When it comes to the college application, it’s fine and dandy to write a college essay when you actually like to write. But how do you create a stunning essay when you hate writing? The answer is far more simple than you might think. A big problem with writing is that you’re thinking of the end product and aren’t sure where to start. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you feel that you need to go from zero to success in one step. But by breaking it down into manageable steps, you’ll find that you can easily craft a strong personal essay with little to no stress. With that said, let’s take a look at the process.
The key to not only surviving but thriving in the writing process is your outline. Whether you have a technical mindset or are simply daunted by essays, creating an outline will give you the opportunity to think about what you want to write, and it provides the structure needed to give you peace of mind. When you’ve outlined your thoughts, you’ll be able to see the general gist of the article, and that will remove some of the ‘unknown’ factors that make writing such a challenge for some. Now, you may think that outlines are for research papers, and it doesn’t seem like it would be super helpful in writing a personal story, but you are mistaken. Even though it is a subjective paper, there is still a purpose to this essay. Your end goal is to highlight your personality, mindset, and virtues to make yourself an appealing pick for your top choice colleges. Therefore, an outline is imperative in ensuring you stay on track and present the story in such a way that it maximizes your efforts.
With all this talk about the importance of outlines, you may be wanting to ask; how do I write an outline? A simple answer would be that you need an Introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. But I believe that seeing an example is the best way to understand the recipe. Below is the basic structure to start with:
Now if you want a more detailed guide in developing your personal narrative outline, have no fear. GrabmyEssay and Edusson.com are two excellent resources that walk you through the entire process. Follow these steps and you will have a killer outline to work with!
Another factor to keep in mind is that you don’t have to start with your introductory paragraph. It’s important to have a strong introduction, and therefore people tend to get stuck trying to form a compelling and masterful beginning. Instead, just jump into the meat of the story. When you have the body more or less figured out, you can pull a few key pieces to use in your introduction and finish building it out from there. This will not only help you make progress on your essay, but it will make the process of creating a strong introduction much easier.
Also, there is no hard and fast rule that states you have to write the essay in one go. A good way to make progress without wanting to throw your laptop across the room is to set a goal of writing a paragraph a day. Because you’ll be following the direction of your outline, you won’t be worried about rambling or going off track. Yet the goal isn’t unbearably large and therefore won’t require hours of your time. Also, because you will be seeing daily progress, you’ll find it more motivating to continue instead of trying to carve it out in one go and then not wanting to touch it till the last minute because it’s a source of aggravation and stress. By writing a paragraph a day, it also gives you time to formulate your thoughts, tweak your outline, and edit as you go. Lastly, get help. Ask a friend who’s strength lies in English to look over your rough draft and suggest a few ways to tighten it up. This method will set you up for success.
These may seem like small tips, but trust me, they make all the difference! They are helpful if you enjoy writing, but are a lifeline if it’s not your forte. By creating an outline, starting with the body of the article, and breaking it down into manageable paragraph goals a day, you’ll find that not only your essay will come together naturally, but you just might enjoy the process along the way.