Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability.
Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: The humor also feels relaxed. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant. There's been an oil spill! This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays.
Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. Stephen's first example breaking into the van in Laredo is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation.
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We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. I have always loved riding in cars. After a long day in first grade, I used to fall asleep to the engine purring in my mother's Honda Odyssey, even though it was only a 5-minute drive home. As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to look out the window.
Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it. In elementary school, I already knew my career path: I was going to be Emperor of the World. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire. I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time.
The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in.
It made perfect sense! All the people that didn't have a job could be Fixer-Uppers. I was like a ten-year-old FDR. Seven years down the road, I still take a second glance at the sidewalk cracks and think of my Fixer-Uppers, but now I'm doing so from the driver's seat. As much as I would enjoy it, I now accept that I won't become Emperor of the World, and that the Fixer-Uppers will have to remain in my car ride imaginings.
I always pictured a Fixer-Upper as a smiling man in an orange T-Shirt. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles. Maybe it could be me. Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees.
I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students. To be honest, I was really nervous. I hadn't had too much interaction with special needs students before, and wasn't sure how to handle myself around them.
Long story short, I got hooked. Three years have passed helping out in APE and eventually becoming a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program. I love working with the students and watching them progress. When senior year arrived, college meetings began, and my counselor asked me what I wanted to do for a career, I didn't say Emperor of the World.
Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities. Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. He laughed and told me that it was a nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what she wanted to do.
I smiled, thanked him, and left. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper. I'll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. Instead of flying like Sue, though, I'll opt for a nice performance automobile. My childhood self would appreciate that.
Bridget takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of her essay. The essay is arranged chronologically. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time:. I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. Ask your parents to explain the back row to you.
This essay uses many techniques that make Bridget sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know her. The second technique is the way Bridget coins her own terms, carrying them through the whole essay. It would be easy enough to simply describe the people she imagined in childhood as helpers or assistants, and to simply say that as a child she wanted to rule the world. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure.
Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Bridget emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences. The last key moment that gets the small-sentence treatment is the emotional crux of the essay. As we watch Bridget go from nervously trying to help disabled students to falling in love with this specialty field, she undercuts the potential sappiness of the moment by relying on changed-up sentence length and slang: The best essays convey emotions just as clearly as this image.
Explain the car connection better. The essay begins and ends with Bridget's enjoying a car ride, but this doesn't seem to be related either to the Fixer-Upper idea or to her passion for working with special-needs students.
It would be great to either connect this into the essay more, or to take it out altogether and create more space for something else. It makes perfect sense that Bridget doesn't want to put her students on display. It would take the focus off of her and possibly read as offensive or condescending. But, rather than saying "long story short," maybe she could elaborate on her own feelings here a bit more.
What is it about this kind of teaching that she loves? What is she hoping to bring to the lives of her future clients? How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.
Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it. Does it help you really get to know the writer?
Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.
When you figure out how all the cogs fit together, you'll be able to build your own All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic did you survive a plane crash?
Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world. Let me level with you: And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written.
What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it! Interested in learning more about college essays? Working on the rest of your application? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:.
Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia.
She is passionate about improving student access to higher education. You should definitely follow us on social media. Present your argument in detail. This is the main part of the essay, consisting of several paragraphs in which you present the major arguments and evidence in support of your thesis.
Support each statement with examples, evidence, and an analysis. In order to make your argument convincing, you must provide concrete evidence and an analysis of the evidence. In each body paragraph, include a topic sentence which is the main idea , evidence that supports the topic sentence, and an analysis of the evidence that links back to the thesis of the essay and the topic sentence of the paragraph.
Before you present the main body of your essay, you will need to provide a little background on the topic. It is often easiest to write the introduction after you have already drafted the rest of your essay. Your introduction should also include a clear summary of the main point of your essay, and a breakdown of how you plan to approach the topic. The poem was eventually republished in a compilation edited by D. Your essay should not feel choppy and disjointed. Look for ways to segue from one paragraph to another in a smooth, logical way.
You might accomplish this by starting each paragraph with a brief sentence that connects it with the topic of the previous one or ending each paragraph with a sentence that links it to the next. Cite your sources clearly and correctly. Follow the rules of the citation style that you are using to determine how to format each citation e. Instead, every line of the quote should be indented from the left-hand side.
If you come across any convincing counterarguments to your thesis, acknowledge them in your essay. If you can, provide evidence to refute these counterarguments. Addressing alternative interpretations of the evidence will show that you have researched your topic thoroughly and allow you to present your case in a fair and balanced manner.
