How can you write an essay about a character from a novel, play or movie without ending up with a book report instead of a college application essay? Follow these guidelines and you will demonstrate your ability to think critically about literature, film or theater, as well as about yourself.
1. Choose a character who truly inspired you, repulsed you, or otherwise moved you. Demonstrate that you know the character well. Re-read the book or watch the movie again if you have to!
2. Ask yourself, “How am I like this character? How am I different? Write about it.
3. Write about the lessons you learned from the character. How have you applied those lessons in your life?
4. If the character is from the past or the future, or from a different town, country, or even planet, inquire as to how you would fare in the character’s world.
5. Similarly to #4, how would the character fare in your world? What if the character had to babysit your brother or do your science fair project?
6. Share just enough information about the character and the character’s situation to allow us to understand how you are similar to or different from that character. Keep the “story” to a minimum.
7. Make sure the essay is at least 75% about you! If you find yourself writing more than 25% about the character, step back, ask yourself question #s 1-5, and change the balance.
Remember, just because you’re writing about a character doesn’t mean you have to re-tell the entire life story of the character. Keep it personal and reflective and you’ll write a winning essay.
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 sport? Contact The Essay Expert for a FREE 15 minute consultation.