Presentation on theme: "THE ART OF THE COLLEGE ESSAY COLLEGE PLANNING NIGHT PRESENTED BY ALEXIS MASON GIFTED RESOURCE TEACHER ALBEMARLE HIGH SCHOOL."— Presentation transcript:
THE ART OF THE COLLEGE ESSAY COLLEGE PLANNING NIGHT PRESENTED BY ALEXIS MASON GIFTED RESOURCE TEACHER ALBEMARLE HIGH SCHOOL
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ADMISSIONS ESSAY? From Students: To learn more about who you are To see how well you communicate through writing To tell your story and show why you will be a good fit for a school To give the admissions office a reflection of who you are and bring your voice to life To set you apart from the rest of the students applying To give an overall impression of who you are
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE ADMISSIONS ESSAY? From Colleges and Universities: “The first thing that comes to mind is that the essay is the one thing at this point and time in the college process that students can control, and it is the one opportunity they have to share their own voices.” – Dr. Valerie Gregory, Director of Outreach, Undergraduate Admissions, University of Virginia. “If there is an anomaly on a students transcript, the essay can help explain a life changing event. The essay can also allow students to distinguish themselves from the rest of the applicant pool.”– Sharon Walters-Bowers, Director of Admissions, Lynchburg College “For the admissions essay, students need to tell their personal story well because it gives us a “sneak peak” into their lives and who they are.” Ms. Duncan, Admissions Counselor, University of Richmond “This gives us a window into a student’s personality and charter that doesn’t come through in the rest of the application. It is important for us to see that before making decisions.”– James Kim, Admissions Counselor, Yale University
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN WRITING MY ESSAYS FOR COLLEGES AND SCHOLARSHIPS? Make sure you know the application deadlines and your schedule to give yourself enough time to think and write. Plan to write at least three-five essays that include all the stages of the writing process. Know the specific essay guidelines and submission instructions. Some schools require 250, 500 words or less, up to 650+ words for submissions. Be sure to seek help from parents, teachers, counselors, and/or mentors in reviewing your essay for authentic voice, structure, grammar. Decide on a topic, experience, personal story that you think best allows you to show who you are, your passions and goals.
2014-15 COMMON APPLICATION ESSAY PROMPTS “The essay length will continue to be capped at 650 words. The essay prompts are as follows: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn? Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again? Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.” *https://appsupport.commonapp.org/link/portal/33011/33013/Article/169 4/2014-15-Common-Application-Essay-Promptshttps://appsupport.commonapp.org/link/portal/33011/33013/Article/169 4/2014-15-Common-Application-Essay-Prompts
What do you think is the hardest part about writing the college admissions essay?
WHAT TOPICS SHOULD I AVOID? Sports-themed essays Disney Essays The TMI Essay Formulaic 5-paragraph theme Marshmallow Fluff Political/Religious essays (exceptions?)
WHAT ARE THE “MUSTS” FOR THE ESSAY? Be yourself and use your own voice (NO THESAURUS DIVING). Don’t repeat what is already revealed in your application. (Are there ever exceptions?) Use descriptive and specific language. Follow a basic structure (Introduction with a hook, Body, and Conclusion with overall impression). Stay on topic. Revise and edit your essay. Know your audience. For Common App—Do not include the name of a specific college/university in the essay.
WHERE CAN I FIND HELP? English teachers have been assigning the personal statement essay as the first writing assignment of the year. They want students to ask them for help. The Patriot Writer’s Studio is available to students during the week and will host special “Senior Days” to assist students with their essays. The Counseling Department is hosting “College Week” October 20 – 23, 2014 during lunches and CHAT days to assist seniors with all phases of the college application process. Parents, mentors, the gifted resource teacher, and counselors are great resources in the brainstorming, revision, and editing stages. Don’t forget to ask your reader(s): Does this essay sound like me? Does this essay show (not merely tell) who I am?