Well-written essays can lead to college admissions and scholarships. Keep reading to learn how to write an essay that stands out from the crowd.
Step 1: Read Professional Examples of Storytelling
- The First Time I Faced a Hostile Audience (Kids) by John Leguizamo
- On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic by Jesymn Ward
- Letter to My Younger Self by Ray Allen
- My Father’s Body, at Rest and In Motion by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- When life threatens to become smaller, this is what I do by Tressie McMillan Cottom
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Are you planning to apply for a Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (HLSR) Scholarship? Avoid boasting about your plans to attend the University of Michigan; HLSR awards scholarships to students who intend to attend Texas colleges or universities. Are you passionate about studying to become a nurse? Don’t express your pursuit of nursing to Rice University’s admissions committee: nursing is not a major that is offered at the private university.
Step 3: Follow the Instructions
- Answer the question.
- Stay within the word limit.
- Stay within the page limit.
- Submit your essay and ALL other application materials before the deadline to the proper place (physical address, email address, website, etc.).
Step 4: Tell a Story
A story contains the following elements:
- A protagonist
- What the protagonist wants
- What happens if the protagonist doesn’t get what he or she wants
- An inciting incident that changes the protagonist’s life
Step 5: Revise until Your Essay is Right…Your Competitors Are Dotting their i’s and Crossing their t’s
Read your essay. Did you follow the previous 4 steps?