Everybody has done something about which they are proud, whether it be winning a competition, sacrificing their time to help others, or achieving a personal goal. A common essay prompt asks students to write a personal story, show what actions they took to realize their accomplishment and consider how the experience helped their personal growth.
Pick a Single Accomplishment
Select an accomplishment that is meaningful to you to make the essay interesting. Write passionately and reflectively about a single experience that holds personal value. Craft a clearly written thesis statement in the introduction of the essay. Foothill College suggests that you "don't wander off your topic. Make a clear point. Edit out sentences that don't support your thesis about yourself." Picking a single accomplishment and stating it clearly from the start gives your essay focus and direction.
Show your reader specifically how you had to earn the accomplishment, including the challenges you had to overcome. You can write about hardships, doubts and failures over which you had to prevail. This gives you an opportunity to communicate your strengths -- such as determination, willingness to work hard, resilience and optimism -- which can improve your overall essay, particularly in the case of scholarship and college applications.
Give specific details throughout your essay. For example, if you are writing about how winning the bowling championship helped your relationship with your brother, explain precisely how it caused this change and in what ways your relationship improved. Avoid clichés and overly general adjectives such as "good" and "bad," and show the reader what specifically those words and feelings mean to you. The more details you provide in terms of content and language, the more unique and personalized your essay will be.
Reflect and Analyze
The essay should provide thorough reflection and analysis of your accomplishment. Through contemplation and assessment, show the reader why you are proud of the accomplishment, how it changed you, how it affected others, how it affects your plans and how it added value to a relationship, community, organization or field. Analysis and explanation are crucial in an accomplishments essay. These elements help prevent your work from becoming just a summary of an experience.
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