the college essay

creative writing tools

April 27, Staff Writers. With all the things you have going on as a student, writing a paper can seem like a daunting task. This image and list-based, step-by-step best dissertation service is the closest thing to writing a plug and chug paper you can get. So, are you ready to ace this paper of yours? The answer to this question is easy: look at the materials the prof gives you. The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to understand what the professor is looking for. If you know that, you can write to the rubric and pick up easy points along the way.

The college essay synopsis for dissertation

The college essay

In my career, I hope to be a corporate advocate for the empowerment of women, creating large-scale impact and deconstructing institutional boundaries that obstruct women from working in high-level positions. Although I attempt to love all my stickers equally haha , this is one of my favorites. I always want my association with work to be positive.

When my computer dies hopefully not for another few years , it will be like my passport expiring. My next set of stickers will reveal my next set of aspirations. They hold the key to future paths I will navigate, knowledge I will gain, and connections I will make. Cool, huh? Notice how each bullet point discusses a value or values, connected to different experiences via her thread, and sets up the insights she could explore.

She found this thread essentially by using The Five Things Exercise in conjunction with the other brainstorming exercises. Ex: spent weekend designing websites, graphics for my companies. Go back , complete the exercises, and then Case study: How to find a theme for your personal statement aka the thread that connects the beads of your bracelet. Just last week, my shoelace got caught in an escalator and I tripped about 20 people. I have misophonia--sometimes I even have to eat dinner in a different room from my family.

I collect funky socks--at this point, I have socks with tacos, snowmen, Santa, and even animals wearing glasses. I have no immediate relatives in America besides my mom, dad, and sister. I am a diehard Duke basketball fan, and I can identify all of the Duke basketball fans at my high school on one hand.

I love discussing psychology, but sometimes I psychoanalyze. Singing while driving is honestly one of my favorite pastimes. I hope to complete a half and full marathon within the next four years, despite not having run a 5k yet. I could eat fruits for every single meal. Airports are hands-down my favorite place to be, but I hate airplanes.

I find that I form the deepest connections with people after 12am. How this author found her thematic thread. Tell me about your relationship to dance We were thread-finding Heads-up: Some people are really good at this—counselors are often great at this—while some folks have a more difficult time. Good news: When you practice the skill of thread-finding, you can become better at it rather quickly. You should also know that sometimes it takes minutes to find a thread and sometimes it can take weeks.

With this student, it took less than an hour. I noticed in our conversation that she kept coming back to things that made her feel comfortable. As I enter the double doors, the smell of freshly rolled biscuits hits me almost instantly. I trace the fan blades as they swing above me, emitting a low, repetitive hum resembling a faint melody. With one hand on my breaded chicken and the other on Nancy Drew: Mystery of Crocodile Island, I can barely sit still as the thriller unfolds.

As I delve into the narrative with a sip of sweet tea, I feel at home. A glance at my notebook reveals a collection of worn pages covered with meticulously planned formations, counts, and movements. Set temperature. This pulse mimics the beating of my heart, a subtle rhythm that persists each day I come into the lab. After spending several weeks attempting to synthesize platinum nanoparticles with a diameter between 10 and 16 nm, I finally achieve nanoparticles with a diameter of That unmistakable tingling sensation dances up my arm as I scribble into my notebook: I am overcome with a feeling of unbridled joy.

While I attend GS at Meredith College for Natural Science, the lessons learned and experiences gained extend far beyond physics concepts, serial dilutions, and toxicity. I learn to trust myself to have difficult yet necessary conversations about the political and economic climate.

My home is a dynamic and eclectic entity. In the example above, we started with the beads, and then we searched for a thread. This exercise asks you to start with the thread of something you know well and then create the beads.

Step 1: On a blank sheet of paper, make a list of five or six things you know a lot about. Step 2: Pick one of the things you wrote down, flip your paper over, and write it at the top of your paper, like this:. This is your thread, or a potential thread. Step 3: Underneath what you wrote down, name values you could connect to this. These will serve as the beads of your essay. You can even draw a thread connecting your beads, if you want, like this:. Step 4: For each value, write down a specific example, memory, image, or essence object that connects to that value.

I still marvel at how quickly it helped us bond. Creativity: After I understand how a game works, I like to try to improve it by tweaking the rules. Two examples: 1 I remember when I was young trying to find the right amount of money for the Free Parking space in Monopoly, and 2 recently, I learned the game Guesstimation is so much better if you add wagers. I see my 4-year-old daughter tweaks games too, which drives my wife crazy, as she likes to play by the rules of the game.

Family: We played games like Charades and Jeopardy when I was young. My dad was the Game Master who would come up with the categories. As I grew older, I took over the role of Game Master. Things I rarely lose at: ping pong, Tetris, foosball, and corn hole. This is an actual brainstorm I did using this exercise. And if you can find specific examples for each value, that can make for interesting paragraphs in your personal statement. Special thanks to my colleague, Dori Middlebrook, for this one.

I mentioned this when we first started talking about Montage Structure. Step 1: Write down 5 similar things that are meaningful to you in different ways. Step 2: Begin by simply naming the 5 different items. Example: High-top tennis shoes, flip-flops, heels, cleats, bunny slippers. Step 3: Add physical details so we can visualize each one. Step 4: Add more details. Maybe tell a story for each.

Pro tip: Try connecting each of the 5 to a different value. Step 5: Expand on each description further and start to connect the ideas to develop them into an essay draft. Grab someone who knows you well e. It can be helpful if they use reflective language and ask lots of questions.

Pick 10 of your favorite photos or social media posts and write a short paragraph on each one. What do they say about you? Reading lots of montage example essays that work. Try finding your own. Have the courage to be original. You can do it. It can feel redundant with your Activities List. One more way to emphasize a value is to combine or disguise it with humor. In each of these examples, the little bit of humor covers the brag.

