Student Preparation for Teacher Conference:

Complete the above form prior to the writing conference, for which you may earn up to 10 points (participation grade). It is expected that you will keep your appointment, show up on time, bring this completed form and a printout of your essay, and engage in a dialogue during the conference (ask questions, respond to feedback, reflect on your growth, etc.).

Peer Review Questions:


Peer Review Guidelines:
Think of peer review as a brainstorming activity. It is your job as a respondent to brainstorm ways the writer can extend what is already strong, and tell the writer what direction the paper might go in next. It’s helpful to respond to this question: If you were the writer of this piece, what would you do next? Don’t think of it as your job to fix anything, including grammar or style.
*It is expected that you will be professional and respectful, providing thoughtful and thorough feedback.*
Respondent Responsibilities:
  1. Log-in to Turnitin and click on our course.
  2. Navigate to the PeerMarkassignment to begin the peer review process.
    1. Read the paper slowly, paying special attention to the ideas, organization, voice, and word choice.
    2. Answer each of the peer review questions on the screen; use sentences or phrases (5 word minimum).
    3. Repeat the above steps for two additional papers (one is distributed to you, one is self-selected).
  3. Finish providing feedback to peers for homework.
  4. Tomorrow we’ll be in the lab again to review our feedback and to discuss anything that is unclear with the respondent(s).

Agenda for Class Work in Computer Lab, 10/5:


Comp Writing Rubric (used for all assignments for this course):


Creative nonfiction/college essay assignment sheet:


Class Notes from Monday, 10/3: Organization and Personal Appeal


Links to sites that show college essay samples:
Connecticut College Admissions Site: Essays that Worked!
Spark Notes College Essay Samples

Link to college essay prompts (thanks, Jarrett, for sharing this!):
100+ College Essay Topics

Creative nonfiction exploratory writing (to produce a three-page, hand-written "discovery" draft focused on ideas):
  • You may write about one or more of the essay prompts for the Common Application. These prompts are as follows:
    • Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
    • Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
    • Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
    • Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
    • A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
    • Topic of your choice.
  • Here are additional creative prompts from which you may choose:
    • Don't write about reverse psychology.
    • University of Chicago's "How do you feel about Wednesday?"
    • University of Pennsylvania's "You have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit page 217."
    • Tufts University's "Are We Alone?"
    • You're given a block of stone and a hammer and chisel. What would you carve and why?

Class Notes from Monday, 9/26: Creative Nonfiction Summary Organizer


The following link will take you to the Vestal High School Student Profile - a document that is shared with admissions officers. It's interesting to see the list of schools where the class of 2010 has chosen to pursue degrees (last page of document).
Student Profile for College & University Admissions

Many colleges and universities are using the Common Application.
Common Application

Sample homework - college essay prompts and deadlines (this is due via e-mail by Fri., 9/23):