There are three “levels” of writing for editors to consider while revising essays:
• Level One: Facts (where one looks at details in paragraphs and supporting evidence)
• Level Two: Unity (where one looks at narrative flow/topic sentences – does it cohere?)
• Level Three: Meaning and Significance (thesis/overarching ideas)
As writers, we usually find it easiest to add details first and structure later. It’s important to remember, however, that this essay is both an introduction and an argument. The piece reveals more about you than a collection of data can, but it also asserts and proves a clear message: I deserve admission to this school, and enrollment at this school represents the best choice I can make regarding my future.
• Obvious errors
• “Ordering” and structure
• Main idea (underline it in their file)
• Level of Persuasiveness (Address “Good Factors” and “Risk Factors”)
• Level of Clarity/Meaning
• Level of Written Skill/Ability to Sustain Interest
Ask yourself the following before explaining your Admission Decision:
• Is this candidate not simply qualified, but impressive?
• Will this candidate “fit” at this particular university/college? (How can I tell?)
• Has the candidate demonstrated growth, and is the candidate capable of further growth?
Your Admissions Decision should be typed and e-mailed to the applicant, and should include the following:
• Applicant Name (first and last) and Possible Admissions (where would he/she like to enroll?)
• Main Idea (as identified on the paper)
• Clarity (1-10)
• Detail (1-10)
• Momentum (1-10)
• Creativity (1-10)
• Skill (1-10)
• Coherence (1-10)
• Persuasiveness (1-10)
• “Good Factors” (what separates this candidate from the pack?)
• “Risk Factors” (what gives you pause?)
• Overall Effectiveness (1-10, based on all of the above – show why, and specifically discuss their meaning/significance)
• Admission Decision and Explanation (see above)
+ Complete a biographical description of Chihiro Ogino. How is her portrayal similar to that of many young female characters? How is her characterization different?
+ Choose another main character from Spirited Away and complete a biographical description for them as well.
+ John Lasseter says that Chihiro “develops tremendously” over the course of the movie. How does she change? What spurs her development?
+ The pace of Miyazaki’s story is particularly noteworthy – lots of peaks and valleys, hinting at things long before their payoffs without long passages of explanation. How does he pace the beginning of the story? The middle? The last third? How does he introduce characters and plot complications? How and when do viewers figure out what’s going on?
+ Even Spirited Away’s antagonists have “shades of gray.” How does Miyazaki show ambiguity in both his good and bad characters; in other words, how does he construct “pears” (i.e., characters with depth and irregularity) instead of “pancakes” (i.e., flat, shallow characters who only play roles and do not change)?
+ The Japanese version’s ending differs from the English one’s: instead of having Chihiro converse with her parents one last time (the English version), the Japanese version of movie ends with her sitting silently and thinking about what she just went through. Which version has the stronger ending, and why?
+ As a writer, what do you find particularly noteworthy about the film? What aspects of it impress you, inspire you, or seem like things you want to try someday?