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  • Presenting yourself positively . . .

    From Reading to Writing Le Morte dArthur and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight reflect the ideal medieval virtues of honor, courage, and loyalty. Although the characters in these legends do not always achieve their goals, they are generally portrayed in a positive light.

  • Presenting yourself positively . . .

    One way to present yourself in a positive way is through an application essay, often part of applying to college or for a job. Writing an application essay gives you an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of a significant experience in your life and to reveal your interests, achievements, and abilities for others to judge.

  • B a s i c s i n a B o xApplication Essay at a GlanceTells about your significant experienceReveals your qualities, interests, and abilitiesShows that you can organize thoughts and express yourselfBodyConclusionSummarizes the effects of the experience on your lifeIntroductionBegins with a hook, or attention-grabbingdetail RUBRICStandards for WritingA successful application essay shouldreflect a thoughtful response to the application promptidentify and describe a significant experience or achievementexplain what the experience or achievement means to yoube written honestly in your own voice and from your personal experiencehave an engaging introductionreflect careful attention to grammar, style, and organization

  • Writing Your Application Essay One writes out of one thing onlyones own experience.James BaldwinBegin with the directions on your application. Many college-essay prompts invite you to tell about how something or someone affected your life. Try listing turning points in your life and people who have influenced you along the way.

  • Writing Your Application Essay Choose a topic that you truly care about, then consider how you can best use it to represent yourself to the application committee. The important thing is to write about your experiences meaningfully and demonstrate how they contributed to your personal growth. You are more likely to write a forceful, engaging essay if you stay true to your interests and experience.

  • Planning Your Application Essay1. Carefully consider the prompt. What information should be included in the response? You should reflect on the significance of an important experiencenot just retell it.2. Examine your strengths. What personal qualities, talents, and accomplishments are you most proud of? What experiences have had special meanings for you?

  • Planning Your Application Essay3. Think about your experience. Why is it important to you? What meaning or significance can you draw from it?4. Determine a focus. What is the overall point you want to make? Which of your achievements or experiences best supports your reflection on your own learning and growth?

  • Writing Your Application Essay There are many approaches you can take in writing a reflective essay. You could focus on a particular event and use it to reveal an aspect of yourself. Or, you could show how several similar events have influenced you in significant ways. Whatever the approach, keep it focuseddont try to tell everything about yourself.

  • Writing Your Application Essay As you draft your essay, include details, description, and dialogue, if appropriate, to engage the readers. Give extra attention to writing a strong beginning. The opening should be engaging and informative without sounding contrived. It needs to catch the interest of an admissions officer who has to read a stack of applications.

  • Writing Your Application EssayTarget Skill USING THE ACTIVE VOICE Writing sentences in the active voice produces a more lively and engaging style, which helps draw readers in. It also helps place the focus on you as the main achiever in your story. While the passive voice is sometimes necessary, choosing the active voice can make your writing stronger and more fluid.

  • Writing Your Application EssayTarget SkillSUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT When rewriting from passive to active voice, be sure to check that your subjects and verbs agree, particularly when a word or phrase separates the subject from the verb. Also, keep in mind that a college essay should be a polished piece of workso edit and proofread everything carefully.


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