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College/Narrative Essay


College/Narrative Essay Doing it right! – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: College/Narrative Essay

College/Narrative Essay
  • Doing it right!

UC Prompts
  • Prompt 1 (freshman applicants)
  • Describe the world you come from for example,
    your family, community or school and tell us
    how your world has shaped your dreams and
  • Tell us about a personal quality, talent,
    accomplishment, contribution or experience that
    is important to you. What about this quality or
    accomplishment makes you proud and how does it
    relate to the person you are?

Requirements for UC
  • Respond to both prompts, using a maximum of 1,000
    words total.
  • You may allocate the word count as you wish. If
    you choose to respond to one prompt at greater
    length, we suggest your shorter answer be no less
    than 250 words.
  • Stay within the word limit as closely as you can.
    A little over 1,012 words, for example is

Other Prompts to Choose
  • 1. "Do you believe there's a generation gap?
    Describe the differences between your generation
    and others."
  • 2. "Indicate a person who has had a significant
    influence on you, and describe that influence."
    (Common Application)
  • 3. If you could choose to be anyone for an entire
    day, fictional or non-fictional, who would you
    choose and how would this choice affect who you
    are as a person?

What makes a great essay?
  • Stand out by being yourself tell about a trip,
    describe a community service project, a political
    issue or the significance of the sport you like.
  • Details use concrete evidence-show not tell
  • Tell a story-use adjectives!
  • Think metaphorically

How long should it be?
  • The main idea here is that it should be long
    enough to be good.
  • They can range from 78-1500 words, but they must
    be good.
  • One to two pages is standard
  • Brevity is good, but make sure the reader can get
    a feeling of who you are.

Qualities to emphasize
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Value diversity
  • Notice little things
  • Committed to an activity or idea
  • Can overcome adversity
  • Have initiative
  • Colleges want people who are passionate about
    life and learning.

  • Cynicism
  • Think you are a finished product
  • Depressed
  • Self-destructive
  • Lack integrity
  • Tend to blame others

Write about NOTHING!
  • Sometimes something small can reveal a lot.
  • Like Seinfeld or Friends-not a lot happens,
    but we learn so much about each character.
  • Remembering a letter the author wrote to the
    president when she was six
  • Buying a bottle of shampoo.
  • Why the author likes bowling
  • Bringing underwear to college

Five ways to shoot yourself in the foot
  • A phony life-changing experience
  • Making everything peachy keen
  • Social problem of the year bandwagon
  • Melodrama
  • Quoting pop-lyrics

Favorite Things
  • An article of clothing
  • The groups in your school and where you fit in
  • A family gathering or tradition
  • Your walk or ride to school
  • Your favorite things

The introduction
  • An anecdote the most tried and true way to begin
    is to describe an incident or event that relates
    to your main point
  • A Zinger Some excellent writers dont need and
    anecdote. They may begin with humor, wordplay,
    or some other creative twist to grab the reader.
  • Straightforward Statement A simple beginning is
    preferable to a failed attempt at either of the

Dotting the Is and crossing the Ts
  • Lack of main idea
  • Weak verbs
  • Failure to use I
  • Double-Dipping adjectives
  • Too many simple sentences
  • Wordiness
  • Tense
  • Trusting Spell Check
  • Unwillingness to start over