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ALP Institute Project A “Real World” Writing Assignment

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Presentation on theme: "ALP Institute Project A “Real World” Writing Assignment"— Presentation transcript:

1 ALP Institute Project A “Real World” Writing Assignment
Project Participants: Mel Berry / David Murphy / Andrew Keating

2 Assignment Foundation
As the project team discussed assignment possibilities, we agreed on the general principles of what we wanted to achieve: We wanted… To tie together classroom writing to real-world experiences and objectives. To demonstrate the utility of writing – that good writing can make a difference in achieving ones stated goals. To give students practice in writing to a particular audience and with a distinct purpose in mind. To give students a template or actual document that they could use or revise at a later date.

3 Assignment Rationale Project Focus: Three Factors
As a project team, we wanted to be able to present something ALP instructors could easily use or modify in the ALP classroom and ALP students would find practical and helpful in their academic and career pursuits. Thus, the project team narrowed its focus to three factors: Creating a Practical “Real-World” Assignment Enhancing Student Knowledge, Skills, & Confidence Producing a Specific Artifact / Document

4 Three Objectives of the Assignment
PERSONAL ASSESSMENT: The assignment will involve students in analyzing their own skill- levels, interest, and readiness to enter a four-year college or employment field. INSTITUTIONAL & ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH: The assignment will require that students do internet and library research on potential schools, academic programs, and job fields in order to gain a better understanding of each organization’s entrance requirements. The assignment will also require that students interview one person—by phone, , or in-person—who is related to the college or working in career-related field.

5 Three Objectives of the Assignment
WRITING PROCESS AND DOCUMENT PRODUCTION: Students will create an outline of the intersection their interests, aptitudes, and qualifications to enter a college or career field with the research they have conducted on the institution or organization. The student will then create a first draft that responds to a particular organizational writing prompt or create a generic response. Students will submit their essay to group peer-review that will analyze audience, purpose, structure, and organization. Students will submit a final draft for instructor assessment.

6 Assignment Explained See the handout of the “Real-World Writing Assignment” for a detailed explanation of the assignment. Assignment Summary: Assignment Objectives: Assignment Steps: Assignment Time Frame: Assignment Summary: In this assignment, you will select one of two options. The first option is to write a college entrance essay in which you respond to an actual college entrance prompt. The second option is to complete a writing sample for a particular job describing your interest, qualifications, and aptitude for a particular position. Assignment Objectives: PERSONALITY AND INTEREST ASSESSMENT: To consider one’s past and current interests, goals, and desires to formulate a possible academic or career path for one’s future. KNOWLEDGE ENHANCEMENT: To acquire real-world knowledge about various organizations such as colleges, academic programs, employment options, and particular job-related skill requirements. RESEARCH SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: To acquire skills in finding, defining, analyzing, and synthesizing information to assess a college or job-related field. DOCUMENT PRODUCTION: To write a finely crafted and polished essay to a specific audience for a particular purpose that can serve as a template for future writing requirements or as a current writing artifact for a current academic or career-related field. Assignment Steps: (Below are listed some possible steps to complete the assignment objectives) STEP ONE: Personality and Interest Assessment: Personality Mapping / Clustering = focus on personal interests, passions, activities, and desires, look for patterns and similarities. Write One-page Journal Responses: “I am…” “My Dream Job is… “ “If I could be or do anything I wanted, I’d…” Take the Meyers / Briggs Personality Assessment (or a similar personality assessment) Read selected portions of “What Color is My Parachute” or other books or articles that focus on helping a person understand his or her aptitudes and interests. STEP TWO: Knowledge Enhancement & Research Skill Development Use the college library to find material related to colleges, academic programs, job fields, and particular employment listings. Use Internet search engines to locate particular college websites, academic fields and/or career fields, organizations, and potential employment possibilities. Collect, read, and analyze information (secondary research) on at least three colleges, academic programs, and/or career-related fields in which you are personally interested. After analyzing the printed material, conduct a field investigation (primary research) by developing a questionnaire (ten questions) that can be used in a personal, , or telephone interview. Synthesize (paraphrase/summarize) secondary and primary research STEP THREE: Document Production Create an outline or organizational chart detailing the intersection of your interests with either the college or the career field Develop an essay outline that responds to the college or career field and includes your own related experiences, aptitudes, and qualifications Write an initial draft / response to a specific college application essay question or a job-interest cover letter in a particular field Have your draft peer-reviewed for interest, accuracy, and style Revise your draft Proof-read and edit your draft Submit final draft to instructor Assignment Time Frame: The time allotted to each step will vary from teacher to teacher and each semester’s schedule, but the project team estimates that three to four weeks would be sufficient to complete all three steps in sequence.

7 Admission Application Essay Requirements
Towson University, Freshman Minimum 250-word essay on the topic of your choice Towson University, Transfer Essay optional University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Freshman & Transfer Complete Common Application with essay

8 Admission Application Essay Requirements
Common Application ( Essay of words on one of the following topics: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

9 Admission Application Essay Requirements
Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you. Topic of your choice.

10 Advice from a UMBC Counselor
Pay attention to content, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Carefully proofread your essay Describe who you are. You are more than your academic scores. Demonstrate critical thinking. Show how you are able to analyze your life and the value of your educational experiences. Do not present a laundry list of accomplishments; rather, describe what you have learned from your experiences and how those experiences will serve you at university. Do not exceed the maximum length.

11 Writing Personal Essays for Business

12 Skimmers & Skeptics Skimmers: Readers who are busy, may not have much time to review the pile of applications. Skimmers will look for simplified information, so use bullet lists and identify major accomplishments and/or selling points up front. Focus on a few solid, memorable takeaways. Writing Personal Essays for Business

13 Skimmers & Skeptics Skeptics: Readers who are cautious or careful, only interested in sure things. More interested in details of your accomplishments. Will ask “how and why” rather than “what.” Writing Personal Essays for Business

14 Skimmers & Skeptics Engage the skimmers early, and elaborate for the skeptics. State key accomplishments, accreditations and selling points early. Provide as many details on each (all) of the items listed at the outset. Dates, statistics, and specific examples are critical to leaving a strong impression. Writing Personal Essays for Business

15 Standards: Please explain your work experience, including each of your job roles, responsibilities, organizations worked for, dates, salary, and reason for leaving your most recent position. Why do you want this particular job? / Why do you want to work here? Sample Questions

16 Giving examples: Give an example of your ability to work to deadlines and how you cope with work pressures. Give an example of how you have had to research or analyze complex information. What methods did you use and how did you present your findings? Give an example of when you have worked on a team project. What was the outcome and what was your role on the team? Sample Questions

17 Answer the questions that are asked Tell a story Be specific
Find an angle Concentrate on your opening paragraph Tell what you know Don’t include all subjects Stay recent, avoid controversy, etc. Do research, if needed Write well and correctly Avoid clichés Some Tips

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