The College Essay Geschke/English IV the College Essay Source



Download 14.51 Kb.
Date08.11.2017
Size14.51 Kb.
#36401

The College Essay

Source

    • http://professionals.collegeboard.com/guidance/applications/essay
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Purpose

    • This essay is your opportunity to reveal your best qualities and to show an admissions committee what makes you stand out from other applicants.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Purpose

    • A 2006 report published by the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) found that while grades, admission tests, and class rank remain the top factors in the college admission decision, a majority of colleges and universities consider the essay to be a key factor in determining which academically qualified students they would choose.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Purpose

    • In other words, when all else is equal between competing applicants, a compelling essay can make the difference. A powerful, well-written essay can also tip the balance for a marginal applicant.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

What Are Colleges Looking For?

    • Can you write well?
    • Can you support your ideas with logical arguments?
    • Can you tell something about your personality?
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Different Types of Essays

    • The “You” Question
    • The “Why Us” Question
    • The “Creative” Question
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “You” Question

      • This question boils down to "Tell us about yourself." The school wants to know the student better and to see how she will introduce herself.
      • Example: "UVM values a diverse student body. What contributions might you make to our campus community outside of academic achievement?" (University of Vermont, 2005)
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “You” Question

      • Plus: This type of direct question offers students a chance to reveal something about themselves other than grades and test scores.
      • Danger: The open-ended nature of these questions can lead to an essay that's all over the place.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “You” Question

      • Tips
          • Encourage students to focus on just a few things and avoid the urge to "spill everything" at once.
          • Advise students not to simply write out their resume in paragraph form. It's better to develop one small event, person, place, or feeling with a lot of narrative and specifics.
          • Explain to students that this is a "tell us a story" question. Students should tell a story that only they can tell.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “Why Us” Question

      • Some schools ask for an essay about a student's choice of a school or career. They're looking for information about the applicant's goals, and about how serious his or her commitment is to this particular school.
      • Example: "How did you become interested in American University?" (American University, 2007)
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “Why Us” Question

      • Plus: This type of question provides a focus for the essay; that is, why the student chose this particular school or path—and the answer to that will (hopefully) be clear to her.
      • Danger: Any factual errors in the essay will reveal that the student really hasn't thought deeply about her choice. For example, writing that she wants to attend Carleton College to major in agriculture would be a blunder. (Carleton doesn't have an agriculture major.)
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “Why Us” Question

  • Tips
          • Advise students to make absolutely sure they know their subject well.
          • Warn students not to go overboard with flattery. They should sound sincere but not ingratiating.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “Creative” Question

      • The goals of the "creative" question are to evaluate a candidate's ability to think and write creatively and to assess the breadth of her knowledge and education.
      • Example: "Sharing intellectual interests is an important aspect of university life. Describe an experience or idea that you find intellectually exciting, and explain why." (Stanford University, 2007)
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “Creative” Question

      • Plus: This kind of question gives students an opportunity to convey their personalities and views.
      • Danger: Some students may take the "creative" aspect of the question as license to be obscure, pretentious, or undisciplined in their writing.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The “Creative” Question

      • Tips
          • Emphasize to students the importance of writing an informed essay. For example, they should not write about a fantasy meeting with a famous artist and get the titles of his paintings wrong.
          • Advise students to use common sense ("creative" doesn't mean eccentric or self-indulgent).
          • Warn students not to write about high-minded topics or exotic locales simply to impress the reader.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Essay Writing Tips

    • Write simply.
    • Keep your focus narrow and personal.
    • Provide specific evidence (facts, events, quotations, examples) to support your main idea.
    • Use vivid, compelling details (show, don't tell).
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Essay Writing Tips

    • Address the topic squarely. For example, if an application asks you to explain any deficiencies in records (e.g., a low grade or bad semester), provide a straightforward, reasonable response.
    • Don’t repeat information that is found elsewhere in the application, such as lists of courses or extracurricular activities.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Essay Writing Tips

    • Write about something unique and different—not just what you think the admissions officer wants to hear (they read many essays about the charms of their university, for example).
    • Apply principles of good composition (e.g., organize the essay with a beginning, middle, and end).
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Essay Writing Tips

    • Structure your writing in a way that allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.
    • Revise and proofread to make sure there are no typographical, spelling, or grammatical errors.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

One Way To Compose a Draft

    • Step 1: Think about yourself
      • What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your best qualities? Are you an intellectual? A creative type? Curious? Passionate? Determined?
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

One Way To Compose a Draft

    • Step 2: Choose a positive quality you'd like to convey to the admissions committee
      • Don't pick an event or something you've done. President of the Nuclear Awareness Club is not a personal quality. Focus on a quality of your mind or of your character. Complete this sentence: "I am a very _________ person."
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

One Way To Compose a Draft

    • Step 3: Tell a story
      • Set a timer for 20 minutes. Pretend you're taking an exam at high school and responding to, "Tell a story about an experience or time when you showed you were a very _________ person." Use the characteristic you identified in Step 2. Write or type non-stop for 20 minutes; force yourself to keep telling the story and what it reveals until the timer goes off.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The Parts of the Essay

    • The introduction gives your reader an idea of your essay's content. It can shrink when you need to be concise. One vivid sentence might do: "The favorite science project was a complete failure."
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The Parts of the Essay

    • The body presents the evidence that supports your main idea. Use narration and incident to show rather than tell.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

The Parts of the Essay

    • The conclusion can be brief as well, a few sentences to nail down the meaning of the events and incidents you've described.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Three Basic Essay Styles

    • Standard Essay: Take two or three points from your self-outline, give a paragraph to each, and make sure you provide plenty of evidence. Choose things not apparent from the rest of your application or light up some of the activities and experiences listed there.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Three Basic Essay Styles

    • Less-Is-More Essay: In this format, you focus on a single interesting point about yourself. It works well for brief essays of a paragraph or half a page.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Three Basic Essay Styles

    • Narrative Essay: A narrative essay tells a short and vivid story. Omit the introduction, write one or two narrative paragraphs that grab and engage the reader's attention, then explain what this little tale reveals about you.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Editing

    • Let It Cool: Take a break from your work and come back to it in a few days. Does your main idea come across clearly? Do you prove your points with specific details? Is your essay easy to read aloud?
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Editing

    • Feedback Time: Have someone you like and trust (but someone likely to tell you the truth) read your essay. Ask them to tell you what they think you're trying to convey. Did they get it right?
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Editing

    • Edit Down: Your language should be simple, direct, and clear. This is a personal essay, not a term paper. Make every word count (e.g., if you wrote "in society today," consider changing that to "now").
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay

Editing

    • Proofread Two More Times: Careless spelling or grammatical errors, awkward language, or fuzzy logic will make your essay memorable—in a bad way.
  • Geschke/English IV The College Essay


Download 14.51 Kb.

Share with your friends:




The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2022
send message

    Main page