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Essay #1: Introductions

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You will use what you brainstormed in the bullet activity to write an application letter. You will choose only one of the following, based on whether or not you have graduated from high school.

 

High School Graduates

Already a high school graduate with some work experience? Use the ideas you brainstormed in your bullet points assignment compose a college application letter or a scholarship application letter or a job application cover letter.

Format your letter in correct block

business letter format (Links to an external site.)

.

Resources about writing college or scholarship application essays and letters:

The purpose of your college application essay or program application letter is to show the committee who you are as a person, what you value, what you hope to do with your life. Equally important, the application letter or essay serves as a sample that the committee can use to assess not just your grasp of grammar and vocabulary but also your ability to think critically and construct an argument (the argument that you, more than the thousands of other applicants, deserve to be selected.

Think hard about your reader’s expectations. Sometimes it helps to imagine your reader as a teacher in your school-one who doesn’t know you or your work. That reader will expect a good essay, on topic, free from errors. Also bear in mind that your reader is probably reading a lot of other essays in addition to yours; do your very best to make his experi­ence pleasant and rewarding.

Brainstorm extensively for these essays, both before you start your draft and during revision. Make sure your content is the best it can possi­bly be. Because this is a formal essay, you can be sure that your reader will be looking at how you’ve organized it. Is your structure logical? Take some time to outline your essay, and don’t be afraid to reorganize it once you’ve drafted it; essays often evolve as you write them and may need to be reoutlined and adjusted during the revision phase.

Expect to go through several drafts before you finalize your essay. Give yourself plenty of time to write, revise, and rewrite. Don’t feel you’ve failed if you don’t write a perfect draft the first time through: editing and rewriting are part of the writing process. Proofreading is a critical part of the revision process. For obvious reasons, your spelling, punctuation, and grammar must be perfect.

 

DOs and DON’Ts of College Admissions Letter or Essay Writing

Write it yourself. It’s a good idea to have trusted friends, family, or advisers read your drafts and make suggestions. However, the essay must be completely your own work from start to finish. Admissions committees are very adept at detect­ing when someone else has written an essay for you.

Don’t let anyone else write any part of it for you. Your essay must be your work, and your work alone. The admissions committee will definitely know if your mom wrote even a little: nothing is more obvious to an experienced reader than changes in tone, vocabulary, and attitude. When you get feedback from friends or family, don’t let them rewrite those sections for you. Absorb what they’ve said to you, and put it in your own words.

Answer the question (or “prompt”} exactly as it’s posed. Some schools use the Common Application (often known as the Common App), which allows students to complete a single application packet for submission to multiple schools. However, not all schools use the Common App, and some might even require additional essays. If you’re applying to multiple schools, it can be a hassle to customize your essays to meet their requirements, but doing so is absolutely critical to your success.

Don’t rehash quantitative information that appears elsewhere in your application. The admissions committee will look at your application as a whole including data such as test scores and grades. Don’t waste the precious opportunity the essay affords by restating this information, no matter how impressive it may be.

Answer the whole question. Many questions have multiple parts. One typical question is to ask you to identify an important issue or person in your life and then to explain why. Don’t neglect the “why” part of the question. That section is your opportunity to reflect, analyze, and show what’s important to you as a potential member of the col­lege community. Read the question carefully and be sure to answer it fully.

Don’t use fancy words where ordinary ones will do. If you mean “praise,” don’t use “laud.” If you mean “think,” don’t use “cogitate.” If you mean “walk,” don’t use “perambulate.” You don’t get extra points for extra syllables. Write in your own, natural, intelligent voice.

Observe the conventions of a formal essay. Your essay should have a clear structure, with a consistent point of view, and it should be written with an eye to keeping the reader’s interest.

Don’t indulge in excessive praise of the school you’re applying to. Good schools already know how good they are. It’s wise to show that you know something about the school you’re applying to, but it’s best to show this knowledge when you explain that you’re an ideal fit for the culture and values of the school.

Your essay is not an e-mail to a friend, or a friendly conversation, or a list of accomplish­ments. It’s a formal piece of writing with an introduction and conclusion-a clear beginning, middle, and end. Ideally, your essay should be interesting for anyone to read, not just the admissions committee.

Don’t overemphasize what the university can do for you. You should show that you’re aware of their offerings and emphasis, but you should put more emphasis on what you can do for the univer­sity community.

Be yourself. The committee wants to know who you are, so your essay should employ your natural voice, albeit in the context of a formal essay. Don’t try to impress by using big words, convoluted sentences, or pretentious ideas. Show the very best of who you really are.

Don’t submit an essay with typos, misspellings, and punctuation errors. This essay is your writing sample, and it also demonstrates how much you care about your application. If you allow sloppy mistakes in your application essay, the admissions committee has every right to decide that you won’t care about the work you do in college. Get several people you trust to proofread your essay before you submit it.

