BEFORE YOU START WRITING
- Read and understand the question Underline or circle the key words
- Plan Organize your ideas in a logical form - List your ideas - Write supporting examples, weigh the pros and cons, the similarities and differences
- Start writing A creative introduction, the body ( concrete details, facts, statistics, supporting arguments etc) and the conclusion to emphasize your thesis
- Editing Look for errors (content, grammar, spelling)
Until then, here are a few tips for winning writing contests.
1. Begin with a bang, a breathtaking sentence. The first paragraph of a piece is what makes a reader care about what happens next. A boring, banal beginning is not at all efficient and will make the reader stop there. Before sending in an entry, read articles or books dealing with writing openings, beginnings, leads. Then compare your introductory chapter/ paragraph to what the writing consultant say.
2. Try to introduce an element of uncertainty, suspense, unsolved problem or introduce the main character into a difficult situation at the beginning. Make the reader wonder how the plot is going to develop. You don’t like predictable endings, do you?
3. Make your characters alive and real. Make them talk like real people. Every word is important.
4. Locate your story in a different setting or use unusual characters or a different plot. Make sure they don’t resemble others from popular films or books. Here are just a few sources of ideas:
* Newspaper and magazine articles
* Short stories and novels
* Television programs or movies
* A painting
* An interesting experience
* A fascinating person
* A lecture or class
* The death of a friend
* A great meal (or a terrible meal)
* A beautiful landscape
* An ugly building
5. The medium length of an article is 1,500 to 3,000 words (usually there are restrictions).
6. Your article needs a clear central theme that you follow throughout it, so you can say, "This article or story is about . . .”
7. Follow the contest's rules. Also pay attention to the entry form and deadline.
8. Watch for spelling, grammar, syntax. Punctuation, paragraphing, capitalization, plot and style are also very important. This is not the most important aspect, but is a criterion used by judges to classify the finalists. You should learn how to become proficient at proofread- ing or copyediting. By practicing, you’ll gain confidence and become your own judge.
Personal Essay Topics
• Does any specific attribute, quality or skill distinguish you from everyone else? How did you develop this attribute?
• How would your friends characterize you? Look at yourself from the side of other people and analyze your character in such a way.
• Describe your most rewarding experience.
• An E-mail from the Year 2105.
• Have you ever met with "Triumph and Disaster"? How did you meet those two impostors? Can you tell that you have faced them in a worthy manner?
• Identify a person who had a significant influence on you and explain the influence.
• What author, musician, actor influenced on shaping your ideology? Why especially this person is so significant to you. Did he/she help you to see another side of the world?
• Write about a book that has special significance for you.
Argument Essay Topics
• Is there too much of commercialism in the Internet?
• Technology makes communication easier in today's world. Many people choose to work at home in front of a computer screen. What danger does the society face depending on computer screens rather than face-to-face contact as the main means of communication? Are we the prisoners of the progress?
• Advertising: Information or Manipulation?
• To what extent has the traditional male role changed in the last 20 years?
• Education is an indivisible part of the prosperity of the nation. Comment on this issue, argument your decision.
• The mass media, including TV, radio, newspapers have a great influence on people and especially on the younger generation. It plays an important role in shaping the opinions and positions of the younger generation. Argue for or against this statement.
Persuasive Essay Topics
• Terrorism: it's high time to stop that war.
• Human cloning is wrong.
• Human cloning and family values
College Admission Essay Samples
This section contains five essays:
- Personal growth
- Hobbies & Interests