GEAR Up Waco
The 5-Step Personal Essay Writing Guide: “Role Models”
There’s no question that some people play a signiﬁcant role in your life. Essays about how others have shaped who you are in positive ways can tell a lot about how you learn and how you relate to others. It’s important to remember that even though you are writing about an inﬂuential person; your essay must still be about you. Connect the lessons and inﬂuences from your role model back to your own life. The essay is always about you.
STEP 1: Identify Your Role Model’s Impact on You
To jump-start your essay, answer at least three of the following questions to ﬁgure out how you can write about your role model’s inﬂuence on your own life.
1. Who has been an inﬂuential person or role model in your life? ___________________ 2. What do you admire the most about this person? Why? ________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 3. What speciﬁc things have you learned from this person? _______________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 4. How have you used teachings from your role model in your own life? _____________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 5. Which of your role model’s traits (e.g., special talents, skills, way of treating others) do you hope to one day have yourself? _________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 6. Can you think of speciﬁc examples of what this person did or said that made a lasting impact? _______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 7. How is your life different since meeting your role model? _______________________ ______________________________________________________________________ Which of the above questions was the easiest to answer? ________________________ Which question gets you started on the best stories you can tell? __________________ Choose one to two main points to use in STEP 2 of this worksheet. Also, weave in some of your other great answers and stories into your essay in STEP 3.
STEP 2: Focus Your Essay
You want your essay to have a clear and focused main point. The reader should know exactly what you’re trying to say. Here are three examples of how to start: “My grandfather is my role model. The things that I admire the most and have tried to apply to my own life are a strong work ethic, unwavering honesty and a love of family.” “My English teacher has inspired me to pursue a career in education. She has also taught me how important it is to be patient with students and to always encourage them to live up to their potential.” “My judo sensei is the most inﬂuential person in my life because he has shown me how making small gains each day will eventually lead to huge progress and that I need to believe in myself even when I don’t feel like it.” What will be one or two main points of YOUR essay? _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________
STEP 3: Find Some Examples
To illustrate your main point and to make your essay memorable you need to provide examples. Just remember that your essay needs to be about you so ﬁnd examples from your role model and then try to connect them back to you. Focus of essay: My uncle is my role model. He has taught me a lot about life, especially how to take responsibility for my actions and...
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