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Revising the College Essay in W&T Workshop Woronzoff Readings: 1. Students drafts of college essay 2.

Maureen Dowds How to Write a College Essay

www.foothill.edu/transfer/essayhints.php
3. Chris S. The College Essay: Yogurt Edition

mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/the_college_essay_yogurt_editi 4. Catherine Sbeglias college essay, attached in Elizabeths 9/9/11 email


Exemplary Student Essay 5. Figaros Writing a Winning College Essay http://www.figarospeech.com/college-essay/ 6. Wood and McAllister-Grandes Dos and Donts on Your College Application Essay in MP Workshop Series www.pearweb.org/gearup/pdfs/college.pdf (this list, and yogurt blog above, are included in college essay packet distributed to CTO advisors on Community Day) 9:00 Free-write Students have brought college essay drafts and a written piece that they began in workshop and have expanded at home (PPP) Today we will use a small group critique and partner sharing to revise one of these. 9:05 Attendance, announcements, reminders What am I doing in September to get ready for college application process? Requesting letters of recommendation Refining college list Bard early admissions Setting up interviews with more selective colleges Attending info sessions first one is September 14 Creating an account for Common App Revising and finishing college essay The Small Group Critique 9:10-9:30 Model a SGC (from Faculty Guidebook) The SGC is used to show ways of revising your written work

1. Read: a volunteer reads her writing 2. FFW Ask students to imagine that they are the reader and to write a FFW from her perspective (what is her ideal/desired response from audience? how should listeners respond, what should they ask, what should their attitude be?) 3. Share responses 4 Describe critique process A. Student reads essay, listeners write down words/phrases. After reading, listeners say, I liked I noticed Student responds with thank you B. Reader reads again, listener restates main idea, I hear you saying C. Reader reads again, listeners ask, Have you considered Id like to know more about Listener is silent (besides saying thank you) 5. Writer makes revisions 6. Second round of SCG (ABC above without reading essay every time) 7. Writer asks questions: What needs to be eliminated? Is my intention clear? Etc. 8. Writer revises again 9:30- 10:15 SGC Organize students into groups of 3-4, conduct critiques 10:15-10:30 Break How to Write a Compelling College Essay* 10:30- 11:45 Read: An admission officers point of view: Maureen Dowds How to Write a College Essay FFW: Respond to a specific line or word. Share.

Discuss: What are some of the Donts? What are some of the Dos? 11:45 12:00 Read: A students point of view: Chris S. essay The College Essay: Yogurt Edition. FFW: Respond to specific line or word. Share Discuss: What are some of the Donts? What are some of the Dos? 12:00 12:15 Hand out Wood & Grandes Dos and Donts list Read: Go over list together, each student reads a part Four important points to remember 1. Opening paragraph should state your main idea and be interesting. You can capture readers attention with first sentence or two (lead sentence). 2. Be very specific. Stick to your main idea. Dont include a range of accomplishments. Focus on a single point that demonstrates who you are 3. Develop your main idea with concrete details. If you are talking about your desire to become a doctor, show how this desire grew out of a conversation, an event, something you experienced or saw or read about. Avoid generalizations: I want to be a nurse/doctor to help people. 4. Be clear, concise. Use a natural conversational tone. Use action verbs, avoid passive constructions. Stick to the word limit. 12:15-1:15 Lunch 1:15- 1:30 Read: Catherine Sbeglias college essay FFW Is this a good essay? Why? Share responses

Discuss Does it include four points listed above? Identify Catherines essay describes a dramatic personal event. What if I have nothing exciting to write about? Consider writing about an everyday topic but tell a good story about it. 1:30-1:45 Read Figaros Writing a Winning College Essay (a story about a toothache) FFW: What are Figaros main points? Share Discuss: What are the storytelling elements that make a mundane event (like a toothache) interesting? 1:45- 2:00 Partner review of each others essays Pair up, read each others essay Note any Dos and Donts (checklist above) Discuss 2:00-2:15 Switch to another partner, repeat above 2:15-3:00 Rewrite your essay including new changes HW: See "College Essay Tips" by James Moroney, First Choice College

Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7w-lq5my24

* If you want to review main ideas about writing college essays 10:30-10: 45 Read Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Write and General Advice in Writing the Personal Statement http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/62/01/ FFW: What are some main points? Share. Discuss: Remember to ask yourself these kinds of questions (from OWL):

What is unique about you -- what makes you different from other applicants? Have you overcome any obstacles or hardships? How has a personal event changed you or shaped a career/academic interests or goals? Why are interested in a particular field, how/when did you get interested (person, class, work experience), what have you learned about yourself from pursuing these interests? Any obstacles, hardships that led to growth? What has working/employment taught you (money management skills, communication/people skills, problem solving skills); how have you grown, what have you learned about yourself, what kind of personal characteristics have you developed?