Purpose: Showcase yourself effectively in a scholarship or university application essay
(If you are not applying for a scholarship or a university in the future, this essay will help you with future cover letters and job interviews.)
Audience: A scholarship or university admissions committee
Write a short essay (550-650 words – no longer) that follows this prompt:
Discuss a creative work that has inspired you and explain one specific way it has inspired you.
Detailed Instructions for Essay Parts:
- Catch the reader’s attention with a creative, relevant phrase.
- Avoid creating a boring or too-general title (for instance, “Communication”) or using the blog entry title as your title.
- Consider writing your title last (I always do this).
Short introduction paragraph (no more than 10 lines)
- Begin with an attention-getting “hook” (not a question). If you have a hard time getting started, I recommend writing your introduction and conclusion paragraphs after writing your body paragraphs.
- In one or two sentences, state your essay’s main idea (thesis) that fits the above prompt.
Body paragraphs (at least 2 paragraphs)
- You might consider having two body paragraphs: one paragraph that describes the work that inspires you and one that explains the specific way it inspired you. You don’t have to follow this suggestion, though.
- Keep in mind that if you are truly inspired by something, it affects your actions, not just your thoughts or feelings. Explain how the creative work has affected how you behave.
- Each paragraph should be unified (focus on supporting a main idea). Using topic sentences can help you create unity. A topic sentence states the main idea you will develop and support throughout the paragraph.
- Be very specific and use vivid description. Vivid, specific writing makes your essay enjoyable and memorable.
Conclusion paragraph (no more than 8 lines)
- Your conclusion may be short, but have more than one sentence.
- Provide closure for your discussion without simply restating your thesis statement.
Note: Avoid using research in this essay.
Tips and Reminders:
- Essays that contain evidence of plagiarism or collusion will earn a “0” without the possibility of rewriting as stated in the syllabus.
- Study the sample essay provided to see how a student writer wrote an excellent essay that follows these instructions. Don’t copy ideas or wording from the sample essay, though.
- Use the Detailed Instructions above as a checklist.
- Use the format specified in the syllabus (-5 points on essay grade for not following it).
- You may use “I” in this essay when needed, but avoid using “In my opinion …”
- Don’t pad your essay with “filler” to make the word count. Only strong content raises your grade.
- Begin working on this assignment right after we talk about it in class.
- Use the My Writing Lab tutors (and in-person Brookhaven tutors if you like).
- Use the free Grammarly program if you want to install it on your own computer.
- I will grade this essay with an adapted version of the general grading rubric. This rubric will be available to you on eCampus before you turn in your final version.