Your essay is going to change so much in the interim between your first draft and final revision.We promise that by the end, it will communicate everything you want it to.
This is understandable, since once you become embroiled in writing a 650-word incisive description of yourself, details can fall to the wayside.
That said, it’s extremely important to remember the first sentence of Prompt #2: “The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success.”This lesson is stated in no uncertain terms.
These don’t need to sound good, nor do they need to be in full sentences, nor do they even need to be chronological. Let’s pretend you were in a meeting with one of our essay specialists.
The point here is to simply get yourself thinking—save the nuances of language and niceties of commas for steps 4 and 5. The first thing we’d do is start you thinking about the various levels of failure and achievement you have experienced and/or achieved in your life.
Brainstorming is a great way to ease into starting an essay, because it can be as casual as you want.
Sit down with a fresh notepad (or new Word document) and start jotting down some notes.Ultimately, you should try to choose to write about a failure based more on the lessons you learned from it than the failure itself. The second is harder to discuss because you’re ashamed about it: you weren’t there for a friend when they needed you, and consequently, you ruined a friendship.As you are deciding which failure to discuss, look for overlap in your notes.If you are choosing between telling two stories—one recounting how you learned to be responsible and the other recounts that Once you’ve decided on the failure you want to talk about, create an outline that includes three parts: 1) an introduction that sets up a tension or problem you need to solve (likely, the failure you will be discussing), 2) a climax (perhaps the moment when you learned from your failure or its ramifications affected you), and 3) a conclusion (this can be an insight that you are able to have in hindsight or a connection to some larger theme in your life). Try to get down your whole story, start to finish, replete with details about the failure and what you learned from it.To execute this step correctly, you have to really commit. When you feel stumped or lost, return to the prompt. At least 24 hours after completing Step 3, Phase 4 can officially begin.If you think of yourself as someone who is particularly reflective or able to derive lessons from various life experiences, this is certainly a prompt you would be good at writing.Before we go any further, we need to address some common pitfalls you should avoid while brainstorming.Of course, if there is a particular story about yourself that you wish to share that involves what you consider to be a major, life-defining failure that you think has played an important part in forming you as you are today, this is the perfect opportunity to talk about it.In such a scenario, the prompt becomes similar in nature to the first personal essay prompt on the Common App. Like we said, the lines differentiating all of the personal essay prompts from each other blur a bit.If making mistakes is part of the journey to ultimate success, it is perfectly reasonable for you to still be in the process of reaching your goal, and speak about the process you’ve made towards your goal instead of a final result.The first step to writing any good personal essay is to put some serious thought into what you will write, and the best way to do this is to force yourself to come up with a handful of possible essay topics.