Convincingly rebutting the major counterarguments will make your own argument more compelling to your readers. Write a concluding paragraph. Once you have presented your arguments and evidence, tie everything together with a concise summary. State, in a clear and confident way, why you think that your argument successfully supports your thesis, and summarize a few of the key points or discoveries that you made. If you have any final thoughts, such as ideas for further research on the topic or questions that still need to be answered, this is the place to state them.
Use a few sentences to reflect on the significance of your argument, and how it might affect future studies of this topic. Your bibliography should contain a list of every source that you made reference to in the paper, however briefly.
While the format of the bibliography will vary depending on the citation style you are using, each citation should include at minimum: The name of the author. The title of the work.
The name of the publisher, and usually the place of publication. The date of the publication. If you can, sleep on it and come back to it the next day, so that you can look at it with a fresh perspective.
Read over your draft. As you read, look for any obvious issues with style, flow, and organization. If it helps, read the essay out loud to yourself. Make note of anything that jumps out at you as needing improvement.
As you read, keep the following questions in mind: Are there any words or sentences that you could cut out? Is your writing clear? Does everything make sense? Is the essay well-organized? Is there anything that would flow better if it was arranged in a different order? Do you need to make the transitions between sections flow more smoothly? Check the language and tone of your essay. As you read over your essay, consider whether the language you use is appropriate for academic writing.
Keep your language and tone formal and objective. Proofreading is the nitty-gritty task of catching and correcting issues like formatting problems, typos, spelling errors, punctuation errors, and grammar mistakes. Read your essay slowly, line by line, and correct any problems that you see. Have someone else check your work.
When it comes to revising your writing, two sets of eyes are definitely better than one. If you can, have a friend or classmate read over your essay before you finalize it and hand it in.
They may catch errors that you missed, or point out passages that need to be clarified or reworded. Sample Essays Essay Template. Can my thesis statement be in the form of: This might be part of your thesis statement. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Can I use first person pronouns when I write an academic essay assignment? Never use the first person in an academic essay when you are trying to get a point across. Use terms like "it can be argued" or "in contrast to this point" instead. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Typically, in-line citations are used like this: Last Name, Year , so that the reader can go to your reference list and easily find the work you're referencing.
Not Helpful 8 Helpful Yes, after your 1st paragraph and thesis statement, you may use a new subtopic in each new paragraph. Make sure your information is tied together well.
Not Helpful 5 Helpful Writing a good introduction is like an art. However, the best way to write a proper introduction is beginning with general information about the topic 1 or 2 sentences , defining some of the important terms or subject matter 1 or two sentences , narrowing down to your topic 1 or 2 sentences and finally writing the purpose statement or the thesis statement.
Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Can I use my experience as an example when writing an academic essay? It depends on the type of essay. In many essays, you can. You can always ask your teacher if you're not sure. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 2. Why is it necessary to write an academic essay to persuade the readers about a person's ideas using evidence? The ability to write a good persuasive essay can show a lot about the person and their abilities. It demonstrates their reasoning skills, ability to read and understand a text or analyze data, etc.
These essays also often require the writer to make connections across various texts and link different ideas together.
This will vary depending on the topic of your essay and the field of study in which you are writing. In general, it is best to use peer-reviewed works, such as academic books or journal articles. How to write a thesis sentence on advertising?
Answer this question Flag as Compare and contrast academic essay writing and report writing? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write an academic essay, start by coming up with a sentence thesis statement that will be the main topic or argument in your essay. Did this summary help you? Some instructors may actually deduct points for attempts to make the paper look longer.
Slang, colloquialisms, and chatty language are not appropriate for an academic paper. Unless you are good at writing quick papers under stress, give yourself plenty of uninterrupted time to complete your assignment.
Warnings Do not plagiarize. If you use the words or ideas of others and don't indicate where they came from, you're misleading your readers.
In this article, I’ll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of + actual sample college essays from 13 different schools. Finally, I’ll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work.
Writing in College: A Short Guide to College Writing by Joseph M. Williams and Lawrence McEnerney (Univ. of Chicago): This valuable and concise guide for students making the transition from high school to college writing discusses crafting an argument, making a .
We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. Essay Structure Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader.
College writing, also called academic writing, is assigned to teach you the critical thinking and writing skills needed to communicate in courses and in the workplace. To acquire and practice these skills, you are asked to write many different types of assignments under different circumstances. Types of Academic Essays Most essays written in an academic setting fall into one of four categories, or modes: exposition, narration, description, and persuasion.