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Below are some resources and links that you may choose to use as you navigate the content you are going to cover in your English 3 units. The intent of me providing these resources is to provide some current insight and voices from the college exploration and admissions field with resources, articles, and examples. You may already have other materials that reinforce these messages. The examples of questions and test prep are current. I have grouped the materials by topic.

College List Development

1. A nice article for Juniors about starting their college list and what things to consider. This source is a reputable admissions web site that we reference quite a bit through our Twitter feed: http://www.ivywise.com/newsletter_dec14_juniors_refine_college_list.html

2. A very common trend in college exploration is for colleges to provide information through tons of social media outlets. Often these links are front and center on college sites. These tools can begin to give students glimpses of campus life, school spirit, atmosphere, etc. This article provides some ways students can use social media: http://www.ivywise.com/newsletter_march13_social_media_college_search.html

College (Narrative) Essay Writing

1. Narrative writing brainstorm activities for college essay writing. The author writes accessible materials for students and parents to use and we reference him often through our social media:

http://www.collegeessayguy.com/guide-objects-exercise (this link has a step by step exercisekind of like a guided imagery. There is also an mp3 link of the same prompt, so students could listen to the exercise)



2. YouTube Channel for the College Essay Guy. He provides some short audio suggestions for writing good college narrative essays. He likes to encourage students to think of their essays as movies and emphasizes this point when talking about adding drama, sequencing, and voice into a statement. Its a nice way for students to begin to think about their answers from the readers perspective and to consider how they can make their answers stand out and/or be memorable: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh3V2VU1UcZEDr6E3ztsFkA/videos

3. An article that provides an inside look at how to answer essay prompts. This is really good information for students, because it breaks down a question and helps students start to understand what a school is really looking for when they ask a question. This same principle of this article applies to interviewing as well: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/2014/09/29/college-application-essay-tips-students-need-now

4. Some essay prompts (particularly to selective schools) ask for very brief responses (150 words or 1000 characters). This article provides good suggestions on how to focus and write succinct narrative responses: http://collegeessayguy.tumblr.com/post/88015650162/from-college-essay-guy-how-to-write-your-150-word

5. 3 step format to writing college essays: http://www.collegeessayguy.com/guide-index

Sample College Application Essays Prompts (true examples)

Long Essay

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.

Short Essay prompts with response limits:

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 word limit.)

(X University) students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. (250 word limit.)

Virtually all of (X Universitys) undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate and us know you better. (250 word limit.)

What matters to you, and why? (250 word limit.)

Tell us what makes (insert school name) a good place for you (200 word limit).

Super-short essay prompts (from Stanford University)

Please respond to the following questions so we can get to know you better. Respond in two lines or less, and do not feel compelled to answer using complete sentences. 300 characters each.

Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or musical artists.

What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy?

What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?

How did you spend your last two summers?

What were your favorite events (e.g., performances, exhibits, sporting events, etc.) this past year?

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?

What five words best describe you?

ACT Test Practice

75 interactive ACT questions that allow you to choose an answer and an explanation of the right and wrong choices will appear: http://www.actstudent.org/sampletest/english/eng_01.html

General Information

The Prospect Blog is a great resource, because they cover topics on everything from college exploration to senioritis, to navigating roommate issues in college. What also makes this resource unique is that it is written by high school and college students who are selected for terms as contributors (or Prospies as they like to call themselves). The information is written in a voice that is very accessible to students and the articles cover both sides of the coin on a lot of issues while ultimately providing mature and responsible advice. Its a go-to for a lot of topics: http://www.theprospect.net/

Activities in Naviance

-SuperMatch College Search: This is under the Colleges tab and it can allow a student to enter criteria and a list of colleges will be matched with it. This is a great way for students to start getting specific schools in mind. They can research admissions requirements, link directly to a college web page, request official information, and link to social media through this program. When students find schools of interest, they can begin to add schools to their list of Colleges I am thinking about within Naviance

-Do What You Are: This is a personality career assessment that helps students understand a bit more about their personality and it matches them with careers based on that information. It is another lens for them to look through for feedback about career fit. Regardless if students find matches that are good or bad, there is an opportunity for reflection. This is located under the Careers tab.

-Scholarship List: Students can browse a list of scholarships within this list on the Colleges tab and see what actual applications look like.

-Resume: Under the About Me tab students can use this program to build a resume. They just need to select the fields to complete and they can choose what to include on custom resumes. It is very helpful with formatting resumes.

-Brag Sheet: This is a pre-writing sheet that students can fill out to help generate ideas to write about in narrative pieces. It provides a series of questions focused on future goals, personal talents, past challenges and success, etc. This document is a great place for students to start brainstorming about things to highlight in personal statements. The document is also saved on their account it is a great resource for any staff member writing a letter of recommendation to reference. This is listed on the About Me tab in the top left corner.