Admissions Essay on an Influential Person: Writing Tips
College admissions essays often focus on an influential person. It may be your parent, coach, friend, or anyone else who has had a significant impact on your life and development. Such essays can be really good if you know how to write them properly. Thus, we at college-writers blog decided to help you.
Six years ago, one of the Common Application essay prompts asked applicants to write an essay about an influential person. Although there were no such prompts in 2018, you are still allowed to write about an important person from your life if you go with the option called “topic of your choice.”
1. Don’t just describe — analyze
An essay on an influential person shouldn’t just describe this person. Describing doesn’t require you to use your critical thinking so you won’t be able to write a thoughtful reflective essay. Instead of describing, you must analyze the impact of the chosen person on your life, explaining your relationship with them.
2. Mom or dad is not the best option
Of course, you can write about your mom or dad, but keep in mind that thousands of applicants write about their parents every year. Your essay must stand out so we suggest that you write about your parents only if you have really special or unusual relationships with them. If you just say that your father was a great role model for you, such an essay will be generic and not interesting for anyone but you.
3. Avoid writing about celebrities
Don’t write about your favorite singer or actor because such an essay will not provide any valuable insights into your personality. Your favorite celebrity may have millions or billions of fans, so the only thing your readers will learn from such an essay is that you love pop culture.
4. Unusual subjects are good
If you manage to write a good, inspirational essay on an obscure and unusual subject, it will certainly stand out and attract attention. Write about how you were a young kid and found the best friend in your life in a summer camp. Or write about a completely ordinary person who somehow inspired you.
5. Significant influence doesn’t mean a positive influence
Most essays about an influential person focus on role models (parents, teachers, coaches, etc.). Writing about people who had a positive influence on you is good, but such an approach is also predictable. You can make your essay more unique if you write about some terrible person who showed you an example of who you don’t want to be. You can also describe how a relationship with a hateful or abusive person made you stronger.
6. Your essay is also about yourself
An essay about an influential person is not only about that person but also about yourself. Be introspective and reflective. To analyze somebody’s impact on your life, you should also understand your strengths and weaknesses. In addition, don’t forget that the admissions essay must give readers an understanding of who you are, what are your passions, interests, and character. The main purpose of the admissions essay is to prove that you’re a person who can make a positive contribution to the campus community.