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College/Scholarship Application Essay Help I enjoy helping students if I can, but I do have limited time to spend on your college/scholarship application process. If you want help from me and others in AP Lit & Comp on your essay, then follow the instructions below. After November 9th, please find other people in your life to help you with your essays as I will no longer be able to review essays. Go to my website and peruse the link: College application or scholarship essay for helpful tips on writing the essay. Required reading: Advice from an expert! McEssay -- really good - don't write a McEssay! Write an essay in response to your college’s prompt (or scholarship prompt). Leave time to write, rewrite, let it sit, revise, proofread, share with a few trusted people who know you. Include the full prompt that you are responding to and where the prompt came from on every draft. Also include any length restrictions specified for the essay. (Include the prompt on all drafts.) Limit your essay length to the requirements specified by the institution to which you are applying. Typed, double-spaced, one-sided, ordinary font choice and 12-point size. Peer Reviews An online peer review will be available for you to participate in on Oct. 15th. To participate, you will submit your essay to www.turnitin.com by Oct. 13 at 11:30 a.m. You will complete peer reviews on other people's essays online using turnitin.com. (More instructions will follow at a later date.) Reviews must be completed between Oct. 13, 11:45 a.m. and Oct. 15th at 11p.m. Reviews will be posted Oct. 16th at 7:15 a.m. for you to see. Consider your peer’s suggestions and comments and improve your essay. One-on-one Conferences One-on-one conference dates with me will be Nov. 1-4 and Nov. 7 if needed. We will schedule/draw for appointments from the pool of participating students. You need to be ready to conference on your date. Get ready for your conference. Your essay should be in what you think is its finished form. Mark any areas of concern on your essay or prepare specific questions to discuss with me. The time allotted per student will depend on how many students participate. Bring paper copy, typed, double-spaced, EASY-to-read font of at least 12points. The prompt must be included. Early decision/admission: If you have a deadline before Nov. 1… I will try and look at your essay upon your request if you e-mail it to me in what you think is its finished form. Please do not send me a draft you barfed out in 30 minutes. Excellent essays require work, hours of work. When you send it, mark any areas of concern on your essay or prepare specific questions. Also, I am not responsible as your proofreader. However, if you have specific questions on grammar or conventions, I am happy to advise you. firstname.lastname@example.org Early decision/admission: If you have a deadline after Nov. 1……participate as indicated with instructions on the flip side of this page. Recommendation Letters: Read the article about recommendation letters from the College Board at http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/the-application/119.html. Here are some of their important helpful tips, with my comments in italics: Helpful Tips Don't be shy. Teachers and counselors are usually happy to help you, as long as you respect their time constraints. Supply your recommendation writers with addressed and stamped envelopes for each college to which you're applying. (This is your job, not the letter writer’s. Teachers are irritated when students don’t take care to read the requirements and supply the materials needed.) Provide teachers and counselors with deadlines for each recommendation that you are requesting. (Leave plenty of time for all your writers, at least 2-4 weeks. If you procrastinate, you risk getting a “no” answer or a generic letter.) On the application form, waive your right to view recommendation letters. This gives more credibility to the recommendation in the eyes of the college. (Do not ask your teachers to read the letters they write on your behalf. In most cases, writers are required to seal and to sign the seal on envelopes.) Probably you know your teachers well enough to know who can provide favorable reviews of your accomplishments. If in doubt, don't hesitate to ask if they feel comfortable writing a recommendation. In some cases, you may have no choice about whom to ask, but when you do, make the best choice possible. (Teachers should be honest with you about whether or not they feel comfortable writing a positive endorsement.) Follow up with your recommendation writers a week or so prior to your first deadline, to ensure recommendations have been mailed, or to see if they need additional information from you. Once you’ve decided which college to attend, write thank-you notes to everyone who provided a recommendation and tell them where you've decided to go to college. Be sure to do this before you leave high school. (Teaches and others are doing you a favor to write these letters. They can – and some do—say no. This is a courtesy to you, not a job requirement. Those who write on your behalf are probably taking time away from their own lives to help you. Show your appreciation by taking a minute to write a thank-you note.) Again, pay special attention to the first and last bullet points under "Helpful Hints." You may need help from these people in the future, such as for internship recommendations, scholarship recommendations, etc. Thank-you notes are remembered and appreciated. An absence of a thank-you note may also be remembered. If you want an LHS English teacher to write a letter for you, visit my website and download and complete the form. I also have paper copies in the classroom on the counter. They’re blue. You may substitute a copy of the counselor form with me. Reminder: Thank you in advance for respecting my deadlines. Please do not ask me to look at essays after November 9.
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