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"Not a coward" - QuestBridge Biographical Essay: The factors and challenges that...

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In doing so, the difference between those two phone calls, and thus the personal growth of the author, is emphasized. This neatly brings the essay and the points therein full circle. When you are writing about something that is personal to you or that you are passionate about, you can easily go off on a tangent.

When this happens, you lose sight of the point you are trying to make and lead the reader to a completely different topic. The best way to avoid tangents is to ask someone to proofread your essay for you.

Sometimes you may not know that you have strayed off topic. If you are not comfortable with asking someone to read your essay, read your essay carefully. If each paragraph and sentence supports the main point of your essay, you have successfully avoided unnecessary tangents. The beginning of your essay is also a space for you to introduce the themes you will use throughout your essay. Admissions officers read hundreds of college applications and essays.

It takes effort to stand out from the crowd and make them want to thoughtfully read your essay, instead of just skim it. A great first impression will give your essay and thus, your entire application a head start. If you find yourself spending too much time on the introduction, write other parts of the essay and come back to it later!

There are many ways to begin an essay, and some are more common than others. Contrary to what you might have been taught in school, you should avoid repeating the essay prompt to make your introduction stand out. For example, the QuestBridge National College Match biographical essay topic has historically asked students to: Accordingly, many essays begin with some variation of the following: Using a few words from the prompt is acceptable, but often there are more interesting and captivating ways to begin your essay.

The term "common thread" refers to an idea, topic, or theme that is carried throughout your essay. However, it should be prevalent enough to ensure your essay is united. It can be particularly difficult to use common threads in biographical essays, but that is where they are most important. Unfortunately, there will never be enough space to tell your complete story.

Instead, you should use a common thread to convey the primary point you want admissions officers to understand about yourself. When they finish your essay, what is the one thing you want them to remember about you? This character growth and maturity are the one thing the student wants to stand out above all else.

With thousands of students writing essays in response to the same prompts, certain topics quickly become overused. To avoid these, take time to think about what makes you unique. Here are a few ways you can get started in this brainstorm process:.

While you are welcome to write about any of these topics, please know that many students do write about them. You should be convinced that you have a unique spin on that particular topic that will really make your essay memorable.

Also, remember that a topic does not have to be particularly thrilling to be unique. What really matters is the time and effort you put into writing your essay. Many college essays are well written, but miss the target because they focus on someone or something besides the student. Your college essay is a perfect place to add in the interesting, descriptive details you might leave out of academic papers. By "details" we mean a few different things:. Adjectives and adverbs — use these to help your story come to life for your reader.

In the following examples, the writer is saying essentially the same thing, but by using more descriptive writing, the second example is far more engaging and interesting to read.

Describing a setting, situation, or event with concrete examples to back up your description. Speak of broad topics, such as a personal character quality, while offering evidence in support of it.

In the following examples, the writer claims to have a strong work ethic, but only in the second example does the writer illustrate this. Students from low-income backgrounds may have encountered many challenges in life. While those challenges and obstacles are worthy of mention, it's important to focus on how they were overcome.

The ability to reach high achievement levels in the face of these obstacles is noteworthy, and admissions officers want to hear more about that. They don't, however, want to read an entire essay that is excessively negative — where it seems the writer hasn't learned anything from the challenges he or she has faced.

Avoid listing the challenges you have faced. Instead, mention them but then shift to explaining what you learned as a result, how you were inspired, etc. In doing so, you will show great character development and a maturity that admissions officers are looking for. What grammar essentials should I keep in mind? What are run-on sentences and how can I avoid them?

When is it appropriate to use sentence fragments? Is it okay to use a thesaurus as I write? Which cliches should I avoid? Structure What is the concept of "flow" and why is it so important? How many paragraphs should I use? How can I use transitions to improve the flow of my essay? What does "full circle" mean and how can I incorporate it? How can I identify and avoid tangents? Content How can I make a good first impression? What are cliche essay introductions that I should avoid?

What is a "common thread" and why is it important? How am I supposed to make a unique point in my essay? Why is it so important to focus the essay on myself? How and where can I add more detail to my essay? How do I strike a balance between challenges and successes? There are three essential elements to proofreading: You should plan on going through many drafts.

The progression of the disease is different for each patient and sometimes leads to an early death, but almost always leads to major disabilities.

Her double vision went away after a few months and has not returned since, but other complications have risen. Since then, little by little, I have watched my mom lose much of her ability to walk. Today at the age of forty, she walks almost everywhere with a cane. She has been told by her doctor not to drive because of slowed reaction times. Any time we go somewhere where there will be a lot of walking, she uses a wheelchair.

Essentially, MS has forced my mom to age at a much greater pace than any human should have to endure. Remarkably though, in these eight years, I have never once heard her complain.

Never once has she shown us any sign of self-pity. Instead, she has remained strong, accepting what fate has dealt her.

What might be, simply is not. I must not therefore query God as though he has robbed me of things that are not. She realizes that she has MS, and nothing is going to change that, and so she accepts it and keeps going. It takes a special kind of person to do that; I do not think that many people would deal with it as well as my mom has.

Everybody has problems in life, and no amount of complaining will ever change that. If everyone was like my mom I sincerely believe this world would be a better place. She has taught me the value of our talents and abilities, and that they should be used to their fullest while we possess them. She has inspired me to do my best in everything, and because of that I have been very successful. The Paper provided to you by essayseducation.

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Applying for College: Writing Essays Students from low-income backgrounds often have a unique story to tell. Learn how your background can help admissions officers view your successes through a different lens. Read more >> Detailed FAQs. Ask QuestBridge. View FAQs or ask your own through AskQB, our online help portal: FAQs.

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Writing Essays: Detailed FAQs Mechanics. Slowly, backward, sentence by sentence, in as many ways as possible. This will help you catch errors that your eyes gloss over when reading. For example, the QuestBridge National College Match biographical essay topic has historically asked students to. Welcome to this website! The site is a collection of successful essays for QuestBridge's word prompts, biographical essay and Common App essays.

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Biographical/Hardships Essay for Questbridge Seeing my younger brother shiver under layers of heavy winter blankets despite the sweltering. Quest Scholarship College Essay Example – QuestBridge Program This is a college essay submitted by a student who now attends Northwestern University. This student is a Quest Scholar at Northwestern.