Expository Writing Application Essay Practice


These essay prompts are very common in the academic/work application process and represent a cross section of the types of questions you are likely to be asked.  Work through each as assigned in draft form, doing revisions and creating final copies as required by the teacher.  Keep these together in your portfolio.  PWs, OLs, Drafts, SRDs, and FCs will be assigned as we go along, as will be various mini-lessons and pieces of advice.  In the end, you will pick your best for evaluation.


Keep in mind that your purpose is to distinguish yourself from other candidates, which can be accomplished through both content and style.  Also remember that your audience is one of judges, whose job is to pick you apart for weaknesses and strengths.


Essay one:  Choose one teacher in high school who has had a major impact on your academic development.  What qualities of this teacher do you most admire?  In what ways did your teacher succeed in changing your thinking? (approximately 300 words)


Essay two: What is the biggest misconception people have of you?  Why? (200 words or fewer.)


Essay three: At this institution, we expect students to take on new and unfamiliar challenges, whether they’re academic, cultural, or extracurricular.  Please tell us about a time when you faced such a challenge – a time when you felt out of place or uncomfortable in a new situation or environment.  How did you respond to this challenge?  Given the chance to face it again, what if anything would you do differently? (3 paragraphs)


Essay four: Part of being a good student/employee is the ability to overcome and learn from failure.  Write a narrative of a time you failed that demonstrates those abilities. (varies since it is a narrative)


Essay five: As part of you experience with our school/company, you will be given many individual responsibilities.  Tell us how you’ve prepared for such responsibilities and relate a brief story of great personal triumph in personal responsibility. (3 paragraphs)


Essay six: What have you done to improve your school, community, country, and/or world? (3 paragraphs)


Essay seven: What is your philosophy of education?  Why?  How do you use it to guide your studies, curricular and extracurricular choices, you lifestyle?  If you are more on the job track after high school, answer this prompt: What is your philosophy of the job you are applying for?  How do you use it to guide your preparation for this job? (3-5 paragraphs)


Essay eight: What personal beliefs do you hold that you would say define who you are?  Explain one or two of them in such a way that we have a better understanding of the kind of person we are getting at our college/company. (3-5 paragraphs)


Essay nine:  Use 500 words or fewer to tell us anything you want us to know about you.


Click HERE to see the grading guide for these essays.