Considerations for Writing your College Essays Focus on the Common Application

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    24-Dec-2015

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  • Slide 1
  • Considerations for Writing your College Essays Focus on the Common Application
  • Slide 2
  • What the Admission Committees Look For A student with potential for growth. A student with potential for growth. An individual who will contribute to the quality of life for other students. An individual who will contribute to the quality of life for other students. A personality that will fit in on their campus. A personality that will fit in on their campus. Individuals who are sincere and are themselves. They can spot a fake a mile away. Individuals who are sincere and are themselves. They can spot a fake a mile away.
  • Slide 3
  • Colleges Use Different Essay Topics Some colleges have 1 or 2 prescribed topics to write about. Some colleges have 1 or 2 prescribed topics to write about. Others allow you to choose among topics. Others allow you to choose among topics. (Common Application: choose 1 of 6) (Common Application: choose 1 of 6) Still others have several categories in which you must respond Still others have several categories in which you must respond
  • Slide 4
  • Common Application Essay Questions 3 (of 6) questions: 1. Discuss an issue of personal, local, national or international concern & its importance to you. 2. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you and describe that influence. 3. Topic of your choice. There is also one question every student must answer.
  • Slide 5
  • Essay Blueprint: Do This! Find a topic Write a draft Revise and rewrite Get feedback Final editing
  • Slide 6
  • Topics to Help You Start Write about a time when you: have been inspired. have been inspired. had fun. had fun. were intellectually connected in class. were intellectually connected in class. felt exceptionally alive. felt exceptionally alive. lost your sense of time because you were so engrossed in learning something. lost your sense of time because you were so engrossed in learning something.
  • Slide 7
  • More Topic Starters What is the best piece of advice you ever received? What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Which one of your personal qualities would you want someone to write about in a recommendation? Which one of your personal qualities would you want someone to write about in a recommendation? What is your most important possession? What is your most important possession? What one thing annoys you the most? What one thing annoys you the most? Describe a time you used humor to get your self out of an uncomfortable situation. Describe a time you used humor to get your self out of an uncomfortable situation. What are your three biggest mistakes? What are your three biggest mistakes?
  • Slide 8
  • Other Thoughts to Consider Write about things that interest you or about experiences you have had. Write about things that interest you or about experiences you have had. If you write about an important event make sure it is genuine and not a story others have told you. If you write about an important event make sure it is genuine and not a story others have told you. Include things not already in your application or resume. Include things not already in your application or resume. Write a snapshot of your life not your whole life story. Write a snapshot of your life not your whole life story. A personal statement can explain your academic record if it is not strong. A personal statement can explain your academic record if it is not strong.
  • Slide 9
  • A Good Essay is .. Not good because of the topic but because of the voice. Not good because of the topic but because of the voice. Show vs. Tell: a good essay shows by using all of the senses, not just the visual and notices everything that is happening. Show vs. Tell: a good essay shows by using all of the senses, not just the visual and notices everything that is happening. Topic: Death in the family (opening statement): Poor example: From an early age we accept death as inevitable but do not comprehend its actual denotation. Good example: The coughing came first then the hacking in the middle of the night.
  • Slide 10
  • Work on these points Make your essays personal but stay within the guidelines. Make your essays personal but stay within the guidelines. Length: most colleges set limits. Dont over write as admission counselors will not appreciate it - Make every word count. Length: most colleges set limits. Dont over write as admission counselors will not appreciate it - Make every word count. Write an attention-getting lead; say something brief, direct and intriguing but not scary. Write an attention-getting lead; say something brief, direct and intriguing but not scary. Word Choice: weigh each word and substitute more colorful ones that an 18 year old would use. Word Choice: weigh each word and substitute more colorful ones that an 18 year old would use. Tone: read your essay out loud. Does it sound passionate, humorous or reflective? Tone: read your essay out loud. Does it sound passionate, humorous or reflective?
  • Slide 11
  • Revising Can the reader connect with how you are thinking or feeling? Can the reader connect with how you are thinking or feeling? Watch out for vague language or inappropriate word choice i. e use of the word stuff or like, whatever. Watch out for vague language or inappropriate word choice i. e use of the word stuff or like, whatever. Do not use IM language or shortcuts. Do not use IM language or shortcuts. Proofread not just spell check I am interested in attending your homely campus. Proofread not just spell check I am interested in attending your homely campus. Watch out for over use of the pronoun I. Watch out for over use of the pronoun I.
  • Slide 12
  • Check Your Essay GrammarSpellingPunctuation Correct usage of words and phrases
  • Slide 13
  • Finally.. Proofread and have someone else proofread. Proofread and have someone else proofread. Often more is less so dont go on and on Often more is less so dont go on and on Be creative and confident; if you dont believe in yourself no one else will. Be creative and confident; if you dont believe in yourself no one else will. Dont let your parent write your essay; they can tell if a 59 year old wrote it or if you wrote it at 11:59 pm. Dont let your parent write your essay; they can tell if a 59 year old wrote it or if you wrote it at 11:59 pm.
  • Slide 14
  • Relax! You do not have to prove anything. You do not have to prove anything. Dont try to solve lifes mysteries. Dont try to solve lifes mysteries. Dont attempt to save the world in your future. Dont attempt to save the world in your future. They realize you are 18 and assume you are bright and motivated. They realize you are 18 and assume you are bright and motivated.
  • Slide 15
  • What did I learn about you? What did I learn about you? What do I remember about you? What do I remember about you? Do I have confidence in your writing? Do I have confidence in your writing? Do I have any concerns about you? Do I have any concerns about you? Did you come across as thoughtful or interesting? Did you come across as thoughtful or interesting? Take time to create a winning essay! Questions an admissions counselor will consider after reading your essay
  • Slide 16
  • Common Application www.commonapp.org www.commonapp.org www.commonapp.org

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