No need to push this humor thing, though. A: The transitions are the toughest part of this essay type. Fine-tuning them will take some time, so be patient. Highlight the first sentence of each of your paragraphs in bold, then read each one aloud in order. Do they connect, creating a short version of your essay? If not:. Rewrite the bold sentences so that they do connect i.

Rewrite each paragraph so it flows from those bolded sentences. Read them aloud again. Wash, rinse, repeat until the ideas flow together. Parts of yourself that are essential to who you are e. Your theme could be something mundane like your desk or something everyone can relate to like the concept of home , but make sure that it is elastic i.

Each of the values creates an island of your personality and a paragraph for your essay. Review your brainstorming exercises and look for threads that connect different values through different experiences. Choose an order for your examples.

Consider describing one example per paragraph. Q: This is hard! What should I do? Remember: be patient. This takes time. It takes about 20 minutes but do feel free to take longer—more time brainstorming and outlining leads to better, faster writing.

And this is a dramatic pause before I tell you the coolest thing about what you just did. You may notice that your completed Feelings and Needs chart maps out a potential structure for your personal statement. You may not want to spend an entire paragraph describing your feelings, for example, or you may choose to describe your needs in just one sentence. And now that you see how it frames the story, you may want to expand on certain columns.

However, the sideways Feelings and Needs chart can help you think about how the chronology of your experiences might translate into a personal statement. The narrow alleys of Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan where I spent the first 7 years of my life were infiltrated with the stench of blood and helplessness.

I grew up with Geo news channel, with graphic images of amputated limbs and the lifeless corpses of uncles, neighbors, and friends. I grew up with hurried visits to the bazaar, my grandmother in her veil and five-year-old me, outrunning spontaneous bomb blasts. On the open rooftop of our home, where the hustle and bustle of the city were loudest, I grew up listening to calls to prayer, funeral announcements, gunshots.

Like the faint scent of mustard oil in my hair, the war followed me to the United States. Here, I was the villain, responsible for causing pain. War followed me to freshman year of high school when I wanted more than anything to start new and check off to-dos in my bullet journal. Every time news of a terror attack spread, I could hear the whispers, visualize the stares.

Instead of mourning victims of horrible crimes, I felt personally responsible, only capable of focusing on my guilt. As media head at my high school, I spend most mornings mastering the art of speaking and writing lighthearted puns into serious announcements.

During sophomore year, I found myself in International Human Rights, a summer course at Cornell University that I attended through a local scholarship. I went into class eager to learn about laws that protect freedom and came out knowledgeable about ratified conventions, The International Court of Justice, and the repercussions of the Srebrenica massacre. To apply our newfound insight, three of my classmates and I founded our own organization dedicated to youth activism and spreading awareness about human rights violations: Fight for Human Rights.

Today, we have seven state chapters led by students across the U. S and a chapter in Turkey too. Addressing and acknowledging social issues everywhere is the first step to preventing war. Earlier this year, through KQED, a Bay Area broadcasting network, I was involved in a youth takeover program, and I co-hosted a Friday news segment about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, the travel ban, and the vaping epidemic.

Within a few weeks, my panel and interview were accessible worldwide, watched by my peers in school, and family thousands of miles away in Pakistan. Although the idea of being so vulnerable initially made me nervous, I soon realized that this vulnerability was essential to my growth. For now, I have everything to be grateful for. War has taught me to recognize the power of representation, to find courage in vulnerability, and best of all, to celebrate humor.

Your word count will be pretty evenly split between the three, so for a word personal statement, ish each. To get a little more nuanced, within those three basic sections, a narrative often has a few specific story beats. Status Quo : The starting point of the story. It gets us to wonder: Uh-oh … what will they do next?

The situation becomes more and more tense, decisions become more important, and our main character has more and more to lose. Moment of Truth : The climax. Often this is when our main character must make a choice. New Status Quo : The denouement or falling action. This often tells us why the story matters or what our main character has learned.

Notice that roughly the first third focuses on the challenges she faced and the effects of those challenges. Roughly the next third focuses on actions she took regarding those challenges. Though she also sprinkles in lessons and insight here. The final third contains lessons and insights she learned through those actions, reflecting on how her experiences have shaped her. Again, with the caveat that What She Did and What She Learned are somewhat interwoven, and yours likely will be as well.

But the middle third is more heavily focused on actions, and the final third more heavily focused on insight. How does the Feelings and Needs Exercise map onto those sections? The details in your Feelings and Needs columns can be spread throughout the essay. Why not? Take a look:. Challenge 1 : She grows up surrounded by war, which is explicitly stated. Challenge 2 : She comes to the U. Effects : She is ostracized after arriving in the U. Vulnerability creates connection. Here, naming key emotions helps us understand her inner world.

Needs : As I read this essay, I can imagine the author needed safety, order, love, respect, reassurance, connection, and many more. But these are implied by the story events and need not be explicitly stated. In fact, spelling these things out might have made the essay sound weird. That might sound awkward or too obvious, right?

At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom. Regardless, I knew what was happening: my dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse. Living without a father meant money was tight, mom worked two jobs, and my brother and I took care of each other when she worked. For a brief period of time the quality of our lives slowly started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became an integral part of our family.

He paid attention to the needs of my mom, my brother, and me. I cooked, Jose cleaned, I dressed Fernando, Jose put him to bed. We did what we had to do. As undocumented immigrants and with little to no family around us, we had to rely on each other. Fearing that any disclosure of our status would risk deportation, we kept to ourselves when dealing with any financial and medical issues. I avoided going on certain school trips, and at times I was discouraged to even meet new people. I felt isolated and at times disillusioned; my grades started to slip.

Over time, however, I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself. Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher. I learned how to fix a bike, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls. I became resourceful, fixing shoes with strips of duct tape, and I even found a job to help pay bills. I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money mom had to spend raising me. I also worked to apply myself constructively in other ways.

