to college, how might you use something mundane to show who you are and what is important to you? Or, what about your life might make an admissions officer laugh, cry or wince?You might also want to read and respond to student comments on this blog:http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/essay/13FINAL TASK:Choose one piece of advice you found most compelling and craft a college essay that puts this suggestion into practice. Consider the elements of style and the patterns of development we have explored and model your essay using what appeals most to your purpose in writing.Choose one of the new common app prompts for your essay. Instructions, prompts and rubrics are on the next slides.Essay must be typed using MLA format and turned in in hard copy on the assigned date. Essay will count for 1/3 of your final exam grade14Prompts and rubric on next slidesInstructions. The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)15PROMPTS TO CHOOSE FROM 1. Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.2. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessonsdid you learn?3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would youmake the same decision again?4. Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.16IDEASORGANI-ZATIONVOICEWORD CHOICESENTENCE FLUENCYCONVEN-TIONS5*Clear and focused paper holds the readers attention* Ideas are fresh and original*Details are quality and go beyond the obvious and predictable*Ideas show insight and understanding of what is important*Organization enhances the central idea and compels the reader through the text*Introduction and conclusion engage the reader and focus attention*Pacing, support, and transitions are controlled, logical, and effective*Writer is individual, compelling, and engaging*Person behind the words is honest and sincere*Strong commitment to topic is clear*Tone adds flavor and texture*Reader wants to share and talk about this piece*Many moments of surprise and delight*Words are powerful and engaging, specific and accurate*Language is natural and effective* Writer has carefully chosen the precise word for the right spot*Striking words and phrases catch the readers eye*Writing flows with rhythm and cadence*Purposeful and varied sentence structure enhances meaning*Writer has thought about the sound of the words as well as the meaning*Dialogue and fragments, if used, sound natural *Conventions are used effectively to enhance readability*Only minor touch-up is needed to publish*Conventions are used for stylistic effect*Paragraphing is effecting*Spelling of difficult words is usually correct4*Topic is narrow and manageable*Paper is clear and focused*Details are relevant and provide important information* Writer shows involvement with the topic*Order moves the reader easily through the text*Effective introduction and conclusion*Sequencing and details are logical and effective*Transitions work*Writer reveals personality and attitudes*Reader senses the person behind the words*Strong involvement with topic is evident*Some surprise and delight*Writing is energetic with lively verbs and precise nouns and modifiers*Words and phrases create pictures *Language is effective, not overdone*Sentences are well built and varied in structure*Writing has rhythm and flows naturally*Conventions are generally correct and contribute to clarity*Piece is close to being ready to publish*Paragraphing is sound*Spelling is usually correct3*Development is general and may be unfocused* Topic is recognizable but theme is not clear *More general observations than specific details*Ideas are reasonably clear theres no strong sense of purpose*Order moves the reader without confusion*Introduction and conclusion are present*Sequence is logical but programmed*Transitions and pacing are inconsistent*Organization doesnt always support main idea*Writer is sincere but not fully involved.*Earnest and pleasant, with occasional delight*Voice is expressed inconsistently*Writer discards personality in favor of safety*Language lacks energy and precision*Words are adequate but without flair and originality*Occasional colorful language*Familiar words and phrases communicate but dont engage*Writing has pleasant, steady beat*Sentences are usually grammatical but not well crafted*Some occasional variety in sentence structure*Conventions are handled inconsistently*Paragraphing is awkward*Some errors are distracting but not serious*Spelling inconsistent*Moderate editing would fix most errors2*Topic is yet undefined and development is basic*More information is needed for support*Ideas are not detailed enough to show understanding* Attempts at introduction and conclusion are recognizable*Connections are fuzzy*Sometimes the sequencing takes away from the content*Writing is neither unique nor distinctive*Reads as though it could have been written by almost anybody*One or two moments of voice, but mostly generalities and vague language*Language is only functional *Words are generally used correctly*Attempts at original language seem like thesaurus overload*Jargon and clichs are present*More mechanical than fluid*Sentences are routine and unvaried*Writing is inconsistent with some awkward phrasing*Conventions distort meaning*Many errors distract from readability*Difficult words often misspelled*Extensive editing required for publication*Paragraphing is attempted1*No clear sense of purpose or topic*Reader must infer meaning*Information and details are limited and unclear*No clear sense of direction*Order seems random*Connections are missing*No real introduction or conclusion*Reader is confused*Writer is indifferent and uninvolved from topic and/or audience*Writing is lifeless and mechanical*Writing is functional and monotonous*Language is vague and vocabulary is limited*Redundancy and incorrect word use distract the reader*Sentences are choppy, incomplete, awkward, and unvaried*Even with editing, there would be no flow*Errors repeatedly distract the reader and make the text difficult to read*Poor conventions are noticeable*Paragraphing is haphazard or missing*Extensive editing (every line) required17