Kim Lifton is president of . You can read Kim’s blogs and get useful writing tips by signing up for . Wow is also on and. Check their to sign up for webinars and workshops on college admissions essays. Remember this: The college essay subject is YOU; the topic is secondary.
You’ll find all sorts of advice online about writing admissions essays; much of it inaccurate or confusing. As you near the end of your college application process and put the finishing touches on your essays, be careful whose advice you follow, and make sure you know your sources.
Every year, Wow Writing Workshop’s college application essay experts review many stories just like this one. We send these stories back to our students with tips to help them answer the question, and also stand out in the crowd.
Although we are no longer accepting new essays on our website, we thought we would share these essay writing suggestions in case you wished to write an essay for your own benefit. Writing your own statement of personal belief can be a powerful tool for self-reflection. It can also be a wonderful thing to share with family, friends, and colleagues. To guide you through this process, we offer these suggestions:
The B block, or second half of your essay, should refer to the A block, or first half, and make clear points of comparison whenever comparisons are relevant.
Be personal: Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Tell a story from your own life; this is not an opinion piece about social ideals. Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.
Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief.
For example, a comparative essay using the block method on the French and Russian revolutions would address the French Revolution in the first half of the essay and the Russian Revolution in the second half.
For this project, we are also guided by the original This I Believe series and the to those who wrote essays in the 1950s. Their advice holds up well. Please consider it carefully in writing your piece.