Some hints for writing your college preparation and application essays…
When you write your essay for the SAT and ACT tests be careful to underline the question that you are supposed to answer and in the first two sentences either rewrite the question in the form of a statement or restate the question in your own words. This may seem unnecessary, but it will help you to focus in on what exactly you are being asked to answer. It also alerts you to two-part questions for which it will be necessary to give two answers.
Choose your favorite piece of literature, perhaps a Dickens, Austin, or Melville novel with loads of well-developed characters, and know it well. Then, in most cases, when you write your essay you will be able to choose a character to refer to in your essay as an example; ie, Pip from Great Expectations as an example of an unwitting benefactor. With this reference you demonstrate not only how you are able to integrate your reading into your writing and perspective, but also you show a higher level of writing skill.
Use a metaphor in your opening and closing paragraphs. For instance you might begin with a metaphor about rising tides or converging rivers in a comparison to challenges or transitions in life. In your closing paragraph you might conclude with a reference to calm seas or streams. This is another demonstration or your ability to create a picture in your readers mind and your advanced skills.
Finally, go back and see what you can remove from your essay and restate the question in your answer. Often we ramble a bit or use examples that obscure rather than clarify your answer. Remove the dross in your essay and simplify your answer. You might even restate the question to make sure that you have fully answered the question.
Hope these suggestions are helpful in all your essay writing.