Ib global Literature: Personal Essay Assignment



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IB Global Literature: Personal Essay Assignment (South Cohort 12A—Days A and B)
For this assignment, you will write a concise, creative, self-revelatory essay. This essay may serve as the personal essay that most college admissions and scholarship applications require. You may choose one of the Common Application or University of Oregon prompts below, or, if you are already reviewing college applications and have found one that requires you to answer a specific prompt, you may answer that instead. (Type the prompt under the header on the first page of your essay.)
Length: 250–500 words—not one word more! Exception (there’s always an exception, right?): If you are applying to a school that allows a higher word count, you may use that word limit instead—but you need to include word limit info when you type the prompt at the top of your final draft.
Format: Include your full name, teacher’s name, date, and word count in the upper left-hand corner (MLA style). Then type the prompt (the question to which you are responding). Give your essay an original title. Word process, use 12 point Times or similar font, and DOUBLE-SPACE.
Due Dates (Schabtach’s class):

Assignment

Due Date

Points

Proposal

Thursday, Sept. 10

5 (not accepted late)

Typed Draft #1

Monday, Sept. 14 (for peer editing)

10 (not accepted late)

Final Draft (with Draft #1 and peer editing forms attached)

Friday, Sept. 25

30 (usual late penalties apply)

From the Common Application (an application form accepted by nearly 300 U.S. colleges and universities): “This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself. NOTE: Your Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Do not customize it in any way for individual colleges. Colleges that want customized essay responses will ask for them on a supplement form.” Note that you will need to sign a statement that the essay is your own work, is “factually true,” and is “honestly represented.” The Common App stipulates that your essay be 250-650 words.


Topics for the Common Application essay:

  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

  • The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

University of Oregon admissions essays:

The U of O requires all students to submit at least one essay and invites a second essay. The Clark Honors College at the U of O has additional essay requirements. Students who do not meet one or more U of O admissions requirements also have the opportunity to write a “special circumstances” essay. I have provided you with copies of the prompts for these essays, taken directly from the U of O application
U of O Application Essay (required)

Personal statement/essay. The UO is interested in learning more about you. Write a statement (500 words maximum) that shares information that we cannot find elsewhere on your application. Any topic you choose is welcome. Some ideas you might consider include your future ambitions and goals, a special talent or unusual interest that sets you apart from your peers, or a significant experience that influenced your life. If you are applying the UO’s Robert D. Clark Honors College, feel free to submit your honors college application essay in its place


 U of O Second Essay (optional)

Second essay (optional) In the second essay, which is not mandatory, we invite you to provide us with additional understanding of who you are, especially as it relates to diversity of any kind. At the University of Oregon, we take pride in being an increasingly diverse institution, and we believe that our campus community is made stronger when diverse perspectives are present and welcomed. (We consider diversity in all its forms, such as race/ethnicity, geographic and national origin, sexual orientation/ gender identity, socioeconomic status, religion, ideology, academic interests, and more.) If your personal statement covered these ideas already, you do not need to repeat it, nor do you need to write on a second diversity-related topic. But, if you choose to respond, provide us with 250-500 words describing how attending Oregon would help you to broaden your own understanding of difference and community, or what unique perspectives you would bring to the campus.


U of O Personal Circumstances Essay (optional).
Explaining Your Special Circumstances Advise us early in the admission process of any special circumstances that affected your academic performance, especially if you do not meet one or more of the admission requirements. Include a statement of special circumstances (500-word maximum) with your application describing any challenges you’ve overcome and explain their impact on your education. Details of any serious illness, diagnosed disability, personal difficulties, or family circumstances that have affected your education are encouraged. Include your name and date of birth on each page. Employees of Oregon higher education institutions are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect.
The U of O Clark Honors College admission essay:

Clark Honors College admission essay. The formal essay is an important component of your application to the Clark Honors College. The essay should represent your very best effort—free from colloquialisms, slang, and abbreviations used in text messaging. Please take time to present your thoughts in a clear, well-organized essay that demonstrates your critical thinking skills in standard, formal English. Proofreading your essay in advance is a reflection of your writing acumen—spelling and grammar matter.