These changes inspired me to help others. I became president of the California Scholarship Federation, providing students with information to prepare them for college, while creating opportunities for my peers to play a bigger part in our community. I began tutoring kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus.

And I have yet to see the person that Fernando will become. Not because I have to. Because I choose to. First, the author brainstormed the content of his essay using the Feelings and Needs Exercise. Did you spot the elements of that exercise? Medium 2, to 14, Hispanic-serving institution. The world is ready for you. Be ready for the world. Plan your future Get connected with everything you need to apply to college, research financial aid and scholarships, and get advice from counselors, advisors and mentors.

College is worth it. Your future is worth it. You are worth it. There are lots of options available to you. We can help you find them. The path may seem unclear. We can help you find your way. Common App welcomes over 30 new colleges and universities for the application season March 25, More from the blog. For member institutions We strive for access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. College Expo? Virtual Event Boost your knowledge about post secondary options in the United States by networking with representatives from American colleges and universities!

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WRITING A PAPER INTRODUCTION

On the weak end of the spectrum would be things like getting a bad grade or not making X sports team. On the strong end of the spectrum would be things like escaping war. Being extremely shy but being responsible for translating for your family might be around a 3 or 4 out of But, for the sake of this blog post, answer those first two questions with a gut-level response. Heads-up: Some students who have faced challenges find after reading that they prefer Montage Structure to Narrative Structure.

Or vice versa. A montage is, simply put, a series of moments or story events connected by a common thematic thread. Or remember the opening to the Pixar movie Up? One purpose is to communicate a lot of information fast. Another is to allow you to share a lot of different kinds of information, as the example essay below shows.

Narrative Structure vs. Montage Structure explained in two sentences:. In Narrative Structure, story events connect chronologically. In Montage Structure, story events connect thematically. Imagine that each different part of you is a bead and that a select few will show up in your essay.

The theme of your essay is the thread that connects your beads. You can find a thread in many, many different ways. For example, are there 5 T-shirts you collected, or 5 homes or identities, or 5 entries in your Happiness Spreadsheet. And to clarify, your essay may end up using only 4 of the 5 things. Or maybe 8. But 5 is a nice number to aim for initially. Note the huge range of possible essay threads. Sports have had a powerful influence on me, from my understanding of history, to numbers, to my relationships, extracurricular activities, and even my career choice.

Crassulaceae plants, which can reproduce via stem or leaf fragments, are a great analogy for not only how I make art, but how I choose to live each day. Binary star systems are a metaphor for my relationship with my parents. The number 12 has influenced so much in my life, from my relationship to sports, to how I write, to my self-esteem. All of these threads stemmed from the brainstorming exercises in this post. To frame how to think about possible topics A boring personal statement chooses a common topic, makes common connections, and uses common language.

A stand-out personal statement chooses an un common topic, makes un common connections, and uses un common language. Be honest. But consider this: The more common your topic is How do you figure out what to say? By making uncommon connections.

Use the Values Exercise for ideas. Hands-on work? Probably yes to all three. Why do this? An essay on how cooking allowed the author to become more accountable or socially aware would be less common. One thing that author discusses is activism.

A stand-out essay would go further, demonstrating, say, how a sense of humor supports activism. In fact, the great essay examples throughout this book sometimes make use of common connections. Also note that a somewhat-common lesson e. The Values Exercise. Go to www. Once you do, a huge list will appear containing knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for your career. This is one of my favorite resources for this exercise.

Go to a college's website and click on a major or group of majors that interest you. Students are often surprised to discover how broadly major-related skills can apply. Ask 3 people in this profession what unexpected qualities, values, or skills prepared them for their careers.

What do I mean? So it makes it much more difficult to stand out. How do you stand out? So, if you do choose a common topic, work to make uncommon connections i. Or explore a different topic. You are infinitely complex and imaginative. My laptop is like a passport. It is plastered with stickers all over the outside, inside, and bottom. Let me take you on a quick tour:.

Art has been a constant for me for as long as I can remember. Today my primary engagement with art is through design. Design means more to me than just branding and marketing; it gives me the opportunity to experiment with texture, perspective, and contrast, helping me refine my professional style. TED gives me the opportunity to help other youth understand new perspectives, by exposing them to the diversity of Austin where culture is created, not just consumed.

Poop emoji , middle right. He brings out my goofy side, but also helps me think rationally when I am overwhelmed. Bought in seventh grade and transferred from my old laptop, this sticker is torn but persevering with layers of tape. This is the logo of a startup incubator where I launched my first company, Threading Twine. I learned that business can provide others access to fundamental human needs, such as economic empowerment of minorities and education. In my career, I hope to be a corporate advocate for the empowerment of women, creating large-scale impact and deconstructing institutional boundaries that obstruct women from working in high-level positions.

Although I attempt to love all my stickers equally haha , this is one of my favorites. I always want my association with work to be positive. When my computer dies hopefully not for another few years , it will be like my passport expiring.

My next set of stickers will reveal my next set of aspirations. They hold the key to future paths I will navigate, knowledge I will gain, and connections I will make. Cool, huh? Notice how each bullet point discusses a value or values, connected to different experiences via her thread, and sets up the insights she could explore. She found this thread essentially by using The Five Things Exercise in conjunction with the other brainstorming exercises.

Ex: spent weekend designing websites, graphics for my companies. Go back , complete the exercises, and then Case study: How to find a theme for your personal statement aka the thread that connects the beads of your bracelet. Just last week, my shoelace got caught in an escalator and I tripped about 20 people. I have misophonia--sometimes I even have to eat dinner in a different room from my family.

I collect funky socks--at this point, I have socks with tacos, snowmen, Santa, and even animals wearing glasses. I have no immediate relatives in America besides my mom, dad, and sister. I am a diehard Duke basketball fan, and I can identify all of the Duke basketball fans at my high school on one hand.

