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dmmetler

Essay prompts?

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I'm planning on making DD's Spring English, in part, practice at writing applications essays/honors essays, scholarship essays . Does anyone have any good/interesting prompts their kids have run into? Or any really useful books? DD struggles to write/talk about herself, so I think this will be an area of difficulty for her in the application process next fall. 

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Why not just start writing the real applications? I bet the prompts don’t change that much. Just use actual essay questions from writing supplements from colleges she is interested to applying. 

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Try this: https://www.collegeessayguy.com/blog/supplemental-essay-prompts-2019-2020

There should be links to the prompts for each college. I haven't actually checked. Some good ones are Boston College, U Chicago, Wake Forest. Note that the best essays often require knowledge of the college and have that woven through the reply so I would try to find schools she's interested in rather than wasting a bunch of time getting familiar with a school you know she won't apply to.

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We’ve done it as part of a co-op class and just used essays for schools the students are interested in applying to. It was a good longer assignment and one we did it alongside our literature, not in place of it.

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I'd just go pull real world questions from the common app/schools of interest.  

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In DD’s case, she is taking a college lit class this fall, so I had planned to do something at home that was more writing based this Spring. She’s done more long writing than short writing due to her science interests (and her short writing is often abstracts, which are usually under 500 words, and often limited to 250 words) and the fact that almost every college class she has taken has had major papers, so this seems like a way to both work on essays which might be useful for her applications next fall and to shore up an area where she hasn’t done as much work. 

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We focused on writing formal papers throughout high school, so their senior year we focused on personal and creative writing.  We used the Norton Sampler, 6th edition, for ideas.  I'm not sure that it helped with the application process, but they both told me it was helpful for their classes, which had a lot more informal writing than any of us had expected.  If nothing else, older, used editions are cheap, and many of the essays are interesting or entertaining.  FYI, different editions have some differences in selections.  

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DS just wrote an essay on "If you could have every up coming freshman read one book, what would it be and why?" 

The other one I remember that he didn't pick was "What book or idea had the biggest impact on you and why?"

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I agree with the suggestion of using the prompts from the schools to which she is going to apply. Why waste her time and effort on prompts she may never see? And, yes, many of them are gouge-out-your-own-eyes miserably uncomfortable. (Yes, there are fun ones, but they tend to be at the hella expensive private schools that we can't afford.)

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