Five paragraph essay? Forget about it!
Five paragraph essay? Forget...

We all know the structure of a five-paragraph essay: introduction, three body paragraphs with a thesis and example for each body paragraph, and a conclusion. This structure was helpful to memorize as we first began learning about how to write an essay. As you get older and your writing becomes more mature, you’ll find that this basic format is less sophisticated and makes your essay sound rigid.

Now, I often get the question, “How should I structure my college application essay?” and to that I respond,

“Anything but the five-paragraph essay!”

The reason I say this, is because this particular essay needs to illustrate who you are in the realest way possible. Real, as in not rigid, but rather breathing and living; filled with pure emotion, thoughts, and personality.

The college admissions essay should capture your genuine personality and quirks that cannot be captured through grades, test scores, and activities.

Think about the prompt that you have chosen to write and what you want to write about. Then, think about some of these questions:

–What do you want the reader to know about you?

–How do you want the reader to feel as he/she is reading your essay?

–How can you best convey those emotions through the use of words and structure?

Don’t worry too much about the structure of your essay. Start writing, and see what form your essay takes!