A Lump of Clay




It’s a lump of clay. It has no shape but has the material that will allow it to become a something. Yes, I am talking about the beginning process of a sculpture. But, the same could also be said about the steps of writing a college essay. At first, you will choose a topic to write about that shows (not tells) about you. Then, you will generate ideas to make a bigger and bigger pile of the raw material necessary in a written piece. The ‘clay’ is piling up with ideas, but with little definition. Finally, the time comes to carve this mound as you try to come up with words that will make the reader know who you are/feel who you are.


Like a sculptor, you are skillfully chipping away and adding material as you make your lump of clay come to life. But, wait, the words sound flat and without feeling! It sounds like a laundry list. Alright then, pound the clay back down and change your style. You can start seeing your essay take ‘shape’ as it is transforms into a narrative that reflects who you are.


A narrative tells a story-this is YOUR story! This style of writing includes details, descriptions, feelings, use of the senses, with the intention of making your story come alive and become memorable to the reader. You will be sculpting a final product as your editing and thinking process gains more depth. layers and definition.


There you are! I can see your eyes, your mouth, your body, emerging out of the clay.



College Admissions 101 is a Charlotte, North Carolina based college admissions advisory firm that works with students and parents from New York to California and everywhere in between. Our expertise includes, but is not limited to, generating a customized list of best fit colleges, developing uniquely personal essays, and wordsmithing resumes.

Ellen Martin

College Admissions Counselor

emartin418@gmail.com
704.806.2954

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