Whether it's for a scholarship, a college application or an English assignment, you may be asked to write an essay on your goals and aspirations. You can choose to write about a long-term, short-term, academic or professional goal. Whatever aspiration you select for the essay, you must explain your motivations and your game plan to realize it.
Brainstorming helps you to narrow the topic to a single aspiration, which helps focus your essay. In the brainstorming stage, you can think about your childhood, your role models, your strengths, your weaknesses and your future plans in order to decide on the main idea of the essay. The University of Arizona suggests that you select "a topic that describes something of personal importance in your life, with which you can use vivid personal experiences as supporting details." Once you have selected the topic, compose a single thesis statement that clearly expresses the aspiration you will be discussing.
Discuss the Background
A crucial aspect of this type of essay is to show the reader specifically why you want to reach this goal. Ask yourself what led to this becoming your aspiration. Consider whether your aspiration was influenced by a role model, a previous success, a personal hardship or external expectations. Show the reader why this is your aspiration, and how your strengths and weaknesses play into your goal. Remember that discussing weaknesses can help you show growth and progress, but you should ultimately showcase your strengths, especially when completing essays for work or higher education.
Highlight Your Plan
An important aspect of an essay on your aspirations should include a plan for how to get there. Show the reader what you have done so far to attain this goal, and what steps you still need to take. Break the larger goal into smaller, more easily attainable steps to show that you have formulated an organized map toward its completion. For example, if you aspire to play with the L.A. Philharmonic, you can break down this larger goal into smaller parts that include practicing a certain number of hours every day on your instrument, studying with more advanced musicians and attending concerts. It is also important to show what steps you have already taken to achieve the goal. For example, you can say that you have already attended a music camp for classical players.
Take the analysis of your aspirations further by examining what this goal says about you as a person: your values, your strengths, your weaknesses, your work ethic and your priorities. Also, it can be helpful to conclude by explaining how the attainment of this goal will impact others and what other aspirations will follow when this one has been realized. This part of the analysis pushes you to reflect more broadly on the topic, thereby developing your essay more and giving it a sense of cohesion and completeness.