The College Application

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29 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 11 μήνες)

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The College Application
Essay

IT’S ABOUT
YOU
!

Michael Settanni, Writing Coach

Tonight’s presentation



Background


Roles


Getting started


Authentic voice


The personal narrative


Self
-
editing





Do’s and don’ts


The new Common
Application questions


Coaching conference dates


Contact information


Your questions/concerns




My role as a writing coach



Explain the rules


Make suggestions for locating a topic


Help focus and organize the essay


Respond honestly


Give direction


Guide practice



I don’t rewrite the essay


Your role



Focus! Focus! Focus!


Edit! Edit! Edit!


Work! Work! Work!


Question: How important is the
essay really?


Answer:
Very!


Get noticed, but don’t . . .

Subject and Topic

Understand the difference


YOU are the
subject
.


The
topic

is what you choose to write
about
. It
can be virtually anything you’ve experienced,
from the mundane to the monumental, but it must
reveal something
true

and
essentia
l

about YOU.

Choosing a suitable topic:

“People are interesting and so are you.”



Make the ordinary extraordinary


Present yourself in a favorable light: strengths, characteristics


Ask yourself
questions (see handout)


Select an experience that allows you to demonstrate personal
development: What did you learn about yourself, others, the
world? Were you changed in some way?


Choose your topic with space limitations in mind (a 650
-

word
absolute maximum for the Common Application).


The Approach: Am I writing an
essay, a memoir, a story?

The college application essay is a
personal
narrative
. That is, it’s an essay, memoir and story
all at the same time. It should have some of the
analysis, observation and interpretation of an essay,
some of the reflection on experience of a memoir
and some of the conflict and resolution of a story.
All in 650 words or less.

The NEW Common Application
essay prompts


Number of prompts reduced from six to five


Word limit increased to 650


“Topic of your choice” removed


See handout for copy of 2013 prompts

The personal narrative is . . .


. . . a story you tell about an experience you’ve had. It
should have


a beginning, middle, end OR introduction, body, conclusion


c
onflict and resolution, a controlling idea


a
necdote(s), examples and concrete details


Reflection, observation, analysis


a point

a

word about graphic organizers

Authentic voice: What is it?


It’s how you express your
character/makeup/nature/temperament in
writing. It can be many things, but it
must

be

genuine
.




Show,
D
on’t
T
ell.

Use:


Active voice (handout)


Strong verbs


Anecdotes


Dialogue


Concrete details

The Process


Pre
-
write

Write

Rewrite

Rewrite

Proof

Publish


Procrastination (avoid avoiding)


Three to four drafts and a final edit


Most writing benefits from compression


Self
-
editing



Less is more: Kill your darlings


“First word, best word” may have worked for Allen
Ginsberg, but it won’t for you.


Revise for specifics, telling details, concrete examples


Everything counts: spelling, grammar, mechanics


Read
ALOUD

Make sure you


Follow directions


Respond to the prompt


Write with an authentic voice (active, genuine)


Show

don’t tell (STRONG verbs)


Write about something that matters to you


Make a point


Reveal something positive about yourself


Check carefully for errors


A
void


Predictability


Exclamation points. . .really!


The thesaurus (except to avoid repetition)


Unnecessary descriptors (adjectives, adverbs)


Writing errors of all kinds (lots of gremlins out there)


Boasting, self
-
promotion


Smarmy, self
-
righteous or overly sentimental tone


Fluff, padding


Avoiding (don’t procrastinate)



Writing Conferences


Dates: September 12 and October 3


Time: Ten
-
minute sessions from 2:30 to 5:00


Sign Up: Guidance office starting TOMORROW


Please note: Essays MUST be submitted to me
via email at least four (4) days prior to the session
you’ve scheduled.



Contact information

Phone:

(610) 220
-
3422

Email:

msettanni@comcast.net

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