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Writing the College Essay. Why Write It?. So college admissions can evaluate your writing Show you as a person, not a score or transcript Convince them you are an asset to their school. Types of College Prompts. Personal statement

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Presentation Transcript
why write it
Why Write It?
  • So college admissions can evaluate your writing
  • Show you as a person, not a score or transcript
  • Convince them you are an asset to their school
types of college prompts
Types of College Prompts
  • Personal statement

Ex., “You have just completed a 300 page autobiography. Submit page 217.”

(University of Pennsylvania)

  • Specific question

Ex., “What can you contribute to a multi- cultural world?” (William & Mary)

advice do
Advice– Do
  • Do answer the question accurately
  • Do find an angle/Use a theme
  • Do research college info
  • Do write well w/ correct usage
  • Do avoid clichés and gimmicks
  • Do use imagery, details, specifics
advice don t
Advice– Don’t
  • Don’t repeat information listed elsewhere
  • Don’t pick a controversial subject
  • Don’t bore your reader
  • Don’t tell; show instead
a good essay
A Good Essay…
  • Is thoughtful & earnest
  • Strives for depth, not breadth
  • Follows writing rules

& format

  • Answers the question/prompt
  • Benefits from several drafts and edits
in addition the essay
In addition, the essay…
  • Has a catchy intro
  • Transforms your blemishes into positives
  • Demonstrates knowledge
  • Reveals confidence
brainstorm ideas
Brainstorm Ideas
  • Goals & dreams
  • Models & influence
  • Achievements
  • Hobbies/ Interests
  • Childhood experience
  • Your favorite topic
  • Current news & affairs
slide9

Structure & Outline

  • Single idea connected logically, smoothly (transitions)
  • Intro must catch reader (ex., create mystery, raise a question, appeal to emotions)
  • Conclusion leaves lasting impression
  • Show with concrete examples
  • Most sentences about you
slide10

Style

  • Avoid cute, silly, outrageous, offensive
  • Don’t criticize
  • Easy to read (no “$1,000 words”)
  • Show with concrete examples
  • Don’t just list
  • Avoid repeating from transcript (unless expanding one point)
slide11

Tone

  • Conversational, but not too personal
  • Don’t be boring or monotonous
  • Confident, but not boastful
  • Self-assured, but not aggressive
  • Be sincere and honest
slide12

Editing & Revising

  • Don’t start all sentences with “I”
  • Use sentence variety & active verbs
  • Type carefully; read it aloud
  • Use several editors
  • Answer prompt fully, accurately
  • No wasted sentences; edit down
and finally
And finally, . . .

Don’t procrastinate;

Meet your deadlines!

Created 8/2009 by J. Clarke

Thanks to www.classroomclipart.comwww.freefeverclipart.comwww.quintcareers.comwww.collegeboard.comwww.rdhs.org