How To Write A College Essay About A Person Who Influenced You

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How To Write A College Essay About A Person Who Influenced You


“Influence is not the same as power. Influence is the art of persuasion, the ability to shape hearts and minds without force.” – Robert Cialdini

Writing a college essay can be a daunting task, especially when you are tasked with capturing the essence of a person who has had a significant impact on your life. Choosing the right words and effectively conveying your emotions and thoughts can make all the difference in creating a compelling and memorable essay. In this article, we will guide you through the process of writing a college essay about a person who influenced you, helping you craft a powerful narrative that resonates with your readers.


When tasked with writing a college essay about a person who influenced you, it’s important to approach the task with thoughtfulness and introspection. This essay provides an opportunity for you to reflect on the impact someone has had on your life and to express your gratitude and appreciation. By effectively conveying your personal connection and highlighting the lessons learned, you can create a compelling narrative that engages the reader from the very beginning.

Understanding the Prompt

Before diving into writing, take the time to thoroughly understand the essay prompt. Pay attention to the specific requirements and guidelines provided by your college or university. Identify the key elements that need to be addressed, such as the person’s role in your life, the nature of their influence, and the lessons you have learned. This will help you stay focused and ensure that your essay meets the expectations of the prompt.

Reflection and Brainstorming

To kickstart the writing process, take a moment to reflect on the person who has influenced you the most. Consider their characteristics, actions, and values that have left a lasting impact on you. Jot down any memories, experiences, or anecdotes that come to mind. Brainstorming allows you to explore different angles and helps you uncover the most significant aspects of your relationship with this person.

Choosing a Personal Connection

Once you have gathered your thoughts, it’s time to choose a personal connection that best represents the influence of the person you are writing about. This connection could be a particular event, a shared experience, or a series of interactions. Selecting a specific moment or aspect of your relationship will add depth and focus to your essay, allowing you to convey your emotions and thoughts with clarity.

Developing a Narrative Structure

A well-structured essay engages the reader and guides them through a coherent narrative. Begin your essay with a captivating introduction that hooks the reader’s attention and clearly establishes the significance of the person you will be discussing. Then, develop the body paragraphs by gradually unfolding the story and presenting your thoughts and emotions in a logical manner. Finally, wrap up your essay with a thoughtful conclusion that reinforces the main ideas and leaves a lasting impression.

Capturing the Essence of the Influential Person

To effectively convey the influence of the person you are writing about, focus on capturing their essence. Describe their character traits, values, and beliefs that have impacted you. Use vivid and descriptive language to paint a picture of who they are and what they mean to you. By providing a clear and authentic portrayal, you allow the reader to form a connection with the influential person as well.

Incorporating Specific Examples

Support your claims and statements with specific examples and instances that illustrate the influence of the person in your life. These examples can be anecdotes, conversations, or specific actions that showcase their impact on your thoughts, beliefs, or choices. By grounding your essay in real-life experiences, you make it relatable and engaging for the reader.

Showcasing Growth and Transformation

A crucial aspect of writing a college essay about a person who influenced you is highlighting the growth and transformation that occurred as a result of their influence. Reflect on how your perspective, values, or aspirations have evolved because of this person’s presence in your life. Discuss the lessons you have learned, the challenges you have overcome, and the personal development that has taken place. By showcasing your growth, you demonstrate the depth of their impact on your journey.

Writing the Essay

With a solid foundation of reflection, brainstorming, and structure, it’s time to start writing your essay. Begin with a compelling introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and clearly states the purpose of your essay. In the body paragraphs, present your personal connection and the specific examples that highlight the influence of the person you are writing about. Use descriptive language, engaging storytelling, and personal anecdotes to bring your essay to life. Remember to incorporate your growth and transformation, and emphasize the lessons you have learned. Finally, wrap up your essay with a thoughtful conclusion that reinforces the main ideas and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Proofreading and Editing

Once you have completed your essay, take the time to proofread and edit it thoroughly. Check for any grammatical or spelling errors, and ensure that your ideas flow smoothly and coherently. Read your essay out loud to identify any awkward phrasing or areas that need improvement. Consider seeking feedback from trusted friends, family members, or teachers who can provide valuable insights and suggestions for improvement. Taking the time to polish your essay will make it shine and leave a positive impression on the reader.


Writing a college essay about a person who influenced you is a unique opportunity to share a meaningful story from your life. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can craft an essay that captures the essence of the influential person and resonates with your readers. Remember to reflect on the prompt, choose a personal connection, develop a narrative structure, and showcase your growth and transformation. With careful writing and editing, your essay will leave a lasting impact and provide a glimpse into the person who has shaped your life.

To learn more about effective essay writing and college applications, visit for insightful blog posts and resources.

Remember, writing a college essay is a personal and introspective process. Take your time, express yourself authentically, and let your unique voice shine through. Good luck on your essay-writing journey!

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