As high school students across the country take a stand against gun violence, juniors are starting to think about their college essay topics.
The fourth essay prompt listed by the Common Application gives juniors and rising seniors the option of writing a persuasive argument. Here is the wording:
“4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.”
This is an opportunity to take a political stand on firearms and the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It’s a chance to delve deeply into how state laws vary around gun ownership and the legal purchase of guns.
Whether you’re for or against gun control or feel passionately about another issue, your college essay can be a platform.
Two Upcoming Workshops
If you need help, the College Essay Confidante is offering two workshops to help you “Brainstorm Your College Essay.” Register for either Thursday, March 29 or Thursday, April 5 (one or the other). Both will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in a Westford, Massachusetts location. Students will leave with a solid topic and the opening paragraph for their essays. The workshop is limited to no more than six high school juniors. The fee is $160 per student.
National Walk Out on March 14
#Enough! National School Walkout, organized by the same group which planned the Women’s March in January 2017, is a planned demonstration by students, parents, teachers and administrators. The school communities are being encouraged to walk out of the classroom for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. on March 14. Each minute represents one of the 17 students and teachers shot down at the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School on Feb. 14 allegedly by a man carrying an AR-15 automatic firearm.
Another walkout being promoted on social media is scheduled for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine School massacre in 1999.
Do Your Homework
Do your homework. Before you begin the essay, read everything on the topic that you can get your hands on. Engage friends and family members in discussions. Think deeply and jot down notes, thoughts, ideas, and philosophies.
Be clear on your position and then start writing your argument.
Try to organize your essay by using subheads.
Allow your passion to guide you, but keep your essay fair and balanced. You must explain the arguments for the other side. Treat the arguments of those on the other side with dignity and respect.
Dare to Take a Stand
Dare to take a stand and try your hand at persuasive writing. If you have a passion on the topic, share it, because your passion will shine through and your essay will be compelling. But if you take this path, do so in a professional and just manner.
I’m here if you need someone to guide you as you conduct your research and begin writing. I’m Joyce Pellino Crane, the College Essay Confidante. My background is journalism. I’ve won awards for editorial writing. I’ll point you in the right direction and encourage you to keep going.
Feel free to contact me with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.