I love discussing psychology, but sometimes I psychoanalyze. Singing while driving is honestly one of my favorite pastimes. I hope to complete a half and full marathon within the next four years, despite not having run a 5k yet. I could eat fruits for every single meal. Airports are hands-down my favorite place to be, but I hate airplanes. I find that I form the deepest connections with people after 12am. How this author found her thematic thread. Tell me about your relationship to dance We were thread-finding Heads-up: Some people are really good at this—counselors are often great at this—while some folks have a more difficult time.

Good news: When you practice the skill of thread-finding, you can become better at it rather quickly. You should also know that sometimes it takes minutes to find a thread and sometimes it can take weeks. With this student, it took less than an hour. I noticed in our conversation that she kept coming back to things that made her feel comfortable. As I enter the double doors, the smell of freshly rolled biscuits hits me almost instantly.

I trace the fan blades as they swing above me, emitting a low, repetitive hum resembling a faint melody. With one hand on my breaded chicken and the other on Nancy Drew: Mystery of Crocodile Island, I can barely sit still as the thriller unfolds.

As I delve into the narrative with a sip of sweet tea, I feel at home. A glance at my notebook reveals a collection of worn pages covered with meticulously planned formations, counts, and movements. Set temperature. This pulse mimics the beating of my heart, a subtle rhythm that persists each day I come into the lab. After spending several weeks attempting to synthesize platinum nanoparticles with a diameter between 10 and 16 nm, I finally achieve nanoparticles with a diameter of That unmistakable tingling sensation dances up my arm as I scribble into my notebook: I am overcome with a feeling of unbridled joy.

While I attend GS at Meredith College for Natural Science, the lessons learned and experiences gained extend far beyond physics concepts, serial dilutions, and toxicity. I learn to trust myself to have difficult yet necessary conversations about the political and economic climate.

My home is a dynamic and eclectic entity. In the example above, we started with the beads, and then we searched for a thread. This exercise asks you to start with the thread of something you know well and then create the beads. Step 1: On a blank sheet of paper, make a list of five or six things you know a lot about. Step 2: Pick one of the things you wrote down, flip your paper over, and write it at the top of your paper, like this:. This is your thread, or a potential thread. Step 3: Underneath what you wrote down, name values you could connect to this.

These will serve as the beads of your essay. You can even draw a thread connecting your beads, if you want, like this:. Step 4: For each value, write down a specific example, memory, image, or essence object that connects to that value.

I still marvel at how quickly it helped us bond. Creativity: After I understand how a game works, I like to try to improve it by tweaking the rules. Two examples: 1 I remember when I was young trying to find the right amount of money for the Free Parking space in Monopoly, and 2 recently, I learned the game Guesstimation is so much better if you add wagers. I see my 4-year-old daughter tweaks games too, which drives my wife crazy, as she likes to play by the rules of the game. Family: We played games like Charades and Jeopardy when I was young.

My dad was the Game Master who would come up with the categories. As I grew older, I took over the role of Game Master. Things I rarely lose at: ping pong, Tetris, foosball, and corn hole. This is an actual brainstorm I did using this exercise. And if you can find specific examples for each value, that can make for interesting paragraphs in your personal statement.

Special thanks to my colleague, Dori Middlebrook, for this one. I mentioned this when we first started talking about Montage Structure. Step 1: Write down 5 similar things that are meaningful to you in different ways. Step 2: Begin by simply naming the 5 different items. Example: High-top tennis shoes, flip-flops, heels, cleats, bunny slippers. Step 3: Add physical details so we can visualize each one. Step 4: Add more details. Maybe tell a story for each. Pro tip: Try connecting each of the 5 to a different value.

Step 5: Expand on each description further and start to connect the ideas to develop them into an essay draft. Grab someone who knows you well e. It can be helpful if they use reflective language and ask lots of questions. Pick 10 of your favorite photos or social media posts and write a short paragraph on each one.

What do they say about you? Reading lots of montage example essays that work. Try finding your own. Have the courage to be original. You can do it. It can feel redundant with your Activities List. One more way to emphasize a value is to combine or disguise it with humor. In each of these examples, the little bit of humor covers the brag.

No need to push this humor thing, though. A: The transitions are the toughest part of this essay type. Fine-tuning them will take some time, so be patient. Highlight the first sentence of each of your paragraphs in bold, then read each one aloud in order. Do they connect, creating a short version of your essay? If not:. Rewrite the bold sentences so that they do connect i. Rewrite each paragraph so it flows from those bolded sentences.

Read them aloud again. Wash, rinse, repeat until the ideas flow together. Parts of yourself that are essential to who you are e. Your theme could be something mundane like your desk or something everyone can relate to like the concept of home , but make sure that it is elastic i. Each of the values creates an island of your personality and a paragraph for your essay.

Review your brainstorming exercises and look for threads that connect different values through different experiences. Choose an order for your examples. Consider describing one example per paragraph. Q: This is hard! What should I do?

Remember: be patient. This takes time. It takes about 20 minutes but do feel free to take longer—more time brainstorming and outlining leads to better, faster writing. And this is a dramatic pause before I tell you the coolest thing about what you just did.

You may notice that your completed Feelings and Needs chart maps out a potential structure for your personal statement. You may not want to spend an entire paragraph describing your feelings, for example, or you may choose to describe your needs in just one sentence. And now that you see how it frames the story, you may want to expand on certain columns.

However, the sideways Feelings and Needs chart can help you think about how the chronology of your experiences might translate into a personal statement. The narrow alleys of Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan where I spent the first 7 years of my life were infiltrated with the stench of blood and helplessness.

I grew up with Geo news channel, with graphic images of amputated limbs and the lifeless corpses of uncles, neighbors, and friends. I grew up with hurried visits to the bazaar, my grandmother in her veil and five-year-old me, outrunning spontaneous bomb blasts.

