50 points--Grammar, mechanics, typos, spelling, & usage. Remember, this is your only impression to show yourself through language. No matter the content of your essay, careless mistakes make you seem--well, careless. And you do not want the college admissions team to think you are apathetic. I expect you to make sure the essay is flawless. I would be happy to suggest how to phrase things better, but I should not be spending my time fixing your careless typos and spelling errors (and I won't).
- 50 points--Writer demonstrates control of sentence structure, grammar, and usage.
- 40 points--Errors do not interfere with communication. There are few errors relative to length.
- 30 points--Errors interfere with communication.
50 points--Insight and creativity, readability, and is your essay compelling? A note to remember your audience here and the purpose of your essay: All writers do this on some level--we consistently look at audience and purpose when we analyze writing. If you are using this to apply to college, keep in mind that the admissions officers are looking for intelligent and motivated students who will be successful at their school. Your essay should:
- Be personal (instead of general)
- Be concrete (instead of abstract--can you make your reader "see" your world?)
- Include anecdote (instead of summary--this is not a resume)
- Include a hook or lead
- Have sophisticated and / or subtle organization
- Show a sophisticated or subtle mastery of language
- AND AVOID CLICHE!
- Describe yourself: where are you from, where have you lived, languages, cultures, etc. “Surface level stuff.”
- Describe yourself as a reader.
- Describe yourself as a writer.
- Describe yourself as a student.
- Describe yourself as a friend.
- Describe yourself as a thinker.
- What else should I have asked you to describe and why?
- What you were trying to do in your college essay.
PLEASE PRINT THIS PAGE OUT AND ATTACH TO THE BACK OF YOUR ESSAY SO I CAN WRITE COMMENTS. WHEN YOU PRINT, MAKE SURE YOU ONLY PRINT THIS PAGE.