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Rebekah Hendershot

Rebekah Hendershot

Competitive Schools

Slide Duration:

Table of Contents

I. Application Essays
Overview

11m 8s

Intro
0:00
First Things First
0:08
Don't Panic!
0:39
Lesson Overview
1:31
What They Aren't Looking For
2:10
Perfection
2:15
Genius
2:45
Flattery
3:16
What They Are Looking For
3:48
Preparation
3:52
Talent
4:47
Fit
5:26
How This Course Will Work
6:42
Remember the Balance Beam
8:37
Balance Beam Story
8:47
The Prompt

18m 20s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:07
Experience Prompts
0:55
Example 1
1:03
Example 2
1:11
Example 3
1:17
Influence Prompts
1:31
Select a Creative Work
1:46
Analysis Prompts
2:34
Examples
2:45
Explanation Prompts
3:11
Examples
3:23
'What If?' Prompts
4:08
Examples
4:19
What These Prompts Have in Common
4:47
You Can Write About Things Before You Enter the School
4:51
They All Use Skills Needed in School of Choice
5:40
How to Answer Experience Prompts
5:57
What to Pick
6:19
Example
6:49
How to Answer Influence Prompts
8:13
What to Pick
8:37
Example
9:50
How to Answer Analysis Prompts
10:35
What to Pick
11:02
Example
11:18
How to Answer Explanation Prompts
12:46
What to Pick
13:00
Example
13:33
How to Answer 'What If?' Prompts
14:21
What to Pick
14:26
Example
14:54
When in Doubt
16:28
Choosing a Topic

13m 27s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:07
Read the Prompt
0:39
Kind of Prompt
0:41
Look for Main Idea
1:29
Describe a Character
2:14
Look for the Underlying Theme
3:06
Role Models
4:07
Look for Technical Specifications
5:02
Choose a Topic
6:59
Analyze What You're Given
7:09
How to Analyze a Quote
7:43
Do a Little Research
9:53
Write What You Know
11:25
When in Doubt
12:15
Outlining

15m 39s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:07
What is an Outline?
0:43
A Sample Essay
1:07
Prompt
1:19
Choosing Your Outline Style
1:55
Formal Outline
1:59
Introduction
2:10
Using My Brain
3:28
Advantages
4:39
Disadvantages
5:23
Mnemonic Outline
6:02
A Mnemonic Outline
6:45
Essay
6:56
Introduction
7:05
Thesis
7:16
Body Paragraphs
7:24
Conclusion
8:59
Choosing Your Outline Style
10:47
Advantages
10:49
Disadvantages
11:37
Which Outline is Right for You?
12:25
Use a Formal Outline If…
12:34
Use a Mnemonic Outline If…
13:17
Testing Your Outline
13:55
Test on Yourself
14:02
Test on Someone Else
14:29
When in Doubt
15:06
Writing Part One: The Beginning

18m 12s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:09
What is a Hook?
1:11
Famous First Sentences
1:26
Example 1
1:31
Example 2
2:21
Example 3
2:39
Example 4
3:22
How to Write a Good Hook
3:56
Start with an Arresting Image
4:04
Use an Idea That Piques Your Interest
6:06
Use Surprise
8:37
Have Fun!
10:09
Your Thesis Statement
11:27
How to Find Your Thesis Statement
11:46
Make a List of Strongest Ideas
11:54
Thesis Will be the Idea You Can Write About Most Ably
12:12
Where to Place Your Thesis Statement
12:47
In a Traditional Essay
12:52
First Sentence in Essay
14:06
At the End
14:58
When in Doubt
17:05
Writing Part Two: The Middle & End

14m 7s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:13
The Three Parts of a Good Essay
0:58
The Middle: Details, Details, Details!
1:15
Middle
1:40
Structure Correctly
2:02
Pacing is Key!
3:30
How to Write a Winning Conclusion
5:43
Good Conclusion
6:07
Echoes
6:33
Callbacks
6:45
Best Conclusions Evolve From Theses
7:09
Essay Example
8:18
Essay Example Continued
8:39
Have Fun!
10:28
When in Doubt
12:21
Revision

14m 35s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:07
Take a Break!
1:02
Revision vs. Proofreading
1:27
Revision
1:36
Proofreading
1:54
Deep Revision
2:25
What Is It?
2:28
Did You Answer the Prompt?
2:58
Did You Choose the Right Topic?
3:45
Did You Organize Your Answer Well?
4:21
Did You Leave Out Anything Important?
5:07
Did You Pad Your Response?
6:50
Get a Second Opinion
7:36
Beta Reader
8:21
Writing Circle
9:40
The 90/ 10 Rule of Second Opinions
12:11
What Is It?
12:25
When in Doubt
13:49
After You've Written

