Reflection: Gradual Release Model College Essay Analysis - Section 3: Analysis of Model College Essays


This three-tiered process of looking at models turned out to be a good one.  The first example in the Bauld book sounds rather good when read, so digging into the two questions, particularly the “what did we learn about the person,” really helped solidify the point that they have a real purpose with this essay outside of an assessment score.  The comments in the book by admissions officers also lends a strong credibility to the process that I don’t have as the teacher—I was taking my cue of talking about the essays from the admissions folks and what Bauld says in the book, and reading the comments drove that point home.  This moved nicely into the models from the New York Times that did not have any comments; the discussion was a good one, with the students using their rhetorical knowledge as well as what they’ve learned from the past few days to offer a critical analysis of each in the context of it being a college essay (and knowing that they don’t know what the rest of the application looked like).   We didn’t really get to look much at the packet of revisions from a former student because of time; they did look at the first one briefly and could immediately see how it was telling rather than showing, which was good.  However, we will continue with this one next week at some point once they get started in the writing process, because I feel like they are ready to dig into the writing next week.   I can feel a sense of urgency in most of the students—they are motivated (what a treat this late in the year!), so I need to take advantage of that.

  A Sense of Urgency
  Gradual Release: A Sense of Urgency
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Model College Essay Analysis

Unit 15: Writing the College Essay
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: SWBAT differentiate between average and strong college essays by studying the effectiveness of various models.

Big Idea: It is important to look at both strong and not so strong models to gain a full picture of what a genre of writing should look like to be effective.

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