*Pass up your poetry project Take out the two college essays you should have read and annotated

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Aim: How can we identify, analyze, apply, and evaluate personal, college essay writing techniques and college vocabulary?

*Pass up your poetry project*

*Take out the two college essays you should have read and annotated*
Do Now: You work on a college admissions board and interview possible students.
(1) List 3-5 traits that an applicant should have to impress you during this interview.
(2) For each trait, explain why it would impress you.

Homework due Wednesday, June 1:
Work on your writing portfolio, due June 7;

Work on your college essay (rough draft), due June 3;

(1) Examine Staples’s essay;

(2) Compare with Ronelus’s essay;

(3) Brainstorm your own;

College Essay Assignment (Personal Statement)
Due Date: Friday, June 3

Your Assignment: You should type a 1 page, single-spaced rough draft of a college essay or sketch that answers one prompt from the selection below.

Choose one:
1.Describe your culture and a particular time when it influenced you.
2.Describe a person who has significantly influenced you and discuss this influence.
3.Describe an object that has come to represent you. Explain how it represents your dominant traits.
4.Discuss some societal problem and how you would solve it if possible.
5.Describe the most challenging obstacle you have had to overcome. What did it teach you?
6.What is the greatest challenge your generation will face? What do you have that deals with this issue?
7.Describe an experience in your life when a proverb has served as a maxim for you.
8.Describe a time when you suddenly questioned your usually solid beliefs. What did you learn?

I should grade your essay using the ‘college admissions board’ standards. They involve these qualities (6 points each):

*an anecdote (centered on a unique experience)*

*thorough and insightful reflection (centered on a lesson learned from your experience)*

*vivid language*

*a complete answer to the prompt*

*a positive outlook*

*adherence to the length rules*

Anecdote (centered on a unique experience):

An anecdote is a brief narrative or story from the writer’s own experience that illustrates ideas as examples. A writer tells a small story about his/her experience. (Ex: When I was 12, a car hit me while riding my bike.) How can you write an interesting anecdote? We should answer this question through examining a college essay.

The best ways to write anecdotes...

Reflection (centered on a lesson learned from your experience):

You analyze yourself and your experience (anecdote). What did you learn from this experience? What did this experience mean to you? What does it reveal about your culture, thoughts, morality, attitude, aspirations? (Ex: After the hit-and-run, I realized that not everyone will do the right thing, and that means you must work even harder to do the right thing.)

The best ways to write reflections….

Staples’s Essay Together:

(1)Underline the anecdote and take notes in margin as we should discuss it. Also have your loose-leaf out to add to our heading, ‘The best ways to write anecdotes…

(2) Highlight any details you notice about the second ingredient—reflection.
(3) Answer this question: Why do you think these are the two most important and sought after ingredients? Why would colleges want them first? How does your answer relate to qualities we should have listed in our do now?

Independent Work with Derby Ronelus’s “My Friend in War”

Over each paragraph summary, write down whether you consider the paragraph a part of the writer’s anecdote or reflection.
Pair Work:

1. Find at least three other techniques or elements that Derby uses to render his anecdote.

2. Besides ‘the best ways to write your reflection’ that we already should have established from Staples’s essay, find at least two other ways Derby shows you that he is reflecting or analyzing his situation.
3. Return to Derby’s fourth and twentieth paragraph. Check out the use of ‘mud.’ How does the meaning of ‘mud’ change throughout this essay? How does mud ultimately relate to the change or main idea of Derby’s essay? Why do you think Derby chose to end his essay this way, knowing that college admissions officers would read it?

Brainstorm your college essay topic
1. Keep in mind the list of prompts you can address (see assignment sheet). For each prompt, right now, write down one experience you had that might fit this prompt, or at least come close.

2. Based on all your experiences you should have listed above, which one should you choose for your first college essay rough draft?

a. Which topic seems the most significant and substantial to merit a 1-2-page essay? Why?
b. Which most amounts to an impressive, unique experience? What can you add to it that would further impress readers?
c. Which do you understand well enough and feel comfortable enough to share with strangers?

3. Now that you have a suitable topic, spend 5-6 minutes freewriting about this idea.

*Describe the person or personal situation in as much detail as you can possibly recall. Consider the ‘best ways’ to render an anecdote we should have uncovered in class. Try including them.
*Describe your emotions and thoughts as this situation/person came into your life.
*Describe the lessons, achievements, mistakes, and overall changes this experience created in you.

Review this free-write with your partner:

Switch papers with the partner. You should read her freewrite while she reads yours.

After reading her freewrite, in the margins or in spaces below the freewrite, write down brief answers to these questions:

  1. Does your partner’s topic seem interesting enough to impress admissions boards and stand out as a unique experience? If not, what can she change about her topic to make it more interesting?

  1. What extra details do you want to know about your partner’s topic? (List at least 2.) Does your partner leave out any basic information that confuses you, like her age at the time of the experience, where it occurred, what actually happened, who was involved, and so on? How can she clarify?

  1. What are some positive traits that your partner demonstrates in this situation that she can highlight in her essay?

  1. On your partner’s freewrite, underline two to three different sentences that you think begin to reveal or describe one consequence or lesson from your partner’s experience.

Reflect on this college essay process through responding to this prompt:

Gerald Clarke said, “In the writing of memoirs, as in the production of shows, too much caution causes the audience to nod and think of other channels.”
(1)What do you think “cautious” means in this line? Do you agree with Clarke? Why/not?
(2) How might the “audience” here amount to the college admissions board? How might this scenario relate to writing the college essay?
(3) Based on the brainstorming you just did in class, have you been too cautious or not? Explain why with at least one example.
(4) How would you rate your class? Are they willing to take risks? Explain.

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