12m 31s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:08
Proofreading
0:51
Definition
1:07
Mark Errors
1:16
Spelling, Grammar, & Mechanics
2:20
Check Your Spelling
2:24
Check Your Grammar
2:51
Check the Mechanics of Your Writing
3:26
Use Human Eyes
4:01
Proofreading Resources
4:55
Style Manuals
5:01
Stylebooks
5:19
Professionals
6:20
Amateurs
6:38
Sending in Your Essay
6:56
The Stupid Check
7:08
List of Stupid Things You May Have Done
7:32
Send It In
9:43
Rule
10:13
Relax!
10:31
After You Send It It
10:57
Waiting for a Response is Part of the Test
11:26
When in Doubt
11:57
Competitive Schools

14m 29s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:08
Calm Down!
2:13
Similar Essay Questions
2:33
Similar Prompts
3:00
Experience Prompt
3:08
Influence Prompt
3:33
Analysis Prompt
4:28
Explanation Prompt
5:09
'What if?' Prompt
5:56
But Don't Calm Down That Much!
6:38
High-Pressure Environments
6:48
Large Applicant Pools
8:19
How, and When, to Gush
9:33
Be Excited!
9:57
Don't Make Things Up
10:33
Be Yourself & Do Your Best
11:20
When in Doubt
12:58
Specific Fields

14m 43s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:10
Some Things Don’t Change
1:26
Same General Qualities
1:29
Essay Questions
1:41
Question Types and Examples
2:03
Experience Prompt
2:30
Influence Prompt
2:56
Analysis Prompt
3:49
Explanation Prompt
4:37
'What if?' Prompt
5:17
Do Your Research
6:21
Read the School's Website
6:47
Talk to People
7:27
Craft a Major-Specific Resume
8:38
Emphasize Relevent Parts of Your Background
9:03
Get the Intangibles
9:20
Be Creative
9:55
When in Doubt, Tell a Good Story
12:07
Make a Prioritized List
12:26
Why Good Stories Help
13:19
When in Doubt
13:59
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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Application Essays
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Lecture Comments (4)

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Hendershot
Sun Aug 4, 2013 12:37 AM

Post by Harshiv Karia on August 3, 2013

Hi, i too would like to contact you but the contact page on the website you linked in the earlier answer is not working. Could you please help me?

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Hendershot
Sat May 18, 2013 1:25 AM

Post by Harpreet Singh on May 12, 2013

i would really like for you to proof-read my essay once I write my essay, can i get your personal email so that i could contact you?
-thank you

Competitive Schools

  • First things first—calm down! These schools are looking for the same things regular schools are looking for (preparation, talent, and fit), they’re asking the same kinds of questions (experience, influence, analysis, explanation, “what if?”), and they’re looking for the same kinds of answers.
  • However, there aredifferences.
    • These schools are high-pressure environments. The application process is more stressful. You are being tested to see if you can handle that stress. If you freak out over the application, you may not be able to handle finals at MIT. What do you do?Relax—whatever it takes. Remember that it’s just a form, and that someone is trying to scare you. Don’t let them get away with it!
    • These schools have large applicant pools. You are competing against a bigger group of prospective students. What do you do?Remember you’ve already got what it takes. If you have the necessary preparation, talent, and fit, you can write a good essay even if you’ve never performed emergency brain surgery or invented time travel. Relax, choose your subject carefully, and write well—and you’ll already be ahead of the curve.
  • It’s natural to want to gush in an essay for your dream school—to write about how much you love the place and want to go there.
    • Go with that instinct. Everyone else will be writing about those feelings, and you’ll sound strange if you don’t.
    • However, don’tmake up stories about how qualified you are or how many of your relatives have attended the school. If anyone checks your fake story, you’re in trouble.
    • Remember these schools are like the popular kids in high school—you’ll do better by being yourself than by faking perfection. If you’re really who they’re looking for (and you must think you are, or you wouldn’t be applying), theywill come to you.
  • When in doubt:
    • Remember that these schools are looking for the same qualities other schools are looking for—and they’re using the same kinds of questions to find them.
    • Acknowledge that you’re under stress, and in a competitive environment.
    • Then take a deep breath and do your best anyway.
    • Be excited about your school, but don’t make things up just to get in.
    • Remember that these schools are the academic equivalent of the popular kids—with all that implies.
    • Read, read, read. (It’ll improve your writing.)
    • Relax and have a little fun!

Competitive Schools

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:08
  • Calm Down! 2:13
    • Similar Essay Questions
    • Similar Prompts
    • Experience Prompt
    • Influence Prompt
    • Analysis Prompt
    • Explanation Prompt
    • 'What if?' Prompt
  • But Don't Calm Down That Much! 6:38
    • High-Pressure Environments
    • Large Applicant Pools
  • How, and When, to Gush 9:33
    • Be Excited!
    • Don't Make Things Up
    • Be Yourself & Do Your Best
  • When in Doubt 12:58
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