Reflect on one of the three topics listed below. The committee is looking for a coherent, energetic essay supported by specific evidence (minimum 250 words, maximum 500 words). Note that all CHC applicants must also complete the UO’s general application essay requirement; applicants may submit their CHC admission essay to meet that requirement. However, the UO personal statement/essay topic cannot be used to fulfill the CHC admission essay.

1. What international issues matter? Why? Evaluate possible solutions.

2. Describe a scientific phenomenon and why it captivates you.

3. What work of culture, e.g., a painting, a poem, a dance performance, or a film has changed your mind about the world in some way? Describe in detail the work and its effect on your perception.


OSU Honors College Application Essay:

All University Honors College applicants must complete this essay in 450-500 words.


Note: The essay is an important part of your UHC application and should represent your polished writing.  While many college admissions essays invite you to share a personal story, the UHC essay has a different focus: it asks you to demonstrate your critical thinking skills.  In 450-500 words, provide your perspective on the issue raised in the prompt.  You may choose to use personal examples as supporting evidence, but the essay as a whole should address the specific and substantive question(s) posed.  In evaluating your response, we will consider your writing skills and ability to think deeply and creatively. 

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“We are all connected.  To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe, atomically.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Symphony of Science: We Are All Connected”

 

In the passage above, Tyson describes how humans and the world are linked in ways that are essential yet not necessarily obvious.  For your essay, choose two things—objects, concepts, constructs, or phenomena—that may not always be associated with each other but do connect in a meaningful way.  Write a response that 1) analyzes the detailed connection between those two things, and 2) explains how that connection is significant.



 

Read all of the instructions above carefully before responding.  Brainstorm potential connections that might not be obvious but could be meaningful—for instance, what does poetry have to do with cell phones?  Social justice with dinosaurs?  Finance with neurons?  Rather than using one of these examples, however, identify an interesting connection of your own. 
Name

Personal Essay Proposal (Schabtach’s IB Lit, Cohort 12B)

Due Thursday, Sept. 10

5 Points—must be turned in on time to receive credit.
The prompt I have chosen (please write it out completely in the space below):

Source (for example: Common App; U of O; Antioch College; XYZ Scholarship):


Specific ideas I hope to incorporate into my personal essay:


IB Global Literature: Personal Essay Assignment (South Cohort 12B—Days A and C)
For this assignment, you will write a concise, creative, self-revelatory essay. This essay may serve as the personal essay that most college admissions and scholarship applications require. You may choose one of the Common Application or University of Oregon prompts below, or, if you are already reviewing college applications and have found one that requires you to answer a specific prompt, you may answer that instead. (Type the prompt under the header on the first page of your essay.)
Length: 250–500 words—not one word more! Exception (there’s always an exception, right?): If you are applying to a school that allows a higher word count, you may use that word limit instead—but you need to include word limit info when you type the prompt at the top of your final draft.
Format: Include your full name, teacher’s name, date, and word count in the upper left-hand corner (MLA style). Then type the prompt (the question to which you are responding). Give your essay an original title. Word process, use 12 point Times or similar font, and DOUBLE-SPACE.
Due Dates (Schabtach’s class):

Assignment

Due Date

Points

Proposal

Friday, Sept. 11

5 (not accepted late)

Typed Draft #1

Monday, Sept. 14 (for peer editing)

10 (not accepted late)

Final Draft (with Draft #1 and peer editing forms attached)

Friday, Sept. 25

30 (usual late penalties apply)

From the Common Application (an application form accepted by nearly 300 U.S. colleges and universities): “This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself. NOTE: Your Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Do not customize it in any way for individual colleges. Colleges that want customized essay responses will ask for them on a supplement form.” Note that you will need to sign a statement that the essay is your own work, is “factually true,” and is “honestly represented.” The Common App stipulates that your essay be 250-650 words.


