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College Essays 101 Perfecting the Essay 1.  Curriculum  GPA and/or Rank  Standardized Test Scores  Writing Sample/Essay  Letters of Recommendation.

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Presentation on theme: "College Essays 101 Perfecting the Essay 1.  Curriculum  GPA and/or Rank  Standardized Test Scores  Writing Sample/Essay  Letters of Recommendation."— Presentation transcript:

1 College Essays 101 Perfecting the Essay 1

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

3  The College Admission Essay  The Short Answer Essay  Supplemental Essays 3 Common Application Types

4  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 Previous Topics 4

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

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

7  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 of them.  Choose one to develop.  Prepare a rough draft and then let it sit for a couple of days. 7 First Steps

8  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. 8 Remember!

9  Rewrite your draft, if necessary.  Make sure that it doesn't exceed the recommended size; the average essay is typically 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. Remember! 9

10  Readers usually take about 15 minutes per application.  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. Remember! 10

11  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. 1 Boykin Curry and Brian Kasbar, Essays That Worked (New Haven, Mustang Publishing Co., 1986). 11 Opening Power Statements

12  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.  I love to write. 1 Boykin Curry and Brian Kasbar, Essays That Worked (New Haven, Mustang Publishing Co., 1986). 12 Opening Power Statements

13  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. 1 Boykin Curry and Brian Kasbar, Essays That Worked (New Haven, Mustang Publishing Co., 1986). 13 Closing Power Statements

14 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 into Medical School anyway, as a cadaver. 1 Boykin Curry and Brian Kasbar, Essays That Worked (New Haven, Mustang Publishing Co., 1986), p

15 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

16 Connecticut College University of Chicago https://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/apply/essays/ past.shtml Tufts University questions/past-essays/ Resources 16

17 Rusty Haynes Contact Information


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