UC Prompt Powerpoint Notes

Open your composition notebook. In the upper left-hand corner
put the date Sept. 9, 2014. Title it “Do Now #1.” Follow the
The mark of a great narrative writer is their use of imagery.
Through vivid description, authors are able to bring to life
words on a page. As you embark on writing your UC
prompt, your inner story teller will need to emerge as you
provide your readers with concrete examples coupled with
beautiful illustrations that help explore the topics under
consideration. With this is mind, practice is key. To start the
narrative journey, you and your group members must take
the following bland, unimaginative description of eating
gummy bears and transform it into a story filled with
images. You must also create a compelling title to grab
your reader’s attention.
“A coworker brought some gummy bears to work and I
couldn’t help but eat them. I really like gummy bears a
lot and they are so colorful and good. My sweet tooth
won over self-control and I ate a couple handfuls. As I
sat at my desk my stomach began to hurt really badly.
I had to go to the restroom, but I was called into a
mandatory meeting. It wasn’t long before the pain was
too much so I ran to the restroom. I cannot explain
how bad it was. Those gummy bears gave me really
bad diarrhea. It hurt so badly. Unfortunately, I had to
use the bathroom all day. Let me tell you, it was ugly.
Anyway, I won’t eat those bears ever again, but you
could use them for revenge on a friend.”
Adapted from resources at http://www.essayhell.com/
What exactly is a
• When you tell a true, real-life story that
happened to you, but it reads like fiction.
• Similar to something you would read in a
novel, memoir, or short story.
• Unlike formal, academic essays, these can
be engaging and fun to read—which is
exactly what you want in a college
application essay.
UC Application Essay
Prompt #1: Describe the world
you come from…..
Prompt #1 (Freshmen Applicant)
Describe the world you come from — for
example, your family, community or school
— and tell us how your world has shaped
your dreams and aspirations.
Read it closely.
What is it asking you to do?
1. Describe one thing
2. Tell about another
 Think of the world you come from figuratively (do not write
about your hometown-no offense, but Eastvale isn’t exactly
 Substitute the word “world” for the word “community”
 Anything can be your world!
 Mini-community of shared activities (yoga class)
 People (your grandma’s kitchen making tortilla soup)
 Passions or places (your bedroom, skateboarding, your
 It says “family, community, or friends” the word or implies
you write about one not all.
 Do not write just about “my family” or “my school” because it
is too broad and vague
 Some examples from successful application essays,
 Your uncle’s magic shop where you learned to juggle
 The Chess club you started at your school
 The old drive-in movie theater you love to watch old
films on rainy days.
 Talk specifically about how you plan to apply the
lessons (values, skills, ideas, insights, etc.) you
learned in your world to your future.
 This has the possibility to be too general & boring!
HINT: It doesn’t hurt if you can show how
these dreams and aspirations link to your
specific college goals. For example, if your
“world” is hanging out in your parent’s
garage fixing an old truck, mention how the
problem-solving skills you learned there will
help your aspirations to be some type of
engineer one day.
Prompt #2 (Freshmen Applicant)
Tell us about a personal quality, talent,
accomplishment, contribution or experience
that is important to you. What about this
quality or accomplishment makes you proud
and how does it relate to the person you
Read it closely.
What is it asking you to do?
1. Tell one thing
2. How it makes you proud
3. How does it relate to you
Pick your topic: a quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution
or experience.
When writing about a talent or accomplishment, it can be
challenging to keep the tone humble and likable.
But an experience gives your essay a natural, story-telling
If that experience highlights one of your core qualities, then
your essay will reveal something important and unique
about you!
Don’t get hung up on the wording
Biggest challenge is how outrageously broad this question
Focus in one a topic–or the main point you want to make
about yourself.
There is one red flag be careful about writing about “what
makes you proud”
Pride can be an unattractive quality
Focus on including your ideas/thoughts/opinions on what
you valued or learned
This is what you are looking for…
1. The TIME I was determined…and baked a
dozen banana cream pies until I got them
just right.
2. The TIME I was creative…and made a
hanging mobile using junk I found at the
3. The TIME I was a leader…and walked a
group of disabled kids down a mountain
during a thunderstorm.
Extra-curricular activities: dance, yoga, pool, surfing, hiking …
Hobbies: chess, video games, rock collecting, cutting hair, gardening …
Summer jobs: washing dishes, bagging groceries, babysitting …
Family activities: cooking, camping, playing cards, arguing …
Summer camp: sailing, camping, making fires, using a compass …
Trips: camp outs, big cities, mission trips, volunteer activities …
Time with friends: at the beach, watching movies, eating yogurt …
School clubs: Spanish, GSA, chess, environmental …
Your bedroom: posters on your wall, knickknacks on your dresser,
souvenirs on the shelves, books on nightstand …
The Internet: bookmarks in your browser, favorite lists from Tumbler,
Instagram favorites, your blogs, your Vine videos …
My amazing mission trip
The time we won the state championship
Life as a chair-one violinist
Making the lead in the school play
Earning my Eagle Scout
There can be wonderful topics within these broader
achievements, but focus on the more specific moments. For
instance, look for something interesting, unusual or significant that
happened while you were on the mission trip, instead of just
writing about the mission trip itself. That way, the mission trip will
be in the background
Make the appropriate corrections to the following sentence. Should follow
standard English conventions with proper spelling, punctuation, capitalization,
and grammar.
• Have you ever met somebody from Twitter and
when you meet they have on the same outfit they
had on in their profile picture?
• Have you ever met someone from Twitter and
when you meet they are wearing the same outfit
they had on in their profile picture?
1. Ever means ‘at any time’ the opposite of never and is
generally used as a question.
2. Because the question is about the past it needs to be in
‘present perfect’: has/have + past participle. We use this
to say an action happened at an unspecified time before
3. Someone/somebody can be used interchangeably
4. Prepositions indicate directionality, time, or place. Since
twitter is a place, the appropriate preposition is ‘from’.
5. Have on/had on (past tense) is a phrasal verb:
verb + preposition  had + on
1. Typically world translates to
2. Helps the reader see and experience
3. Add sensory detail:
1. Story needs 2 parts: Character (you) and conflict
2. Problems can be anything, not necessarily a crisis or
A Change
3. Examples
Didn’t make the team
Obsessed with Twilight
Don’t eat meat
1. Describe the time you had a problem or strong example (
• Include 5 w’s (who, what, when, where, and why)
• Stick to one or two paragraphs
2. Background the history of the problem
• When did it start
• Why/how did it happen
3. Talk about how you dealt with the problem
• What did you do?
• Steps you took to handle it
4. Reflect on that problem
• How did you feel about it?
• Did handling it change you in any way
• Share your thoughts
5. What did you learn from dealing with that problem-about yourself,
others, or life in general
6. Conclusion
• Person qualities or characteristics you used or developed
• Aha! Moment
• How can you use it in a future endeavor

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