Williams Educational enjoys helping students engage in the process of finding their essay topics through conversations and hands-on activities. However, before any student can begin choosing a topic, and after completing their resume, one must understand the college essay rules and why college applications have an essay prompt.
The essay or personal statement is the student's voice, the thumbprint of their application. The reader can see the student actively in thought and engaged. For the essay to be powerful, the student must take ownership. Therefore, it must be written in the student's voice and show their writing abilities. Our students have support in finding their writing topic and understand that writing is a process. We guide students on the following important questions when choosing a topic:
Will it capture the reader's interest or attention?
Is it a predictable topic?
Does vulnerability exist in the subject?
Will the student be able to structure the essay correctly?
Can the student show the reader descriptive examples?
Is the story telling the reader about a passion or value?
Does the writer's topic offer the main components of a quality essay?
To write a compelling essay, one must understand what makes a good essay. Williams Educational helps students think about when they read a persuasive essay or hear a great story by thinking of vivid details, timing, and the author's rhythm. We often discuss whom the student knows, who tells memorable stories, and those who could do better at storytelling. Whom do you know that conveys a story well?
What makes the storytelling so powerful?
We also discuss childhood books and favorites recently read in high school. There are many great opportunities to learn and grow through the college essay process, and we enjoy connecting and teaching our clients.
Of course, a critical key to writing a personal statement is to discuss the student's values, innate preferences, passions, and interests. Therefore, the series of testing we provide to students helps us identify multiple ideas and topics and help the student focus on critical values to plug in their statements.
Remember, colleges request this section of the application because they want to know the following things about the student:
Who are you?
What will you contribute to the community?
Can you write?
Do you follow instructions?
The first two questions above are difficult to answer, which is why it is great to work with students to define their objectives and develop their elevator pitch in the form of a personal statement that offers a voice to their application. Although this sounds like a monumental task, some of the best essays I have ever read were about simple objects, like a Hawaiian shirt, a goldfish, pop-tarts, and more.
These essays do not have to be deep and invasive, just persuasive.
In my next blog, I will give tips on different activities that can help you choose your topic!