The College Admissions Process
Your audience: The overworked college admissions counselor who has already seen a slew of essays before yours rises to the top of the pile or the scholarship committee (usually volunteers) whose members’ heads could be turned by a well crafted essay.
- To address the prompt—Type it at the top of your Word document in bold. Remove it when you are finished with your essay.
- To choose an experience that you can write about in a personal narrative format that addresses the prompt.
- To identify a moment in the entire span of the experience that fills you with particularly intense feelings when you think about it.
- To take that point in the experience that you identified above and develop it into a personal narrative
- To have a fairly clear line from conflict to solution in the narrative. You want to come across as a person who can identify a problem and solve it—an active person with good ideas, energy, resolve, and courage.
- To have a point. By the time you’ve reached the end of the narrative, you and your reader should have the answer to the question, Why? What’s the point of it all? Some of the best narratives require that you spend a few moments thinking about what it is that you’ve just read and what, in fact The Point might be.
Think of your essay like a three-act play…or a three-paragraph narrative.
- Your first paragraph sets up the action and introduces the conflict.
- The second paragraph plays out the action and examines the conflict.
- The third paragraph finishes off the action and resolves the conflict.
Three paragraphs = narrative. Each paragraph has and fulfills its purpose.
Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps by Alan Gelb
The College Application Essay by Sarah McGinty