Writing the College Admissions Essay – Three Techniques for Ending Your Essay

Like Rocky bellowing, “Adrian!” into the frenzied fight crowd, the ending of your college essay should be powerful and memorable. This is your last chance to make an impression on your reader, and you want it to be a positive one.

To achieve this type of ending, you can use several techniques.

The Call Back

Have you ever noticed how, at the end of his act, a skillful comedian will “call back” a joke that he told earlier? Well, you can do the same thing with your essay. If you have opened your essay with an image, person, phrase or whatever, simply “call it back” at the end. For example, let’s say you started the essay with a story about a flood that occurred in your house. Bringing this image back at the end, will give your essay a satisfying sense of completion and impress the reader with your writing skill.

The Missing Piece

This technique finishes the story you’ve been telling in your essay, filling the reader in on a critical piece of information. If, for example, your essay has been about getting rescued on a ski trip, you might finally reveal: “Back at the lodge, we learned something else. That skier who led us to safety was legally blind.” Holding back that critical, missing piece of information will give the essay a powerful pop, right at the end.

The “What Might Have Been”

This technique asks the question of what might have happened had the events of the essay never occurred. Say, for example, you’ve been writing about spending a summer on your Uncle’s dairy farm in Switzerland. Musing about how different your life would have been without that experience can help give your essay topic a larger perspective, as well as reveal you as a deep thinker who sees the big picture.

Check out my next blog for three more closing techniques.

For more personal help writing the college admissions essay, contact Craig Heller directly at 818-340-1276 or [email protected].

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