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College Essays: Four Tips to Write Great Essays Feb 26, 2013 – Brooklyn Technical HS Rob Franek - The Princeton Review.

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Presentation on theme: "College Essays: Four Tips to Write Great Essays Feb 26, 2013 – Brooklyn Technical HS Rob Franek - The Princeton Review."— Presentation transcript:

1 College Essays: Four Tips to Write Great Essays Feb 26, 2013 – Brooklyn Technical HS Rob Franek - The Princeton Review

2 Rob Franek: Contact Info Rob Franek Senior Vice President, Publisher Author, The Best 377 Colleges & Best Value Colleges PH: ext

3 Admissions Evaluations FactorVery ImportantImportantConsideredNot Considered GPA Rigor School Record Test Scores Class Rank Essay Recommendations Source: 1,520 4-year schools reporting data to The Princeton Review during the academic year.

4 Counselor Feedback “ Ninety percent of the applications I read contain what I call McEssays...They are technically correct in that they are organized and have the correct sentence structure and spelling, but they are boring. Sort of like a Big Mac.” - Parke Muth, Senior Assistant Dean Office of Undergraduate Admission, University of Virginia “Writing the Essay: Sound Advice from an Expert”

5 Exercise #1: Flexing Your Essay Muscles ESSAY #1 (Tony):

6 Exercise #1: Flexing Your Essay Muscles During my sophomore year, I was fortunate enough to be elected as treasurer of student government. This was a great honor given that I ran against two other very qualified students. I was nervous at first about taking the job, but I was confident that my organizational skills could be put to good use to maintain accurate records to account for incoming and outgoing funds. My experience turned out to be much more valuable than I expected. In fact, my time as the student body treasurer helped me appreciate just how rewarding it can be to work as a member of a team, and I realized that I have many qualities that make me a true leader. ESSAY #1 (Tony):

7 Exercise #1: Flexing Your Essay Muscles ESSAY #2 (Daniel):

8 Exercise #1 Flexing Your Essay Muscles I make the world’s worst chocolate chip pancakes. Seriously, I really do. My mom loves homemade pancakes, so I tried to surprise her with a batch for breakfast on her birthday last year. What a disaster. I thought I followed the directions perfectly, but for some reason, all the pancakes had lumpy raw dough in the middle of them. They were disgusting. I was too embarrassed to serve them to my mom. I threw them away and offered to take her out to breakfast instead. It’s a good thing Gus’s Deli doesn’t serve breakfast or I probably would have been fired from my part-time job there a long time ago. I’m terrible with pancakes, but I can make the best corned beef on rye you’ve ever tasted. ESSAY #2 (Daniel):

9 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #1: Don’t try to impress the admissions officers; just be honest. “During my junior year, I was fortunate enough to be given the unique opportunity to perform over 50 hours of volunteer work at the hospital. I sought out the internship because of my interest in becoming a doctor, and I believed the hospital would allow me to broaden my knowledge about medicine. The experience has been extremely rewarding, because I feel that I am truly making a difference in the lives of the children that I work with.”

10 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #2: Own your stories -“Owning your story” means that a story is yours—one that nobody else can tell. - The way to take ownership of a story is to inject as much detail as possible so that nobody else could tell quite the same story.

11 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #2: Own your stories Example #1: Without detail: “I was extremely nervous before the orchestra started playing. However, I knew that this was an important performance and that I needed to play well. I took a deep breath, relaxed, and did my best to concentrate.” With detail: “I was sitting there on the stage with my violin resting on my shoulder, and I was sure I’d never been that nervous. I looked out into the crowd of 200 people and somehow, I found my dad. He was holding his video camera, the same camera that’s been in our family since I was ten. My dad loves recording everything I do with that video camera. It’s the same camera he used to record my first home run in little league and my entrance onstage in my first school play. Now, as I was about to play as the first chair violinist in my community orchestra, there was my dad, once again, with our family video camera ready to go. play.”

12 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #3: Don’t repeat information from the rest of your application.

13 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #3: Don’t repeat information from the rest of your application. - Pick a story that has not been mentioned anywhere on your application. Or…

14 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #3: Don’t repeat information from the rest of your application. - Pick a story that has not been mentioned anywhere on your application. Or… - Write about something that has been listed on the application, but share new information about it that the admissions office didn’t know yet.

15 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #4: Your essays should sound like you. …Essay Topic: Prevailing Against Struggle

16 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #4: Your essays should sound like you. Essay Topic: Prevailing Against Struggle 1. “Throughout our lives, we are often forced to confront challenges. Oftentimes, we are able to learn the most valuable lessons from challenges that we successfully overcome. I found this to be the case when I chose to enroll in AP chemistry my junior year. In spite of my best efforts, I consistently struggled with chemistry (my natural strengths are in English and history). But I persevered, and I’m very thankful that I did, as I successfully completed the course and proved to myself that I can finish what I start.”

17 Four Tips to Write Great Essays Tip #4: Your essays should sound like you. Essay Topic: Prevailing Against Struggle 2. “In the middle of my junior year, chemistry and I were having irreconcilable differences. The divorce was going to get ugly. Really ugly. I don’t know why, but no matter how many days I spent after school while my teacher, Mr. Chapman, patiently tried to help me, I just couldn’t get it. In fact, after finishing the class, pretty much the only thing I’m sure about when it comes to chemistry is that I could never be a chemist. Believe me, that’s good news for the scientific community.”

18 The Most Overused College Essay Stories… and How These Tips Can Fix Them 1. “Sports taught me the importance of teamwork and committing to my goals.”

19 The Most Overused College Essay Stories… and How These Tips Can Fix Them 1. “Sports taught me the importance of teamwork and committing to my goals.” 2. “My trip to another country broadened my horizons.”

20 The Most Overused College Essay Stories… and How These Tips Can Fix Them 1. “Sports taught me the importance of teamwork and committing to my goals.” 2. “My trip to another country broadened my horizons.” 3. “Community service taught me the importance of helping people.”

21 The Most Overused College Essay Stories… and How These Tips Can Fix Them 1. “Sports taught me the importance of teamwork and committing to my goals.” 2. “My trip to another country broadened my horizons.” 3. “Community service taught me the importance of helping people.” 4. “My leadership position proves that I can work well with others.”

22 The Most Overused College Essay Stories… and How These Tips Can Fix Them 1. “Sports taught me the importance of teamwork and committing to my goals.” 2. “My trip to another country broadened my horizons.” 3. “Community service taught me the importance of helping people.” 4. “My leadership position proves that I can work well with others.”

23 Need-to-Know Resources: Real Essays… Some worked, some didn’t The Princeton Review’s - College Essays – That Made A Difference real essays - Writing Tips - Most Common Mistakes Collegewise – The Princeton Review’s Admissions Team -

24 Rob Franek The Princeton Review ext


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