Topics for the Common Application essay:

  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

  • The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

University of Oregon admissions essays:

The U of O requires all students to submit at least one essay and invites a second essay. The Clark Honors College at the U of O has additional essay requirements. Students who do not meet one or more U of O admissions requirements also have the opportunity to write a “special circumstances” essay. I have provided you with copies of the prompts for these essays, taken directly from the U of O application
U of O Application Essay (required)

Personal statement/essay. The UO is interested in learning more about you. Write a statement (500 words maximum) that shares information that we cannot find elsewhere on your application. Any topic you choose is welcome. Some ideas you might consider include your future ambitions and goals, a special talent or unusual interest that sets you apart from your peers, or a significant experience that influenced your life. If you are applying the UO’s Robert D. Clark Honors College, feel free to submit your honors college application essay in its place


 U of O Second Essay (optional)

Second essay (optional) In the second essay, which is not mandatory, we invite you to provide us with additional understanding of who you are, especially as it relates to diversity of any kind. At the University of Oregon, we take pride in being an increasingly diverse institution, and we believe that our campus community is made stronger when diverse perspectives are present and welcomed. (We consider diversity in all its forms, such as race/ethnicity, geographic and national origin, sexual orientation/ gender identity, socioeconomic status, religion, ideology, academic interests, and more.) If your personal statement covered these ideas already, you do not need to repeat it, nor do you need to write on a second diversity-related topic. But, if you choose to respond, provide us with 250-500 words describing how attending Oregon would help you to broaden your own understanding of difference and community, or what unique perspectives you would bring to the campus.


U of O Personal Circumstances Essay (optional).
Explaining Your Special Circumstances Advise us early in the admission process of any special circumstances that affected your academic performance, especially if you do not meet one or more of the admission requirements. Include a statement of special circumstances (500-word maximum) with your application describing any challenges you’ve overcome and explain their impact on your education. Details of any serious illness, diagnosed disability, personal difficulties, or family circumstances that have affected your education are encouraged. Include your name and date of birth on each page. Employees of Oregon higher education institutions are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect.
The U of O Clark Honors College admission essay:

Clark Honors College admission essay. The formal essay is an important component of your application to the Clark Honors College. The essay should represent your very best effort—free from colloquialisms, slang, and abbreviations used in text messaging. Please take time to present your thoughts in a clear, well-organized essay that demonstrates your critical thinking skills in standard, formal English. Proofreading your essay in advance is a reflection of your writing acumen—spelling and grammar matter.

Reflect on one of the three topics listed below. The committee is looking for a coherent, energetic essay supported by specific evidence (minimum 250 words, maximum 500 words). Note that all CHC applicants must also complete the UO’s general application essay requirement; applicants may submit their CHC admission essay to meet that requirement. However, the UO personal statement/essay topic cannot be used to fulfill the CHC admission essay.

1. What international issues matter? Why? Evaluate possible solutions.

2. Describe a scientific phenomenon and why it captivates you.

3. What work of culture, e.g., a painting, a poem, a dance performance, or a film has changed your mind about the world in some way? Describe in detail the work and its effect on your perception.


OSU Honors College Application Essay:

All University Honors College applicants must complete this essay in 450-500 words.


Note: The essay is an important part of your UHC application and should represent your polished writing.  While many college admissions essays invite you to share a personal story, the UHC essay has a different focus: it asks you to demonstrate your critical thinking skills.  In 450-500 words, provide your perspective on the issue raised in the prompt.  You may choose to use personal examples as supporting evidence, but the essay as a whole should address the specific and substantive question(s) posed.  In evaluating your response, we will consider your writing skills and ability to think deeply and creatively. 

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“We are all connected.  To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe, atomically.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Symphony of Science: We Are All Connected”

 

In the passage above, Tyson describes how humans and the world are linked in ways that are essential yet not necessarily obvious.  For your essay, choose two things—objects, concepts, constructs, or phenomena—that may not always be associated with each other but do connect in a meaningful way.  Write a response that 1) analyzes the detailed connection between those two things, and 2) explains how that connection is significant.



 

Read all of the instructions above carefully before responding.  Brainstorm potential connections that might not be obvious but could be meaningful—for instance, what does poetry have to do with cell phones?  Social justice with dinosaurs?  Finance with neurons?  Rather than using one of these examples, however, identify an interesting connection of your own. 
Name

Personal Essay Proposal (Schabtach’s IB Lit, Cohort 12B)

Due Friday, September 11

5 Points—must be turned in on time to receive credit.
The prompt I have chosen (please write it out completely in the space below):

Source (for example: Common App; U of O; Antioch College; XYZ Scholarship):




Specific ideas I hope to incorporate into my personal essay:

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