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Perfecting the Essay College Essays 101.

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Presentation on theme: "Perfecting the Essay College Essays 101."— Presentation transcript:

1 Perfecting the Essay College Essays 101

2 College Admission 101 Curriculum GPA and/or Rank
Standardized Test Scores Unique Experiences/Hooks Letters of Recommendation Writing Sample/Essay Involvement/Leadership Interviews

3 Types The College Admission Essay The Short Answer Essay
Supplemental Essays

4 Possible Topics A time when you overcame adversity
Your proudest moment People whom you admire New experiences you would like to have Why you are passionate about certain subjects and activities What you value

5 Risky Topics! Topics that have been overused.
What I learned in sports. My study abroad experience. The President of the United States. Current, political or religious issues.

6 Avoid! Redundancy. Cryptic comparisons. Forcing it.
Trying to be funny, when you’re not. Quoting overused sources, poets and authors.

7 First Steps Start early! Read any and follow all directions carefully.
Answer the question. Consider the institution (i.e. liberal, conservative, religious, etc.?). List several possible topics. Develop outlines for three. Choose one to develop. Prepare a rough draft and then let it sit for a couple of days.

8 Remember! Write the essay as if you had to read it.
Write about something you know and enjoy. Stay positive. Be original. Make sure it flows well. Try to demonstrate at least one personal characteristic (e.g. determination, intellectual curiosity, warmth, etc.), if possible.

9 Remember! Rewrite your draft, if necessary.
Make sure that it doesn't exceed the recommended size; the average essay is 1 ½ to 2 pages in length or words. Proofread it several times. Have a friend, your English teacher and/or your college counselor review it. Revise and type your final copy. Make several copies. Put your name and social security number on each page.

10 Remember! Open with a power statement, a sentence that immediately attracts the reader’s attention. Continuity is important. Avoid being too cryptic. The essay should flow smoothly throughout. If the reader has to stop to question anything, you have lost your opportunity. Attempt to elicit some type of emotion from the reader. Close with a power statement, a sentence that reflects personal insight.

11 Opening Power Statements
 Green Eggs, Ham and Social Responsibility.  If I could be any roll in society, I would be a croissant. The morning is cool and damp, and the darkness is just lifting with the chill. The teachers at my high school are known for their eccentricity on the one hand and their long tenure on the other. "Ball!” shouted the umpire. I love to write.

12 Opening Power Statements
Within the past seven years, I have moved 364 times. 5:59 on my bedroom digital. Last April I received the shock of my life. At 4’8” and just under 70 pounds, I am as big as I will ever be. I remember screaming, "I WON, I WON, I WON!" as I ran down the street half-naked in my pajamas. "Awe shut up!" I screamed while slamming the car door.

13 Closing Power Statements
Damn, it was cold. Or so I am told.  I would have gotten in anyway--as a cadaver.  And never shall the demon haunt me.  One black one still believed.  Although left-handed, I must be in my right mind

14 Question: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Barry Kaye Question: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received? "Move your ass!” yelled a man as a car was bearing down on a five year old boy who was about to cross the street. That boy was me, and needless to say, I took his advice and moved. As far as I am concerned, that was the best piece of advice I've ever been given, for had I not received it, I would not be here to say so. The second best piece of advice I ever received was from my uncle, who said, "Barry, go to Medical School." If I am not accepted to the University of Pennsylvania solely on the basis of this truthful answer, so be it. If I had not taken the man's advice, I would have gotten to Medical School anyway: as a cadaver. 1 Boykin Curry and Brian Kasbar, Essays That Worked (New Haven, Mustang Publishing Co., 1986), p. 88.

15 Question: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Barry Kaye Question: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received? "Move your ass!" (Opening power statement!) yelled a man as a car was bearing down on a five year old boy who was about to cross the street. That boy was me, and needless to say, I took his advice and moved. As far as I am concerned, that was the best piece of advice I've ever been given, for had I not received it, I would not be here to say so. The second best piece of advice I ever received was from my uncle, who said, "Barry, go to Medical School." If I am not accepted to the University of Pennsylvania solely on the basis of this truthful answer, so be it. If I had not taken the man's advice, I would have gotten to Medical School anyway: as a cadaver. (Closing power statement!)1 Outstanding essay, but way to short; the standard college admission essay is 1 & 1/2 to 2 pages or words long. Notice the opening and closing power statements. It flows, makes me laugh and reveals the writer’s sense of humor--the perfect essay. 1 Boykin Curry and Brian Kasbar, Essays That Worked (New Haven, Mustang Publishing Co., 1986), p. 88.

16 Contact Information Rusty Haynes


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