Pivotal events

I often work with students who are trying to write college application essays. Many of them try to prepare that essay in the form of a chronology, listing important events in their lives from elementary school forward.

I admit that I did the same thing. But the best essays I’ve seen over the years take a different approach.

These great essays focus on one or two major events that shaped a student’s life, and either pointed them in a positive direction or gave them ideas about what career path to pursue.

The secret: Chronologies present a road map an individual followed. Spotlighting pivotal events, however, can focus on an individual’s gifts, or present life lessons that readers can learn from.

Published by

Rix Quinn

Rix Quinn is a former magazine editor and now a syndicated columnist for over 100 weekly newspapers. He holds degrees from Texas Christian University and California State University.

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