What is a good start for a “How will you contribute to our college community” essay?

Admission committees sometimes give this type of assignment to college applicants. Also, first-year students may be asked to write such an essay. In either case, students need to show how well they can fit into the college community life, in which way they could enrich and contribute to its diversity.

Equally important is to evaluate how well students can do their homework, in particular, whether they can study the college community life and demonstrate their knowledge to the committee. It will be a direct indication of their motivation to study at this particular place.      

If you do not know how to start, you are most likely approaching this assignment wrong. You might be stuck because you do not know where to go, hence a far more important thing to do first would be to come up with a good idea for your essay and a thesis statement. 

To begin with, do your homework on researching community life as mentioned earlier. Set apart enough time for this task. Below are some steps that you can take. 

  • Find what your college is famous for, for example, its culture, and history, strong and weak sides. Approach this task pretty much like doing market research if you ever did one. This should give you several ideas on the direction of your essay.
  • Look for the gaps or where in your college community life there might be a talent shortage. Draw particular attention to any volunteer or environmental work possibilities. Or perhaps your community is looking for someone with good leadership qualities? Try to match those needs with your strong sides and your past achievements.
  • You may also want to talk with your peer students or seniors to understand your college community better. You will be surprised to see how inspiring and useful live human communication can be in generating ideas and ultimately getting your work done.
  • To find additional inspiration Google some of the best academic essays on this topic. See how others dealt with it and analyze why they succeeded.
  • Try to match your findings with your talents and previous achievements to see where you can bring the most value to your college and yourself. You will need to show in your essay how well you can fit into college community life.
  • The next step would be to make an outline and a clear structure of your work with the main body and some thoughts left for the conclusion. 

Once you know what your essay is going to be about and how it should be structured, you are ready to write the proper introduction. Here are some ideas on how to do it right:

  • The introduction should get you noticed and to stand out from your fellow students.
  • Typically, a good introduction should be one, a maximum of two paragraphs in length.
  • You should place your thesis statement in the introduction. Some begin with the statement, but a far better practice is to place it somewhere at the end of the introductory paragraph(s).  
  • Be creative, start your essay with a question, or an interesting fact either from your college life or your own. Telling a joke is another way to make your introduction special. 
  • Do not get carried away by your creativity and make your introduction too long and heavy. Instead, make it flow seamlessly into the main body of the essay, making your story run smoothly and keeping your readers engaged.
  • Describe your talents and skills, talk about your ambitions, and reveal your motivation, in particular how you can contribute to campus life beyond the academic schedule.

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