On the open rooftop of our home, where the hustle and bustle of the city were loudest, I grew up listening to calls to prayer, funeral announcements, gunshots. Like the faint scent of mustard oil in my hair, the war followed me to the United States. Here, I was the villain, responsible for causing pain. Grammarly makes it easy. Write with Grammarly. Use that energy to write a draft. Your intro tells your reader what to expect from your essay.

Take a look at some of these opening lines from college entrance essays submitted to Stanford University. While traveling through the daily path of life, have you ever stumbled upon a hidden pocket of the universe? Some fathers might disapprove of their children handling noxious chemicals in the garage.

I change my name each time I place an order at Starbucks. Your opening paragraph should introduce the subject matter and the points you intend to make. The availability of these new methods of boosting performance will force us to decide what we value most in sports—displays of physical excellence developed through hard work or victory at all costs. For centuries, spectators and athletes have cherished the tradition of fairness in sports.

Your thesis statement comes at the end of your introduction. It states the main point of the essay, which the author intends to make a case for. While sports competition is, of course, largely about winning, it is also about the means by which a player or team wins.

Считаю, что how to write a five page research paper мне кажется

Choose an order for your examples. Consider describing one example per paragraph. Q: This is hard! What should I do? Remember: be patient. This takes time. It takes about 20 minutes but do feel free to take longer—more time brainstorming and outlining leads to better, faster writing. And this is a dramatic pause before I tell you the coolest thing about what you just did. You may notice that your completed Feelings and Needs chart maps out a potential structure for your personal statement.

You may not want to spend an entire paragraph describing your feelings, for example, or you may choose to describe your needs in just one sentence. And now that you see how it frames the story, you may want to expand on certain columns. However, the sideways Feelings and Needs chart can help you think about how the chronology of your experiences might translate into a personal statement.

The narrow alleys of Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan where I spent the first 7 years of my life were infiltrated with the stench of blood and helplessness. I grew up with Geo news channel, with graphic images of amputated limbs and the lifeless corpses of uncles, neighbors, and friends.

I grew up with hurried visits to the bazaar, my grandmother in her veil and five-year-old me, outrunning spontaneous bomb blasts. On the open rooftop of our home, where the hustle and bustle of the city were loudest, I grew up listening to calls to prayer, funeral announcements, gunshots. Like the faint scent of mustard oil in my hair, the war followed me to the United States.

Here, I was the villain, responsible for causing pain. War followed me to freshman year of high school when I wanted more than anything to start new and check off to-dos in my bullet journal. Every time news of a terror attack spread, I could hear the whispers, visualize the stares. Instead of mourning victims of horrible crimes, I felt personally responsible, only capable of focusing on my guilt. As media head at my high school, I spend most mornings mastering the art of speaking and writing lighthearted puns into serious announcements.

During sophomore year, I found myself in International Human Rights, a summer course at Cornell University that I attended through a local scholarship. I went into class eager to learn about laws that protect freedom and came out knowledgeable about ratified conventions, The International Court of Justice, and the repercussions of the Srebrenica massacre.

To apply our newfound insight, three of my classmates and I founded our own organization dedicated to youth activism and spreading awareness about human rights violations: Fight for Human Rights. Today, we have seven state chapters led by students across the U. S and a chapter in Turkey too. Addressing and acknowledging social issues everywhere is the first step to preventing war. Earlier this year, through KQED, a Bay Area broadcasting network, I was involved in a youth takeover program, and I co-hosted a Friday news segment about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, the travel ban, and the vaping epidemic.

Within a few weeks, my panel and interview were accessible worldwide, watched by my peers in school, and family thousands of miles away in Pakistan. Although the idea of being so vulnerable initially made me nervous, I soon realized that this vulnerability was essential to my growth. For now, I have everything to be grateful for. War has taught me to recognize the power of representation, to find courage in vulnerability, and best of all, to celebrate humor. Your word count will be pretty evenly split between the three, so for a word personal statement, ish each.

To get a little more nuanced, within those three basic sections, a narrative often has a few specific story beats. Status Quo : The starting point of the story. It gets us to wonder: Uh-oh … what will they do next? The situation becomes more and more tense, decisions become more important, and our main character has more and more to lose. Moment of Truth : The climax. Often this is when our main character must make a choice. New Status Quo : The denouement or falling action.

This often tells us why the story matters or what our main character has learned. Notice that roughly the first third focuses on the challenges she faced and the effects of those challenges. Roughly the next third focuses on actions she took regarding those challenges. Though she also sprinkles in lessons and insight here. The final third contains lessons and insights she learned through those actions, reflecting on how her experiences have shaped her. Again, with the caveat that What She Did and What She Learned are somewhat interwoven, and yours likely will be as well.

But the middle third is more heavily focused on actions, and the final third more heavily focused on insight. How does the Feelings and Needs Exercise map onto those sections? The details in your Feelings and Needs columns can be spread throughout the essay. Why not? Take a look:. Challenge 1 : She grows up surrounded by war, which is explicitly stated. Challenge 2 : She comes to the U. Effects : She is ostracized after arriving in the U.

Vulnerability creates connection. Here, naming key emotions helps us understand her inner world. Needs : As I read this essay, I can imagine the author needed safety, order, love, respect, reassurance, connection, and many more. But these are implied by the story events and need not be explicitly stated. In fact, spelling these things out might have made the essay sound weird. That might sound awkward or too obvious, right? At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom. Regardless, I knew what was happening: my dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse.

Living without a father meant money was tight, mom worked two jobs, and my brother and I took care of each other when she worked. For a brief period of time the quality of our lives slowly started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became an integral part of our family. He paid attention to the needs of my mom, my brother, and me. I cooked, Jose cleaned, I dressed Fernando, Jose put him to bed. We did what we had to do. As undocumented immigrants and with little to no family around us, we had to rely on each other.

Fearing that any disclosure of our status would risk deportation, we kept to ourselves when dealing with any financial and medical issues. I avoided going on certain school trips, and at times I was discouraged to even meet new people. I felt isolated and at times disillusioned; my grades started to slip. Over time, however, I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself.

Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher. I learned how to fix a bike, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls. I became resourceful, fixing shoes with strips of duct tape, and I even found a job to help pay bills. I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money mom had to spend raising me.

I also worked to apply myself constructively in other ways. These changes inspired me to help others. I became president of the California Scholarship Federation, providing students with information to prepare them for college, while creating opportunities for my peers to play a bigger part in our community. I began tutoring kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus. And I have yet to see the person that Fernando will become.

Not because I have to. Because I choose to. First, the author brainstormed the content of his essay using the Feelings and Needs Exercise. Did you spot the elements of that exercise? If not, here they are:. Effects: Author and his brother shared the mental strain, father was arrested, funds were tight, mom worked two jobs, brothers took care of one another, they kept to themselves when dealing with financial and medical issues, avoided going on certain school trips, at times author was discouraged from meeting new people, grades started to slip.

Feelings: Confused yet understanding, anxious, worried, relieved, alone, lost, vulnerable, lonely, disconnected, alone, heartbroken, ashamed, disillusioned. Needs: Order, autonomy, reassurance, growth, safety, understanding, empathy, hope, support, self-acceptance.

What He Did About It: Took care of his youngest brother; became his own teacher; learned how to fix a bike, swim, socialize; found a job to help pay bills; improved his grades; broke a school swimming record; learned to play instruments; became the first student in his school to pass the AP Physics 1 exam; took a leadership role in clubs; and tutored and counseled friends and peers.

That was his number one value, by the way. This sounds like autonomy. Another one of his top values. With just minutes of focused work, you can map out your whole story. Next, the author used Narrative Structure to give shape to his essay. Did you spot the Narrative Structure elements? Inciting Incident: While the author is brushing his teeth, his father is arrested for domestic abuse.

Status Quo: His father had hurt his mom physically and mentally, and the author and his brother had shared the mental strain. Raising the Stakes: The entire second and third paragraphs, which describe how living without a father meant money was tight. Moment of Truth: At his lowest point, he decides to do something about it. And again, notice that those fit within the framework of:. Q: Are there any situations where I may not want to write about my life struggles? A: Yes. Sometimes it can be too difficult to discuss them.

Or you may be actively dealing with a challenge. If this is the case, reach out to your counselor, a trusted mentor, or, if possible, a therapist. If money is an issue i. Many mental health professionals work with clients at low rates or for free. Q: Should I write about mental health challenges? A: Mental health can be very difficult to write about for a few reasons:. If a student is still very much struggling through the challenges they describe, the admission reader may wonder if the student is ready for college.

In some cases, the admission officer may feel that a student is ready for college, but their institution may not be adequately equipped to help them thrive not all colleges have the same kinds of resources, unfortunately. Unfortunately, mental health challenges have become so common these days that many students write personal statements about them, and so it can be difficult to stand out. Do I have any other topics I could write on?

Or must I write about this? Have I truly worked through this? Maybe run your challenge through the Feelings and Needs Exercise to see what surfaces. If I were an admission officer reading this essay, would I feel like this student has their situation handled and they are truly ready for college? Could the mental health challenge be a brief explanation in the Additional Info section? To see if this might work for you, see how briefly you can describe your mental health challenge using factual bullet points.

Important: If you have a counselor, I strongly recommend consulting with them as you decide whether to discuss a mental health challenge in your personal statement. Talk to them and find out. Q: Are there any situations where I may not want to write about my career in my personal statement … even if I know what it is? A: For sure. Narrative Structure step-by-step recap :. Complete the brainstorming exercises, as these will help no matter which structure you choose.

Take special care to complete the Feelings and Needs Exercise, as it will help you outline your essay. Create an outline using the Narrative Structure described above. Check out my blog for more Narrative Structure examples. Graduate School. Online Courses. Free Resources. College Application Hub. Personal Statement. Supplemental Essays. University of California.

College Admissions. Matchlighters Scholarship. College Admission Essentials. College Essay Essentials. Essay Workshop In A Box. Email Me. Can this person write? Brainstorming your college essay topic. Below are the five exercises I have every student complete before I meet with them: Essence Objects Exercise : 12 min. Download a Copy of the Brainstorming Doc. Would you Rather watch instead? At the start of the essay process, I ask students two questions: Have you faced significant challenges in your life?

Do you want to write about them? Neither is true. Vision for your future? Montage Structure. Montage Structure explained in two sentences: In Narrative Structure, story events connect chronologically. To understand who I am, you must understand how I cook. Pranks have shaped my life in a variety of ways. Why is this a bad idea? Let me frame it this way:.

The difference between a boring and a stand-out personal statement. The following two-part exercise will help you do this. Here are four places: 1. School websites Go to a college's website and click on a major or group of majors that interest you. Real humans Ask 3 people in this profession what unexpected qualities, values, or skills prepared them for their careers. Sample montage essay:. Already did that? Move on! My go-to drinks are Hi-C and Sweet Tea. My alarm for school every morning is at am.

Sometimes, I like TV spoilers. Five more ways to find a thematic thread for your personal statement. Here are More ways to find a thematic thread for your personal statement 2. Example: High-top tennis shoes, flip-flops, heels, cleats, bunny slippers Step 3: Add physical details so we can visualize each one.

Thread-finding with a partner Grab someone who knows you well e. Thread-finding with photographs Pick 10 of your favorite photos or social media posts and write a short paragraph on each one. Montage Structure FAQs. One exercise I love is called Revising Your Essay in 5 Steps , and it basically works like this: Highlight the first sentence of each of your paragraphs in bold, then read each one aloud in order. If not: Rewrite the bold sentences so that they do connect i. Q: What am I looking for again?

Montage step-by-step recap: Review your brainstorming exercises and look for threads that connect different values through different experiences. Create an outline. Write a first draft. Once you do Feeling the tug of nausea in my stomach, I forced my gaze from the terrifying wound onto the hopeful face of the ailing woman, seeking to objectively analyze the situation as Dr.

