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Aim for your essay to be approximately 500-650 words.

Focus on the reflection section. Why? Dont dwell on the negative life has thrown at you -
focus on how it is positively impacted you!
Need some samples to review? Head over to
(P.S. Johns Hopkins Universitys acceptance rate is only 11.5% for 2015)


Use the chart below to help jot down your ideas for Event, Response, and Reflection.
There should be a clear connection between each section that guides the reader from one box
to the next.

Event Response Reflection

Organization and Guiding Questions
1. You may not want to move your audience through your essay in chronological order.
2. You also should move seamlessly from response into reflection. Consider the text
example we discussed in class from pages 293-295.

I. Introduction (optional) 1 paragraph that sets the stage for the story coming next; you
may want to begin immediately with your event as long as you return to setting the scene

Questions to help guide thinking and writing:

Can you begin with a response to your event?
Is there something profound thought or said you could begin with?
Does your event include terminology that all readers may not be familiar with? If
so, consider an introduction or include background information in the second

II. Event and Response 1-3 paragraphs telling your story of what happened, including
your immediate response(s)

Questions to help guide thinking and writing:

Other than you, who should be included in the event?
What is the pivotal moment of the event? Do you need to build to this or begin
your essay with this?
Does your response (feelings) change during the event or after?
Did you include comparisons, figurative language, sensory details, or incorporate
what is not there techniques?
Did you include stylistic choices to build your event - dash, polysyndeton,
asyndeton, parallelism, ellipses, imperative sentences?

III. Reflection 1-2 paragraphs that tell the reader how your experience(s) changed you;
finish by telling the reader a piece of advice you can give them because of your

Questions to help guide thinking and writing:

What did you learn about yourself, society, life, etc?
What did you spiritually or emotionally gain?
If applicable, how did you overcome an issue or difficulty?
How does this impact you now?
How have you made changes in your life because of this?
Predict how this reflection will impact you in the future.
What can others learn from your experiences?
Did you include stylistic choices to express your reflective voice - dash,
polysyndeton, asyndeton, parallelism, ellipses, imperative sentences?
Par. Par. Your Pre-Writing Notes
# Focus

1 Intro or

2 Event or

3 Event or

4 Event or

5 Reflection

6 Reflection

Final Sentence of Reflection:

Self-Analysis and Peer Review

Your Peer Checklist for What Needs to Be Revised Prior to

Initials Reviewer Self-Analysis and Peer Review One-One Conference with Mrs.
Initials Nelson?

Does the essay enlighten the reader

through a revelation of self, self in
relation to others, or self in relation to
the world?

Is there sufficient description of


Does the essay convey the authors

feelings (response)?

Is the style personal through the use of

stylistic choices?

Does the author move from response

to reflection without jumping too

Does the author utilize descriptive

techniques to help create an engaging
read for the audience?

Does the author achieve a reflection

that provides advice to the audience?

Does the author use standard writing

conventions and correct spelling?

Conference with Mrs. Nelson

Description of Significance of Organization Connection of Diction, Syntax, Writing

Response Conveying Experience to Author Elements Stylistic Devices Conventions