You are faced with the following college essay prompt: “Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.” This article show you how to approach this prompt and draft a stand-out admissions essay.
This prompt can be a bit of a trap for the unwary. It seems to invite the applicant to write about any of the hot topic issues of our time – war, environmental degradation, immigration, etc. But remember that the purpose of the admissions essay is not dependent on the essay prompt. That purpose is: convey a personal message to the admissions committee. Therefore choose a topic that is personal to you in the sense that it has impacted your life directly. You can always connect your chosen topic to a larger “issue” for purposes of addressing the essay prompt.
Imagine that you are an admissions officer tasked with reading several thousand admissions essays. Now take a look at the following opening paragraphs. Which one is more compelling?
See the difference? The first paragraph is generic and conveys very little about the author, while the second paragraph tells the reader about one of the most important events in the author’s life (and sets up the structure for the rest of the essay).
Don’t worry if you haven’t moved here from South America. You don’t have to have had that sort of experience to write a great college essay. Just keep in mind that your job is to convey something personal and write from the heart.
When you are done, be sure to have your essay edited by someone you trust or by an admissions essay editing service.