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Warm-up ( Please do this on the warm-up packet you may obtain from the front table.). Write one paragraph description of Esperanza based upon her vignette. Consider: what do we learn about her? What can you infer about her? WHERE do you see things?. College Essay Writing.

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warm up please do this on the warm up packet you may obtain from the front table
Warm-up (Please do this on the warm-up packet you may obtain from the front table.)
  • Write one paragraph description of Esperanza based upon her vignette.
    • Consider: what do we learn about her? What can you infer about her? WHERE do you see things?

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 isn’t everything.

2 nd example
2nd Example

In the community I am active in my church Youth Group. As a high school sophomore, I helped organize youth group events, the largest being "The Bishop's Ball," a state-wide event for 300 young people. I also played high school junior varsity soccer for two years. As a senior I will be playing varsity soccer, but in the off-season. As a junior I coached a girls' soccer team for the town. This gave me a great deal of responsibility because the care of twenty-four girls was put into my custody. It felt very satisfying to pass on the knowledge of soccer to another generation. The girls played teams from other parts of Florida. Though their record was 3-8, the girls enjoyed their season. This is what I taught them was the greatest joy of soccer.

3 rd example
3rd Example

I mentioned that Barbie does not wear Birkenstocks. How would that help you learn more about me? When I slip on a pair of Birks I feel invincible. I think it has to do with the stories my mother told me growing up. Protesting against the Vietnam War, wearing flowers in her hair and fighting for peace, not war, all the while sporting leather sandals. Those stories have been an inspiration to me. She made me think of all the things that I was capable of doing. She was the one who gave me my first pair of Birks and planted in them was the power of invincibility. To this day I wear my Birkenstocks to everything I do that is non-conventional. I tend to look at life outside the box, unlike Barbie, whose imagination and very existence depends on the plastic box that surrounds her. How boring can that be? Life is to be experienced from all perspectives. No idea is too crazy for me.

be yourself
Be Yourself
  • https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/essays/sample-college-application-essay-2

How do we create authenticity in writing?

what makes an essay authentic
What makes an essay authentic?
  • Simplicity/honesty
  • Personality (tone)
  • Your unique interpretation of a common experience.
    • In the warm-up, the girl talked about recognizing her privilege. She should have talked about her privilege.
  • Stylistic conventions.
  • Voice
style versus voice
Style versus Voice
  • Style – conventions and word choice; literally, what is directly on the page
    • Ex: questions, starting paragraphs with short, “punchy” sentences (fragments can be used stylistically)
  • Voice – your writing personality
    • Word choice (Flowery? Precise?)
    • Sentence structure (complex, compound, long, short, etc.)
    • Tone: formal, informal, diplomatic, opinionated
    • Sentence flow (choppy and abrupt; smooth and fluid)
warm up
  • Answer the following:
    • What is the difference between style and voice?
    • What are the qualities of a good personal statement?
    • What are the qualities of a bad one?
    • If you could only tell a person one thing about yourself, what would it be? Explain.
essay evaluations
Essay Evaluations
  • Directions: Work with a partner. You only need one paper for both of you, but I want to see you discussing and collaborating as you complete the assignment. For each sample essay you read, complete the following:Rank it on a scale of 1-5 (5 as the best) for each of the following categories…
      • Organization and Focus (clear main ideas and supporting details, stays on topic)
      • Originality (vivid details, fresh word choice, creativity, risk-taking)
      • Writer’s Voice (consistent throughout, engaging, conveys individual personality)
      • Freedom from Error (spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage)
      • Overall Success (interesting topic clearly developed; “works”)
    • Provide an explanation for your score in each category.
      • Write in full sentences and include at least one example (either something they did well or somewhere they could have improved).
essay 1
Essay 1

“The first thing that stands out about this essay is the catchy title, which effectively sets up an essay that is charmingly self-deprecating. The author goes on to use subtle humor throughout the essay to highlight one of her weaknesses but at the same time reveals how she turned what some might have considered a negative event into a positive learning experience. Not only is this essay well-written and enjoyable to read, but it reveals some important personal qualities about the author that we might not have learned about her through other components of her application. We get a glimpse of how she constructively deals with challenge and failure, which is sure to be a useful life skill she will need in the real world, starting with her four years in college.”

—Senior Assistant Director Janice Heitsenrether

essay 2
Essay 2

“This essay was clever, humorous, and gave insight into the writer’s personality. He effectively used a fictional character as a way to talk about himself; this overcomes a common mistake I see in essays where applicants don’t make a strong connection between themselves and the character they are writing about. From the essay, I was able to get a sense about how he handles challenges, his ambition, and how he is as a friend. These are all important aspects that we look for in an application. His voice was clear in his writing, gave me the sense that I knew him, and made the essay memorable.”

—Assistant Director Patrick Salmon

essay 3
Essay 3

“What stood out to me about Daniel’s major essay was that, while he applied undecided, he still crafted a really well written essay about his interests. Daniel writes about how his upbringing and where he’s from has led him to be inquisitive and explore a range of interests. He does a great job of tying it all into using his academic experience at Hopkins to pinpoint what exactly it is that he wants to study in the future.”

—Admissions Counselor Monique Hyppolite

essay 4
Essay 4

“I like this essay because you really get to see the adventurous side of Elana, an intangible quality that cannot be seen in her transcript, test scores, or list of activities. By telling a story from her youth and connecting it to current activities and personal qualities, her sense of humor shines through and lets the reader know she is not afraid to take risks. After reading this essay, I saw her as someone who would make a difference on our campus, someone who wouldn’t hesitate to get involved and try something new. She seemed like a great fit for Hopkins.”

—Associate Director Shannon Miller

essay 5
Essay 5

“The author does a good job of pulling the reader in from the very beginning by recounting a scenario that at first seems like it might have had a catastrophic outcome. As we read on, we learn that the author, along with his research partners, was able to tap into his resourcefulness and determination to overcome an obstacle. Along the way, the author reveals not only the logistical challenges his team encountered, but also the ethical dilemma they had to consider. A big part of the work we do as admissions counselors is to find a student who will excel academically at JHU and who will also be a good community member. This essay gives us real insight into how this student will confront academic challenges in college, as well as his potential to be an effective team member and leader.”

—Senior Assistant Director Janice Heitsenrether

advice articles
Advice Articles
  • Read and annotate your assigned article.
    • These don’t have to be detailed annotations, just short notes that summarize the advice being given in the article.
  • Meet with your group who shares your same article.
    • On a poster, make bullet points of all the pieces of advice the article gives.
    • Write the title of the essay at the top.
    • Be prepared to give a summary of the article to the class and provide them notes on the advice suggested from the articles.
    • Write the advice as notes for the class; make sure the advice makes sense without much explanation.
ny times article questions
NY Times Article Questions

For homework, you will read and annotate the NYT article and then write a one page free response to the following question:

  • Mr. Marcus quotes Matthew Whelan of Stony Brook University as saying that the best college essays “help us understand why we want the applicant here.” Thinking of your own experiences, what are some things that make you attractive to the college(s) of your choice? (You may also consider the question: What mundane moments in your life would make good essay material?)