Tips to write a great essay
1) Try writing what first comes to mind. Stream of consciousness produces a lot of good stuff. You can revise & edit later.
2) Use a catchy first line. Start by grabbing people’s attention in a way that will make people want to read further. Good past examples: “In 2002, a drunk driver turned left into my lane.” “I’m lucky to have a smile on my face 30% of the time.” and “I'm a vampire.” Often the opening line can wrap back around at the end.
3) Keep on asking yourself a series of “whys” until you get to a deeper "why."
• For example, Markita first wrote: "My calling is to teach with energy, passion and joy." In her second draft, she wrote this instead: "Teaching was a gift from my late father, who taught chemistry and physics for 25 years. His students remember him forever." Markita's first draft tells the reader, which isn't as powerful as her revision, which shows us her "passion & joy."
• One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever got was this: "If you're writing something BIG, you need to make it small. If you're writing something small, you need to make it BIG." Answers to "wdydwyd?" are by definition BIG, so make it small by being specific and using metaphors and anecdotes to illustrate your BIG ideas. Memories often work well to accomplish this goal. Tell a story.
8) Solicit critical feedback. 80% of writing is in revising. Ask friends for feedback. Revise. And, revise again! Use your sectionmates to get feedback.
If you'd like clarity or further explanation on any of these tips, just ask below and I'll respond.
Also, if you have any ideas, comments or suggestions, post it below. It can help others.