Lots of students look for help on personal college essays. That blank screen or page can be so intimidating, right? In fact, just getting started is half the battle.
Well, take a deep breath. You found this blog post, and I’m going to show you a simple process that will give you the jumpstart you’re looking for. In fact, I’ve made it even easier by putting the main points of the process into a short video. Scroll down to watch it below.
The 7-Point College Essay Process
1. Start by making a list of words that describe you.
Don’t be shy or worry about sounding immodest. No one else will ever see this list; it’s just for you at this stage. This is a “brainstorming” exercise, so you want to make the list as long as possible. When you start to run out of ideas, ask friends and relatives to help.
2. Next, jot down any stories or moments that these words bring to mind.
Include any personal memory you have that illustrates one of these traits about you. Don’t get stalled by writing too much yet. Just write enough of a description so that you’ll be able to recall later on the thought that came to mind.
3. Put your list away in a drawer.
Yes, this is a real step in the process. The reason for doing so is that when you come back to look at it again you’ll see all your ideas with fresh eyes.
4. A few days later, cross out any ideas that aren’t working and star your favorites.
Work through the list as many times as it takes to leave you with only your best stories. This might mean eliminating some things that you quite like. That’s okay. When it comes to writing a personal essay, one or two very strong illustrations written with detail and clarity will be far more impacting than lots of ideas described in broad strokes.
5. It’s time to choose that moment you want to bring to light.
Tell your story in a way that only you could. Paint a vivid picture for your readers with specific details including sounds, textures and smells. Remember that all good writing focuses on “showing” the reader instead of telling them. That means, instead of giving information like a news reporter would, describe the moment and how you felt. In other words, bring the reader along to relive the experience with you.
6. End the essay by reflecting on the experience.
This is vital. What did this experience teach you? How did it help to shape you? How has it made you stronger, kinder or more responsible?
7. Finally, proofread your essay multiple times before submitting.
You don’t want to leave silly mistakes that spoil your essay or distract your reader. It’s amazing — you may be reading it through for the third or fourth time, and suddenly you’ll spot a spelling error or a missing word that you missed previously. So, keep proofreading your essay until you’re sure it’s ready, and then proofread it again. It’s a good idea to have someone else read over it as well.
Now Watch the Video: “Help on College Essays” …
Still have questions? I’m here to help, and I’d love to hear from you. You can drop me a note using the contact form, or post your question as a comment below. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.