What subject would you want to teach if you could? If you were to give a TED talk, what would it be on? Write about a time you faced adversity and how it changed you. So, what are they looking for in college essays? That said, college admission officers do look for well-structured essays that contain logically supported ideas.
They want evidence that you can write well. Photo by Steve Johnson How to structure a college essay Once you've chosen your topic, focusing on the structure of your essay is important. Other than learning a bit more about you as a student and as a person, admissions counselors will be looking at the organization, structure, and flow of your essay.
Much like the essays you learned to write in high school, your main focus will be an introduction, body, and conclusion. Usually, your introduction will be one paragraph; your body should consist of a minimum of two paragraphs but could range up to five, and your conclusion is also one paragraph. The number of paragraphs in your essay body will of course depend on the word count.
Regardless of the number of paragraphs, having an essay that flows logically and contains the required information is your top priority. Sticking to the basics is best: Tell your story in chronological order, clearly and concisely.
Your college admissions essay is not the time to be daring in terms of creative writing. Attempting to use flashbacks, for instance, could confuse the reader. How to start off a college essay Your introduction, like your essay overall, should hold three important facets of information: a hook or topic sentence, your thesis sentence, and your outlining sentence.
Your hook grabs the reader's attention and establishes what you'll be writing about. A thesis is a statement. It could be an opinion or declaration of a position you've taken, and which you'll be discussing. Lastly, your outlining sentence will set up the structure of the body of your essay and define your main points.
How to end a college essay Ending your essay is not unlike beginning it. A conclusion also consists of three important sentences: your topic sentence again , your supporting and summarizing sentence s , and your concluding sentence. Your topic sentence should be a reworded variation on the one you used in your introduction. Your supporting and summarizing sentences should retouch on your main points and round out why they support your thesis.
Finally, your concluding sentence should look to leave a lasting impression regarding your topic upon your reader. Try to make a concluding sentence that will make what you've said in your essay really stick in your reader's mind. College essay writing tips Before you actually start writing, take a moment to look through these writing tips.
A college essay has a very specific reason and reader. These tips will help address your goal. Write about something that has meaning to you As mentioned, what you write about will have one of the biggest effects on the quality of your essay. Be sure to focus on what the experience taught you. Reflect back on that time in your life and how it shaped you into the person you are today.
The same idea applies if your essay answers the prompt about how you came to choose this particular college. Make your point Stay on point. Most college essays have word limits or ranges, which can help you stay focused. Remember too that the structure of the essay, and how well-written it is, matters. If nothing else, writing within the prescribed word count proves you can follow instructions. More importantly, it proves you can present a properly formatted essay, with argument and supporting ideas, in about two pages.
Focus on an intriguing introduction, a body that tells a story, and a conclusion. The body of your essay would go into how you chose that topic, why it interests you, and possibly some personal experience that made the topic especially relevant. My research was fundamental to my performance, and without it, I knew I could add little to the Trials. But confident in my ability, my director optimistically recommended constructing an impromptu defense.
Nervously, I began my research anew. I noticed a lack of conclusive evidence against the defendants and certain inconsistencies in testimonies. While I had brushed this information under the carpet while developing my position as a judge, it now became the focus of my defense.
At the end of the three hours, I felt better prepared. The first session began, and with bravado, I raised my placard to speak. Microphone in hand, I turned to face my audience. I, Otto Stahmer would like to……. Utter dread permeated my body as I tried to recall my thoughts in vain. Despite my shame, I was undeterred.
I pulled out my notes, refocused, and began outlining my arguments in a more clear and direct manner. Thereafter, I spoke articulately, confidently putting forth my points. I was overjoyed when Secretariat members congratulated me on my fine performance. Going into the conference, I believed that preparation was the key to success. My ability to problem-solve in the face of an unforeseen challenge proved advantageous in the art of diplomacy.
Not only did this experience transform me into a confident and eloquent delegate at that conference, but it also helped me become a more flexible and creative thinker in a variety of other capacities. Now that I know I can adapt under pressure, I look forward to engaging in activities that will push me to be even quicker on my feet. This essay is an excellent example of in-the-moment narration. The student openly shares their internal state with us — we feel their anger and panic upon the reversal of roles.
For in-the-moment essays, overloading on descriptions is a common mistake students make. This writer provides just the right amount of background and details to help us understand the situation, however, and balances out the actual event with reflection on the significance of this experience. One main area of improvement is that the writer sometimes makes explicit statements that could be better illustrated through their thoughts, actions, and feelings.
This is not as engaging as actual examples that convey the same meaning. In this essay structure, you share a story that takes place across several different experiences. This narrative style is well-suited for any story arc with multiple parts.
If you want to highlight your development over time, you might consider this structure. When I was younger, I was adamant that no two foods on my plate touch. As a result, I often used a second plate to prevent such an atrocity. In many ways, I learned to separate different things this way from my older brothers, Nate and Rob. Growing up, I idolized both of them. Nate was a performer, and I insisted on arriving early to his shows to secure front row seats, refusing to budge during intermission for fear of missing anything.
Rob was a three-sport athlete, and I attended his games religiously, waving worn-out foam cougar paws and cheering until my voice was hoarse. My brothers were my role models. To me, they represented two contrasting ideals of what I could become: artist or athlete.
I believed I had to choose. And for a long time, I chose athlete. I played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse and viewed myself exclusively as an athlete, believing the arts were not for me. I conveniently overlooked that since the age of five, I had been composing stories for my family for Christmas, gifts that were as much for me as them, as I loved writing. So when in tenth grade, I had the option of taking a creative writing class, I was faced with a question: could I be an athlete and a writer?
After much debate, I enrolled in the class, feeling both apprehensive and excited. When I arrived on the first day of school, my teacher, Ms. Jenkins, asked us to write down our expectations for the class. I just want this to be a place where I can write freely. For the first two submission days, I had passed the time editing earlier pieces, eventually pretty quickly resorting to screen snake when hopelessness made the words look like hieroglyphics. I must not have been as subtle as I thought, as on the third of these days, Ms.
Jenkins approached me. After shifting from excuse to excuse as to why I did not submit my writing, I finally recognized the real reason I had withheld my work: I was scared. I yielded to Ms. By the time the letter came, I had already forgotten about the contest.
When the flimsy white envelope arrived in the mail, I was shocked and ecstatic to learn that I had received 2nd place in a nationwide writing competition. The next morning, however, I discovered Ms. Jenkins would make an announcement to the whole school exposing me as a poet. I have since seen more boys at my school identifying themselves as writers or artists.
I no longer see myself as an athlete and a poet independently, but rather I see these two aspects forming a single inseparable identity — me. Despite their apparent differences, these two disciplines are quite similar, as each requires creativity and devotion.
I am still a poet when I am lacing up my cleats for soccer practice and still an athlete when I am building metaphors in the back of my mind — and I have realized ice cream and gummy bears taste pretty good together. First, we get context for why the writer thought he had to choose one identity: his older brothers had very distinct interests.
This essay is a great example of a narrative told over an extended period of time.