Use humor sparingly: don’t go overboard. Many students think that a jokey tone will convey their personality better or set them apart from other applicants. Be wary of self-deprecating humor, especially if it’s used to provide reasons for a less-than-stellar aca­demic record. This kind of approach almost always fails. If you have concerns about your test scores or grades, address them in a straightforward, serious way.

Proofread, proofread, proofread. Do not rely on spell-check or grammar-check programs; they sometimes make mistakes. Proofread the essay carefully yourself; then give it to at least two other competent people (not your best friend who got a C in English) to proof it. It’s even well worth the investment to pay a professional to proofread your final draft before you submit

MVC Student

1001 Ashville Street, Dallas, Texas 75249
MVCStudent@gmail.com

972.555.1111

January 30, 2020

The University of I Don’t Know Yet
100 University Way
Somewhere, Texas 10000

Dear Admissions Counselor:

My mother had a sporadic education at best, the result of moving back and forth from Mexico to
Texas. When her mother died, she quit school for good at age fifteen and raised her siblings
instead. My mother always wanted more for her children. No matter what people said about us
being bastards and mistakes, she drilled it into my head that the world was mine for the taking.

I was never a good student, but I always loved learning. I am hardworking, ambitious, and
sometimes unconventional. As far back as I can remember, I have never excelled at school- from
elementary to high school. I remember crying in math while teachers yelled at me for slacking off.
By the time I was in ninth grade I did not even bother writing my name on assignments. My mother
often had to leave work so all my teachers could sit in one room and tell her how I was never
going to get anywhere. In my junior year of high school, we discovered I had a learning disability
that was never caught. I was glad to finally understand why school was so difficult, but my GPA
had already been damaged beyond repair. No matter how low I felt after a report card, I knew
could not give up on college. College held the key to everything I wanted and more.

My parents divorced when I was two years old. They like to think it was peaceful, but I remember
yelling waking me up from sleep and tears on both of their faces. I think divorcing was something
neither of them wanted; they just could not figure out how to make it work. It killed me that I had
no power to help them fix it. My parents lost parts of themselves that I don’t know if I will ever
see again.

My five siblings and I bounced around between parents for a while. Eventually, I stayed with my
mother permanently. Mostly, I only saw my mother in the middle of the night, eyes tired, barely
getting home from one of her many jobs. Since she was gone most of the time, I had to mature
quickly. Even though I was the youngest of my siblings, I took on the role of the “housewife” from
an early age. I was the cook, the cleaner, and the peacemaker. Making a little peace in my
chaotic family was my biggest pride. I loved solving problems and helping the members of my
family come to understand each other. Always seeing my mom exhausted made me want
something better for myself. I was not sure what was going to save from this life, but I had to find
it. I, later, figured out it was college.

Although when I was younger I swore I was going to be a veterinarian, when it came time to
choose a career pathway in high school, I knew I wanted two things in life: I wanted to pursue my
passion in writing poetry, and I wanted to help people and families like my own. So, I decided to
study psychology. I figured if the world was mine, I wanted to do something to make it a better
place.

MVC Student
1001 Ashville Street, Dallas, Texas 75249
MVCStudent@gmail.com
972.555.1111

After high school graduation, I was lost. college was uncharted territory in my family. Luckily, my
mom raised an independent woman, and I was able to figure things out. Now, I am on my way to
accomplish the things everyone I ever respected told me I could not do. I am taking the world.

I look forward to being a University of I Don’t Know Yet student next year,

MVC Student

2

Brainstorming Activity for Introduction Essay

Use bullet points to answer the following questions about yourself (if you don’t have an answer to one or two of these questions, then skip that question). You may add more than one bullet point to answer any question. You will use the ideas that you brainstorm to write an application letter about yourself, which will be your first major essay due.

Journalists’ Questions

Question you will answer

Your answer, in bullet point style and not in paragraph form

Who

are you as a student?

· I am a sophomore working hard for every grades.

are you as a family member?

· I am eldest child to my parents.

· I am a brother to my sister.

inspired you to do something you never thought you could do?

· My mom has always been there to motivate and push me to accomplish my dreams.

What

have you accomplished so far in your high school and college career that you are proud of?

· I used to be the captain of my high school who monitored every student in schools.

do you want to study in college?

· I want to get a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

· I want to get a master’s degree in Business.

do are your hopes or plans for after you earn your degree or certificate?

· I want to return back to my home country, Nepal and utilize my certificate to improve my motherland.

Where

are you from?

· I was born and raised in Biratnagar, Nepal.

do you hope to study after you leave Mountain View?

· I hope to transfer to Texas Women’s University.

do you see yourself in ten years?

· I hope I will be living a happy life with my family.

Why

did you decide to enroll as a college student?

· Enrolling as a college student would explore my area of interest which is Computer Science.

do you want to study what you hope to study?

· The art and architecture of Computer Science has always fascinated me in every prospective.

How

will you keep pursuing what you love even after college?

· I am in college so that I could be in a place where I aim to be.

· I will be using computer more after college than before.

will becoming what you hope to become make yourself and your family and community members proud?

· Working for my motherland, respecting the elders, caring the youngers and being kind to everyone.

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