Most of what is applicable to writing a successful Personal Growth essay holds here for Accomplishment pieces: Colleges use the relation of accomplishments to get insight into applicants' personalities and character traits. Some schools ask targeted questions, while others leave the topic open for applicant interpretation.
An important point is to refrain from repeating information found elsewhere in the application. Some "overachievers" try to include virtually all their accomplishments in one essay, missing the point of the exercise altogether. A laundry list of academic, extracurricular, and work successes will not give admissions officers much more insight into your personality. In fact, they may infer that you do not realize that, in college, you will not be able to be editor of the yearbook, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, president of the honor society, captain of the football team, and president of the class all at the same time. The mature applicant knows that college will require a student to focus on a few interests but spend more time and effort pursuing them.
For those of you who were not the school "all-star," do not worry. Some of the best Accomplishment essays have been written about what could be construed as mundane events—learning how to bake a cake, miraculously getting the engine in your first car (which you affectionately call your "clunker") to start, or getting your elderly and bed-ridden neighbor to smile by performing your cheesy stand-up routine. The accomplishment does not need to be earth shattering, but you do need to show why it is important for you and how it has affected you in a discernible way.
Sample Essays And Comments
- Well Done Accomplishments Essay
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4 Best Topics For An Accomplishment Essay
A popular choice for an essay is to write about an accomplishment. This seems like it should be easy enough; after all, it’s likely that every one of us has done something that we feel proud of having achieved. In fact many people find it difficult to think of something that qualifies. If you fall into this group, what’s a good topic to write about?
- Overcoming a disadvantage - Many people face disadvantages in life. It might be a physical disability, lack of access to education or even discrimination. Examples could be recovering from an injury and getting fit enough to go back to a favourite sport, teaching yourself a subject that you weren’t able to do at school or organising a campaign to change an unjust law. A story like this can motivate other people who face similar challenges; it might even give them practical information on how to overcome them.
- Achieving an ambition - Practically everyone has things that they long to do in life; most of us have succeeded in doing at least a few of them. Whether you struggled to the peak of the highest mountain in your country or worked every weekend to save up for a trip to Legoland, you had an ambition and you achieved it. Tell your readers how.
- Learning a new skill - It’s always great to learn something new. It might be a foreign language, a challenging hobby or a field of science that you found as fascinating as it was baffling; it doesn’t matter, because learning it was an accomplishment. Telling people how you did it might inspire them to learn the same skill - or another one - themselves.
- Helping someone - Accomplishments don’t always make things better for you; they could make things better for someone else. Perhaps you raised money for a local charity, or organised an event to buy sports equipment for a school. Maybe you can talk about how you gave a shy child confidence by teaching them to sail or play tennis. We’ve all done things for other people, often things that change lives.
Whatever accomplishment you’re writing about you should use a clear structure to describe it. A common structure is known as the SAR model; it stands for Situation, Action, Result. Describe the situation first; explain what it was you wanted to accomplish. Next say what you did about it. Do this in a logical sequence and include your preparation, anything you had to learn in the process and obstacles you faced along the way. End by telling the reader about your accomplishment. Without boasting, make it clear how you achieved your goal.