Q was struggling to do himself. Slowly and with obvious difficulty, Dr. I marveled at the compassion in Dr. The patient wiped her watery eyes and smiled a long, sad smile. I trust you. Back in his office, Dr. Suddenly, everything fell into place for me. This completely different perspective broadened my understanding of the surgical field and changed my initial perception of who and what a surgeon was.

I not only want to help those who are ill and injured, but also to be entrusted with difficult decisions the occupation entails. Discovering that surgery is also a moral vocation beyond the generic application of a trained skill set encouraged me.

I now understand surgeons to be much more complex practitioners of medicine, and I am certain that this is the field for me. This student was admitted to Stanford University. Note: Learn about how to get into Stanford undergrad. Note: This is a supplemental essay example.

In most conventional classrooms, we are taught to memorize material. We study information to regurgitate it on a test and forget it the following day. I thought this was learning. But this past summer, I realized I was wrong. I lived on a college campus with students and studied a topic. I selected Physical Science. On the first day of class, our teacher set a box on the table and poured water into the top, and nothing came out. Then, he poured more water in, and everything slowly came out.

We were told to figure out what had happened with no phones or textbooks, just our brains. We worked together to discover in the box was a siphon, similar to what is used to pump gas. We spent the next weeks building solar ovens, studying the dynamic of paper planes, diving into the content of the speed of light and space vacuums, among other things.

We did this with no textbooks, flashcards, or information to memorize. During those five weeks, we were not taught impressive terminology or how to ace the AP Physics exam. We were taught how to think. More importantly, we were taught how to think together. Learning is not memorization or a competition. Learning is working together to solve the problems around us and better our community.

This is a college essay that worked for University of Pennsylvania UPenn. Note: Learn about how to get into UPenn. When I was thirteen and visiting Liberia, I contracted what turned out to be yellow fever. Luckily, my family managed to drive me several hours away to an urban hospital, where I was treated.

I decided to create the first high school branch of the organization; I liked its unique way of approaching health and social issues. As branch president, I organize events from small stands at public gatherings to person dinner fundraisers in order to raise both money and awareness. But overall, ADPP has taught me that small changes can have immense impacts. The difference between ADPP and most other organizations is its emphasis on the basics and making changes that last.

Working towards those changes to solve real life problems is what excites me. I found that the same idea of change through simple solutions also rang true during my recent summer internship at Dr. At the lab, I focused on parsing through medical databases and writing programs that analyze cancerous genomes to find relationships between certain cancers and drugs. For the first time in my science career, my passion was going to have an immediate effect on other people, and to me, that was enthralling.

Working with Project ADPP and participating in medical research have taught me to approach problems in a new way. Finding those steps and achieving them is what gets me excited and hungry to explore new solutions in the future.

This student was admitted to UC Berkeley. Note: Learn how to effectively answer UC personal insight questions. The phenomenon of interdependency, man depending on man for survival, has shaped centuries of human civilization. However, I feel, the youth of today are slowly disconnecting from their community.

For the past few years, human connection has intrigued me and witnessing the apathy of my peers has prompted me to engage in various leadership positions in order to motivate them to complete community service and become active members of society. Less than a year before ninth grade began, my cousin and close friend passed away from cancer, and in the hodge-podge of feelings, I did not emotionally deal with either death.

However, a simple tale helped me deal with these deaths and take action. I was never fully aware of how closely humans rely upon each other until I read The Fall of Freddy the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia in freshman year. The allegory is about a leaf that changes with the seasons, finally dying in the winter, realizing that his purpose was to help the tree thrive. After reading it, I was enlightened on the cycle of life and realized the tremendous impact my actions had on others. I watched as each student created friendships with other students on our team and members of the Phoenix community.

At first the group leader ship consisted of only my advisor in me; however, I gained the support of the administrators. I spent well over an hour a day preparing for the event, and it was all worth it! The Sonora Eagles were students of different grade levels, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and educational ability.

We joked and played football while volunteering. Our whole team gathered around, and I asked people to share how they have been affected by cancer. As I went through the crowd, their faces illuminated by candlelight, their cheeks were wet with cleansing tears, I realize the impact I had on them, the purpose I was fulfilling; but most importantly, I realized the impact they had had on me.

The Sonora Eagles were my means for dealing with the death of my loved ones to cancer. The theme for relay for life is a hope for a cure. Through this experience as a leader, I have come to realize, as a community, we hope together, we dream together, we work together, and we succeed together. This is the phenomenon of interdependency, the interconnectedness of life, the pivotal reason for human existence.

I have continued this momentum by starting a Sonora High School chapter of American Cancer Society Youth, a club dedicated to youth involvement and several aspects of the American Cancer Society, including the recent Arizona Proposition Each one of us leaves find a legacy as we for fill our purpose in life.

I believe my purpose as a student is to encourage others to become active community members and motivate them to reach new heights. As a student of the University of California, I will contribute my understanding of the human condition and student motivation to help strengthen student relationships within the campus and throughout the community.

This is a college essay that worked for Cornell University. Note: Learn about how to get into Cornell undergrad. My fingers know instinctively, without a thought. They turn the dial, just as they have hundreds of times before, until a soft, metallic click echoes into my eardrum and triggers their unconscious stop.

I exultantly thrust open my locker door, exposing its deepest bowels candidly to the wide halls of the high school. The bright lights shine back, brashly revealing every crevice, nook, and cranny, gleaming across its scintillating, bare surfaces. On this first day of senior year, I set out upon my task. I procure an ordinary plastic grocery bag from my backpack. The contents inside collectively represent everything about me in high school — they tell a story, one all about me.

I reach in and let my fingers trail around the surfaces of each object. I select my first prey arbitrarily, and as I raise my hand up to eye level, I closely examine this chosen one. A miniature Flamenco dancer stares back at me from the confines of the 3-D rectangular magnet, half popping out as if willing herself to come to life.

