Essay Writing Workshop


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  • So back to the basics – Why do you even have to write an essay??
  • Let’s look at what several admissions officers say about the essay and then we will summarize with the do’s and don’t’s.**Curt – talk about risks after 2nd point??
  • Real full quote from a selective university in the eastern part of the U.S. (Uva)
  • Essay Writing Workshop

    1. 1. April 17 and 19, 2012
    2. 2. How to Write a Foolproof College Application EssayA few tips…… Watch and enjoy!
    3. 3. Why Universities Require Essays Learn more about you Understand what unique qualities you will bring to the campus See if you are a good “fit” Help them see you more 3-dimensionally Assess your writing ability Evaluate your ability to communicate
    4. 4. What Admissions People Say About the Essay “Clear and Concise is the best way to go.” “Take creative risks with it, but be sure it’s correctly written.” “We like it up close and personal.” “Subject must be creative and fresh, not trite.”
    5. 5. What Admissions People Say About the Essay “Looking for signs of life – a sense of humor, intellectual curiosity, interesting experiences or perspectives.” “It’s not the most critical part of the process, but it’s often the student’s only connection with the admissions counselor, so present yourself fully.”
    6. 6. What Admissions People Say About the Essay “We are not looking for students who all think the same way, believe the same thing, or write the same essay.” “I am advocating essays with a sharp focus that allows for detail. Detail is what differentiates one essay from another, one applicant from another.”
    7. 7. Essay Writing Tips* when considering topics Write something that only YOU could write. Be genuine and personal. Focus on one aspect of yourself. Don’t ask yourself what are “they” asking for. What do YOU have to say? Answer the question!* Tip taken from: Bauld, H. (2001). On Writing The College Application Essay. New York: HarperResource.
    8. 8. DON’Ts! Flip to page 5
    9. 9. Brainstorming Topics Topic / Question Topic of choice: A day that altered my perception of controlEpisode, Event, Elements of ethos Experience The day I worked Patience, flexibility,the bike race at HSU ability to adapt Creative First Line Tone Sometimes you Angle just can’t stop Move from humorous descriptive a woman on to serious anecdote a horse.
    10. 10. Considering Basic Structure Let’s look at an example! Turn to Page 6
    11. 11. The Common App Questions 1) Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. 2) Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.Brainstorm on page 9 3) Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence. 4) Describe a character in fiction, an historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc...) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence. 5) A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
    12. 12. Choose ONE Question & ONEIdea  Review your whole list  Choose a question for which you had the most interesting response(s), OR the question where the answers came easily!  Flip to page 10 of your packet  Complete the Topic/Concept brainstorm ◦ Even if you don’t use this topic later, going through this process a few times is helpful, ◦ Use this for each idea you have, if you
    13. 13. Ms. T’s Best Writing TipsNow, go write your essay! Next fall we willhave another workshop for students with fulldrafts, and we will look at these secrets tosuccess: Creative Angle Noun / Verb = Concision Show Don’t Tell = Imagery Make CUTS!
    14. 14. Thanks for Coming Today!Word Up & Write On!If you have questions or need help with your essay, please be respectful… ◦ Set an appointment with your counselor or teacher re: your essay ◦ Be on time for that appointment ◦ Bring a copy so you can go through it together ◦ Don’t email essays or expect editing from us!