Many college applications, including The Common Application , ask an essay question about “the most influential person in your life” and why, or how, that person influenced you. A key tip to answering this essay is to remember that it is not necessarily about whom you choose to write about but how you write the essay and connect it back to yourself.
One of the most common responses that students give when writing on this essay topic was that it was either a parent or a grandparent who influenced them. For some, it may be a teacher, a coach, a friend, a child, a counselor, or numerous other options. When writing this essay think about spending less time writing about whom that person was, but actually how they influenced you. Remember that the admission counselor reading your application wants to learn about you, not necessarily the person who influenced you.
For example, if you choose to write about your grandfather consider the following. Many students write that their grandfather influenced their life because they were kind, generous, overcame adversity, taught them new things, were a hard worker, etc. Some students spend the entire essay spouting all of the wonderful attributes about their grandfather but forget that the essay is supposed to show the admission committee who they (the student) are. You don’t want the admission committee to want to admit your grandfather at the end of reading your essay- you want them to want to admit you!
This is not to say don’t write about your grandfather (or grandmother, mother, father, or person of your choice). It is simply to say, think about writing the essay in a way that connects the individual you choose to write about back to you. What makes you a person that the college would want to have as part of their community? Can you elaborate on specific examples from your relationship with that influential person that impacted your way of thinking? Or, can you can discuss certain actions you took as a result of lessons learned from that individual? Perhaps, you can even consider relating what you learned from that influential person to something that you hope to do, or accomplish, in college or in the future.
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Filed Under: Application TipsTagged With: College admission, college advice, college essay, Common Application, influential person
Composing An Excellent College Essay On An Influential Person
This is one of the most popular writing prompts give to new college students to write an essay for admission or even as an assignment. It gets the students thinks about their career and how this person influenced their journey so far. If you need help finding an influential person, get quick help from this resource. If you already have a person in mind, then these questions will help you compose your essay and will give you some information to use in it.
How to Figure out Your Influential Person
- Who is someone that is an influential person in your life?
- Why and what do you adore most about them?
- What have you learned from them?
- Have you used anything that you have learned from this person in your life?
- What are some of the traits that you admire in them and are there some that you hope to have one day?
- What event or example of something they did that left an impression on you?
- If you met the person you are writing about, tell the reader about how your life changed since meeting them.
- Which one of these questions made you thin of good stories to tell?
How to Write about this Person
- Like any essay, you want to start out with your thesis statement; this will tell the person reading your essay what it is about.
- An anecdote is a great thing to add to your stories. So starting with something great they did or a memory you have about this person is a good way to get your reader engaged in the essay.
- Be very descriptive of the person. Tell the reading about the person and this will make them understand why you picked this person to write about.
- Describe their impact on you and your life. You are picking this person because they have influenced you in some way. Tell the reader about that or you can focus on how they affected your life on a grander scale.
With all of this information, it won’t be hard for you to find someone to write about in your essay. These questions and suggestions on what to write about will help you complete your essay fast, and it will be interesting to read. Remember the person you pick doesn’t have to be famous but they have to influence your life.