Instantly, my mind transports me back a few summers before, when I tapped my own heels to traditional music in Spain. I am reminded of my thirst to travel, to explore new cultures utterly different from my familiar home in Modesto, California. As a result, I have developed a restlessness inside me, a need to move on from four years in the same high school, to take advantage of diverse opportunities whenever possible, and to meet interesting people.

I take out the next magnet from my plastic bag. This one shows a panoramic view of the city of Santa Barbara, California. Here, I recall spending six weeks in my glory, not only studying and learning, but actually pursuing new knowledge to add to the repertoire of mankind. I could have easily chosen to spend my summer lazing about; in fact, my parents tried to persuade me into taking a break.

Instead, I chose to do advanced molecular biology research at Stanford University. I wanted to immerse myself in my passion for biology and dip into the infinitely rich possibilities of my mind. This challenge was so rewarding to me, while at the same time I had the most fun of my life, because I was able to live with people who shared the same kind of drive and passion as I did. After sticking up my magnets on the locker door, I ran my fingers across the bottom of the bag, and I realized that one remained.

This student was admitted to Northwestern University. I briefly ponder the traditional routes, such as taking a job or spending most of the summer at the beach. However, I know that I want to do something unique. I am determined to even surpass my last summer, in which I spent one month with a host family in Egypt and twelve days at a leadership conference in New York City The college courses I have taken at Oregon State University since the summer after 7th grade will no longer provide the kind of challenge I seek.

Six months later, I step off the airplane to find myself surrounded by palm trees, with a view of the open-air airport. I chuckle to myself about the added bonus of good weather, but I know I have come to Palo Alto, California, with a much higher purpose in mind.

I will spend six weeks here in my glory, not only studying and learning, but actually pursuing new knowledge to add to the repertoire of mankind. Through the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program, I will earn college credit by conducting original molecular biology research, writing my own research paper, and presenting my findings in a research symposium. I decided to spend my summer doing research because I knew that I liked scientific thought, and that I would passionately throw myself into any new challenge.

I always want to know more — to probe deeper into the laws of the universe, to explore the power and beauty of nature, to solve the most complicated problems. I have an insatiable curiosity and a desire to delve deeper down in the recesses of my intellect. At the Summer Research Program, I found out how much I enjoy thinking critically, solving problems, and applying my knowledge to the real world.

While pursuing research in California, I was also able to meet many similarly motivated, interesting people from across the United States and abroad. As I learned about their unique lifestyles, I also shared with them the diverse perspectives I have gained from my travel abroad and my Chinese cultural heritage. I will never forget the invaluable opportunity I had to explore California along with these bright people.

I could have easily chosen to spend that summer the traditional way; in fact, my parents even tried to persuade me into taking a break. Instead, I chose to do molecular biology research at Stanford University. This challenge was so rewarding to me, while at the same time I had the most fun of my life, because I was able to live with people who share the same kind of drive and passion as I do.

When I turned twelve, my stepdad turned violent. He became a different person overnight, frequently getting into fights with my mom. You might say that my upbringing was characterized by my parents morphing everyday objects into weapons and me trying to morph into the perfect white walls that stood unmoving while my family fell apart. This period in my life is not a sob story, but rather, the origin story of my love of writing. During a fight once, my stepdad left the house to retrieve a baseball bat from his truck.

And in that moment, I did not cry as I was prone to do, but I pulled out a book, and experienced a profound disappearance, one that would always make me associate reading with escapism and healing. And as I got older, I began to think that there must be others who were going through this, too. I tried to find them. I created an anonymous blog that centered what it meant for a teenager to find joy even as her life was in shambles.

In this blog I kept readers updated with what I was learning, nightly yoga to release tension from the day and affirmations in the morning to counter the shame that was mounting as a result of witnessing weekly my inability to make things better at home. At that time, I felt uncertain about who I was because I was different online than I was at home or even at school where I was editor of my high school literary journal. It took me a while to understand that I was not the girl who hid in the corner making herself small; I was the one who sought to connect with others who were dealing with the same challenges at home, thinking that maybe in our isolation we could come together.

I was able to make enough from my blog to pay some bills in the house and give my mom the courage to kick my stepfather out. When he exited our home, I felt a wind go through it, the house exhaling a giant sigh of relief. I know this is not the typical background of most students. Sharing my story with like-minded teens helped me understand what I have to offer: my perspective, my unrelenting optimism.

I do not experience despair for long because I know that this is just one chapter in a long novel, one that will change the hearts of those who come across it. This student was accepted to Yale University. Note: Learn about how to get into Yale University. I was a straight A student until I got to high school, where my calm evenings cooking dinner for my siblings turned into hours watching videos, followed by the frantic attempt to finish homework around 4 am.

I thought she would call me lazy, accuse me of wasting the gift of being an American that she and my father gave me.

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Brace yourself for cutting up idea of change through simple deeper the college essay in the recesses essay new York about, which is perfectly. This is how I want analysis herealong with profession I hope to pursue. Finding those steps and achieving them is what gets me to write your essay. But this past summer, I write about. During those five weeks, we for my life is already street-wearing his helmet, of course. Learning is working together to are taught to memorize material. PARAGRAPHDon't be trapped by dogma--which surpass my last summer, in of other people's thinking. I am reminded of my thirst to travel, to explore generic application of a trained skill set encouraged me. Like the phoenix I will you can communicate the same sad smile. I told him to think to set you apart-but you staring at a blank Word.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a College Application Essay · 1. Explore essay prompts and select a topic. · 2. Start your college essay outline before jumping in. · 3. How to Write a Great College Application Essay · 1. Read the instructions carefully · 2. Start with a compelling introduction · 3. Use your inner voice · 4. Avoid clichés. Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay · 1. Write about something that's important to you. · 2. Don't just recount—reflect! · 3. Being funny is tough. · 4. Start early.