Skip Nav

How to Use an Anecdote to Write a Powerful College Essay (With Plenty of Examples)

Reader Interactions

❶Rather, be purposeful in the stories that you tell.

2. Your College Application Essay Needs to Showcase Your Personality

Statement or Anecdote: What’s the difference?
College Application Essays
Quality papers at the best prices

Now, how would I write that as an anecdote? Is it possible to take such a mundane event like that and turn it into a mini-story? I tried to vary sentence lengths between short and long, sticking more with the shorter sentences. I tried to think of this little moment visually—what it would have looked like as a piece of video. I tried to start as close to the peak of the action as possible and still have the event make sense with some background.

I had been talking for nearly an hour straight. My five writing students, all seated around a large table in front of me, were starting to fidget. Suddenly, I heard a soft thump and a commotion behind me. The students also jumped up in unison. The year-old black cat, Ace, had fallen asleep on the bookshelf behind us and gradually slipped over the edge until he abruptly dropped to the floor. As the students laughed, we all watched Ace shake his head a couple times, stunned from the impact, trying to brush off the rude awakening.

Then he padded into the next room as though nothing had happened. Because something happened , and you want to know why and what happens next. I also want you to see how to take the most simple event or moment and turn it into an engaging anecdote, simply by relating the details of what happened in a direct manner. If you want to practice your narrative writing skills, try crafting a couple anecdotes out of everyday incidents in your life.

Describe a brief interaction you had with someone in line with you, or an exchange between a mother and child. You are delightfully clear and concise with this post. They are one of the most powerful writing devices I know to engage readers and make them care about what you have to say.

This was a great how-to guide — the best one have been able to find on the internet. Your email address will not be published. As a professional writing coach, I help students, parents, counselors, teachers and others from around the world on these dreaded essays! Learn about my in-person and online tutoring, editing, workshops, books, and online courses, The episode sums up the hell of high school for me — falling into a poisonous group that terrorised other students but, mostly, terrorised me.

Soccer matches where I became the ball, kicked around until I was coated in mud like a choc-dipped loser. Every student on every bus chanting insults at me at home time. Linda Duberley recounts her despair at the fact that her son, Connor, was ruining his life owing to his gaming addition.

He was tired and stressed. So, I cut back my work as a media consultant to be around more at home. But he found new ways to sneak home from school, only now he had to be even more surreptitious to avoid me. But shortly after that, on just the second day of the new term, I found Connor hiding in the bathroom, having sneaked back into the house.

In fact, he turned up at home several times that week, once having gone missing for so long that I called the police. That time, I eventually found him hidden, wrapped up in a duvet inside a cupboard. Your email address will not be published. It must relate to the prompt or to the theme of your discussion. It must be meaningful. What are they thinking and feeling? Think about the descriptions you use to reflect their state of mind; be as fresh and original as possible. If possible use some figurative devices — metaphor, similes, personification.

Sometimes short, snappy dialogue works well. In the end, I spent hundreds of hours and countless nights watching tutorials, trying to translate the foreign language of music. Trapped in a hurricane of doubt, I searched for the eye of the storm. I had to calm down and seek a break from the failure. As I spoke with numerous professionals at the conference, I felt like French had been a part of my life since the very beginning. During the process, not only did we pair veterans with corporate mentors, but our team became more involved with veterans PTSD issues and fundraising.

I had found my calling. Outside of school, I care for two rescue dogs, a showy and energetic American Cocker Spaniel and a shy but regal English Cocker Spaniel. During my first year participating in my Junior Statesmen of America chapter, I never spoke up for my beliefs or views regarding current events. Over the next two years, I changed my mindset and became willing to fail and face disagreemnt over my views. My willingness to discuss issues led me to become president of the chapter, where I involve classmates and speak to the younger students about volunteering for local campaign.

After concluding my visit to DC, I listened to a speech from Senator Warner, a voice for reason in a time of great confusion. I curiously Googled his history, learning that he is an alum. Senator Warner, I discovered, demonstrates why GW is the perfect university for me. When I began the tour, a lively environment greeted me with students who were enthusiastically wearing PITT spirit wear and eager to help me find my way around campus.

My student tour guide seemed to know everything about the school. The student pride was inspiring, and she created a family environment I wanted to a part of. Playing Chino was the greatest challenge I have ever faced as an actor.

Witnessing the pure hatred presented in the musical forced a transformation not only in my character onstage, but also in me. I saw myself and every person in Chino; for, we all work hard to achieve what is best for ourselves and for our compatriots. A pulsing drumbeat flows through my headphones, outlining the foundation for a song.

Moments later, the strong sounds of a driving base line blast through the white noise of the underlying percussion.

The melody pours onto the track making way for a wave of rhythm and flow. Thus begins a song; my song. Like a brush upon canvas, music notes fly across my open laptop screen. I am the artist of this song, this blend of emotion and color, this complexly beautiful composition that is my life. Being a male only-child in an Asian family, hearing this story prompted immediate introspection.

I began to wonder — if I could build a prototype based on the alleged qualities of a Little Emperor, how would I compare? I remember seeing my dad laughing and clapping, that unmistakable smile stretching across his face, and his thoughts as clear as his expression: I vividly remember hanging onto her legs, horrified, as she hung from a third story window in an attempt to end her life. Her caustic lifestyle made her vicious, manipulative, and vindictive towards everybody in her life, pushing everybody that loved her away.

She stole thousands of dollars from my mom via check fraud, which made my mother unable to afford the rent to our house, clothes, or even food. It became my responsibility, seeing as I had a paying job since I was thirteen, to step in and help make ends meet.

Sitting against the backdrop of stars, I then noticed the boats gently drifting on the ocean, taking me back through the tides of time to my childhood. These boats reminded me of my own boating trips with my grandfather and my next door neighbor. During fishing trips we took every three weeks, my grandfather continually talked about customers and sales from his business, introducing me to the world of economics and finance. Consider these sentence starters when transitioning from an anecdote back to the main body of your essay: When writing a college essay, remember that style is often as important as content.

Including these transition statements will help you to get your intended message across.

3 Must-haves for the Perfect College Essay Anecdote

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

An anecdote is a short scene or story taken from a personal experience. Anecdotes can be useful for setting the stage for a speech or personal essay. An anecdote often relays a story that can be used as a theme or lesson.

Privacy FAQs

College Application Essays How to Write An Anecdote About Almost Anything Before one of my college application essay writing workshops yesterday, I skimmed over some of the rough drafts the students had written last semester for their English classes.

About Our Ads

College Application Essays In Search of an Anecdote Just yesterday, one of my tutoring students, a high school junior, wanted help on her English assignment: To write a practice college application essay. If you have a working draft of your essay, read it out loud. Once you’re done, ask yourself this: Based on this essay anecdote, in three words, how would you describe the personality of this writer?

Cookie Info

Essays Related to Anecdote. 1. Anecdote of a Jar by Wallace Stevens. In the poem "Anecdote of a Jar" by Wallace Stevens, we see how the poet uses confusion to portray the connection between the human world and the natural world. The jar that the reader is introduced with is a symbolic representation of man, being that jars are a man made /5(2). An anecdote is a brief and engaging story that is used to illustrate a point. Learn how to use anecdotes in your college essay. Tell a story using personal details with power and precision in your college essay. The anecdote will .