One of the most popular topics for the college application essay is “My grandmother.”  If you are planning to write an essay about your grandmother, you have a challenge ahead of you.

How will you make your essay stand out amongst all the other grandmother essays?

How will you make the admissions committee remember your essay and not just yawn over it?

Here are some essential tips to write a college application essay about grandma:

1.       Focus on you, not on your grandmother.   When you wrote your first grade school essay about grandma, it was all about grandma.  Now it’s gotta be all about you. Write about your experience, your thoughts, and your opinions as they relate to your grandmother.

2.       If you find you have written more than one sentence in a row that is all about your grandmother instead of about you, add the word “I” or “me” to at least one of the sentences!

3.       Use very specific examples of conversations you had with your grandmother.  That way you can’t possibly write the same essay someone else has written.

4.       Know your starting point and ending point, and show growth.

Perhaps your grandma used to give you help and advice, and now that you are older you have become her advisor.  Perhaps you used to judge certain things as negative that you now see as positive.  Or maybe you didn’t understand something as a young child that you now understand.

Any growth or changes of perspective are great to write about.

5.       Keep it real.  Although a certain amount of description is necessary, if you get overly flowery with your language you’ll lose the reader’s attention.

6.       Consider writing about an object or activity that is related to your grandmother, but isn’t directly your grandmother.

For instance, let’s say your grandma was a gardener.  You could write about an aspect of gardening as your theme, so your grandmother would be part of the essay but not the sole focus.  Grandma may have taught you about gardening and you may have used some of those lessons in other parts of your life.  Your essay would then be about gardening as a metaphor.

7.       Want to write about grandpa instead?  He’s less popular but the same principles apply.

For examples of successful college essays, The Essay Expert recommends Accepted!  50 Successful College Admissions Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe.

Still not sure how to write a great college application essay about your grandma (or grandpa)?  Contact The Essay Expert for a FREE 15 minute consultation.

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