It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. Admissions officers want to feel connected to you and an honest, personal statement about who you are draws them in. Your love of superheroes, baking chops, or family history are all fair game if you can tie it back to who you are or what you believe in. Prompt 2: Learning from obstacles. You're trying to show colleges your best self, so it might seem counterintuitive to willingly acknowledge a time you struggled.
But overcoming challenges demonstrates courage, grit, and perseverance! The obstacle you write about can be large or small, but you must show the admissions committee how your perspective changed as a result. Prompt 3: Challenging a belief. Your answer to this question could focus on a time you stood up to others or an experience when your own preconceived view was challenged.
Choose this prompt if you have a relevant—and specific! Prompt 4: Solving a problem. This essay is designed to get at the heart of how you think and what makes you tick. Present a situation or quandary and show steps toward the solution.
Admissions officers want insight into your thought process and the issues you grapple with, so explain how you became aware of the dilemma and how you tackled solving it.
Prompt 5: Personal growth. Describe the event or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed. Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth.
Prompt 6: What captivates you? This prompt is an invitation to write about something you care about. So avoid the pitfall of writing about what you think will impress the admission office versus what truly matters to you. Colleges are looking for curious students, who are thoughtful about the world around them. Get straight to the point. Write the introduction, or thesis statement, in one or two sentences that use around 25 words.
This will state the topic of the essay and the argument that the essay will prove in the remaining words. In longer essays, there is scope to include more than one point of view or take into account and compare or discuss differing arguments on the same subject. In a word essay, there is little scope to expand.
Choose just one viewpoint, argument or opinion to write as the introduction. Write the body of the essay. Use short sentences that stick to the point without elaboration. Include an example that illustrates the thesis statement. One or two well-chosen examples are sufficient in a word essay. For the body, write either two or three paragraphs, allowing a total word count of no more than words. My frantic actions heightened my senses, mobilized my spirit.
Cupping the bird, I ran outside, hoping the cool air outdoors would suture every wound, cause the bird to miraculously fly away. Yet there lay the bird in my hands, still gasping, still dying.
Bird, human, human, bird. What was the difference? Both were the same. But couldn't I do something? Hold the bird longer, de-claw the cat? I wanted to go to my bedroom, confine myself to tears, replay my memories, never come out. The bird's warmth faded away. Its heartbeat slowed along with its breath. For a long time, I stared thoughtlessly at it, so still in my hands.
Slowly, I dug a small hole in the black earth. As it disappeared under handfuls of dirt, my own heart grew stronger, my own breath more steady. Kari has passed. But you are alive. I am alive. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me. Luckily, it was a BB gun. But to this day, my older brother Jonathan does not know who shot him.
And I have finally promised myself to confess this eleven year old secret to him after I write this essay. The truth is, I was always jealous of my brother. Our grandparents, with whom we lived as children in Daegu, a rural city in South Korea, showered my brother with endless accolades: he was bright, athletic, and charismatic. To me, Jon was just cocky.
Deep down I knew I had to get the chip off my shoulder. That is, until March 11th, Once we situated ourselves, our captain blew the pinkie whistle and the war began. My friend Min-young and I hid behind a willow tree, eagerly awaiting our orders. To tip the tide of the war, I had to kill their captain.
We infiltrated the enemy lines, narrowly dodging each attack. I quickly pulled my clueless friend back into the bush. Hearing us, the alarmed captain turned around: It was my brother.
Startled, the Captain and his generals abandoned their post. Vengeance replaced my wish for heroism and I took off after the fleeing perpetrator. My eyes just gazed at the fleeing object; what should I do?
I looked on as my shivering hand reached for the canister of BBs. The next second, I heard two shots followed by a cry. I opened my eyes just enough to see two village men carrying my brother away from the warning sign.
My brother and I did not talk about the incident. That night when my brother was gone I went to a local store and bought a piece of chocolate taffy, his favorite. Then, other things began to change. I even ate fishcakes, which he loved but I hated. Today, my brother is one of my closest friends.
Every week I accompany him to Carlson Hospital where he receives treatment for his obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. And Grace, my fears relieved Twenty minutes have passed when the door abruptly opens. I look up and I smile too. Bowing down to the porcelain god, I emptied the contents of my stomach. Foaming at the mouth, I was ready to pass out. Ten minutes prior, I had been eating dinner with my family at a Chinese restaurant, drinking chicken-feet soup.
My mom had specifically asked the waitress if there were peanuts in it, because when I was two we found out that I am deathly allergic to them.
When the waitress replied no, I went for it. Suddenly I started scratching my neck, feeling the hives that had started to form. I rushed to the restroom to throw up because my throat was itchy and I felt a weight on my chest. I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths. I was fighting the one thing that is meant to protect me and keep me alive — my own body. All I knew was that I felt sick, and I was waiting for my mom to give me something to make it better.
I thought my parents were superheroes; surely they would be able to make well again. But I became scared when I heard the fear in their voices as they rushed me to the ER. After that incident, I began to fear.
I became scared of death, eating, and even my own body. Ultimately, that fear turned into resentment; I resented my body for making me an outsider.
We realize this writer has been carefully constructing this piece all along; we see the underlying structure.