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How To Write A Powerful Essay On Achieving Goals (+ Example)

Author: Rafal Reyzer

Writing an essay on achieving your goals can be a great opportunity to share your accomplishments.

Goal setting is a useful strategy to get the most out of life and set yourself up for success. However, there are many things to remember regarding proper goal setting and achievement. When writing a blm argumentative essay , it’s important to provide context on the history of the Black Lives Matter movement and the issues it seeks to address. This can help the reader understand the significance of the essay’s thesis and arguments. Let’s get to grips with the process of goal setting and come up with a powerful essay on achieving goals.

Structuring Your Essay on Achieving Goals:

How to write an introduction.

Any academic essay must have a strong beginning. It will establish your point of view and inform the reader of what to expect. An introduction should:

  • Attract the reader’s attention with a ‘hook’. You can achieve this by quoting a shocking statistic, quote, fact, or controversial statement.
  • Give some background or historical information about the topic. For instance, psychological theories and models on effective goal setting and achievement.
  • Present your thesis (main point of your essay) e.g., “Rewarding achievement is the most effective means by which employers can increase workplace productivity”.

How to Write The Main Body of Your Essay

There should be a minimum of three paragraphs in your essay. Each one is a ‘mini-essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Each should include:

  • Topic sentence: inform the reader about the subject of the paragraph, e.g., “how to measure goal attainment”, or “effective workplace goal setting”.
  • Evidence sentences: inform the reader about the evidence you’ve uncovered, e.g., a business model and study on effective workplace goal setting.
  • Analysis sentences : inform the reader of your thoughts on the evidence and its significance. For example, “Model A clearly shows how employers are to set realistic goals with employees and this model has proven to be successful in study x”.
  • Concluding sentence: summarize what you’ve learned about the topic and how it relates to the essay question. For instance, “Setting realistic goals for employees is straightforward and likely to increase successful goal achievement in the workplace”.

How to Write a Conclusion

  • To signal the essay is ending, use a suitable word or phrase , such as ‘In summary’ or ‘With all of this in mind’.
  • Reread your introduction to remind yourself of your thesis. After that, either paraphrase or respond to the thesis.
  • Summarize the key points stated in each of the assignment’s paragraphs. So, if you wrote three key body paragraphs, the conclusion should include three main themes.
  • Give your readers a concluding line on the main issue and possibly attempt to urge them to further ponder the topic in its wider context.

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Example Of An Essay About Achieving Your Goals

So, let’s put all this information together and check an example essay on achieving goals: Effective Methods to Increase the Likelihood of Goal Achievement Achieving goals can be extremely rewarding and result in a more satisfying and successful life. Many people set goals yet cannot achieve them. However, there are ways to avoid or reduce the likelihood of missing the mark. By ensuring that goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound), using visualization techniques, and rewarding goal attainment, the chances of success increase. First, ensure your goals are SMART. This means that goals should be specific and measurable in terms of outcomes, e.g., test scores . Goals should be achievable and realistic to the person’s capabilities and resources available. Also, a goal should apply to the person’s work, education, hobbies, or interests and include a deadline. If there is no specificity of outcome, there’s no real way to see how someone has improved—or how they might be falling short. And if goals are not SMART, they are more difficult to achieve. Second, by imagining and visualizing the feelings and outcomes of achievement of the goal , the likelihood of high achievement increases. The imagination can be a powerful tool. Imagining the feelings of accomplishment helps to increase self-efficacy and motivation. A Canadian study found that imagery skills moderate the effect of mental practice on self-efficacy. The effects of visualization techniques are valuable in goal achievement. Third, once the goal has been accomplished, a reward is required. Getting a reward for hard work will increasingly motivate an individual to set and achieve the next goal. The offer of a reward gives employees and students an extra boost of motivation. Rewards help the cycle of goal setting and goal achieving to continue. In summary, by ensuring the goals set are SMART, visualizing and rewarding success, goal achievement becomes more likely. Achieving goals is a cyclic process that’s possible to master if the right method is in place.

The Basics of Setting and Achieving Goals

Getting things done is often more difficult than you may think. You may have a strong desire to see positive changes, including better grades, weight loss, or passing an educational course. But success requires more than just motivation. The right goal-achievement skill set can help you see the exact steps you need to perform to take your life to the next level. Of course, it all starts with setting a goal and there’s a useful (SMART) acronym to remember:

Goals should be specific and free of generalizations, or they are unlikely to get done. Instead of stating that your goal is to improve your English skills, make it more specific by stating that your goal is to learn and use one new word every weekday to boost your English vocabulary.

A goal should be measurable because you need to keep your finger on the pulse and know where you’re at. For instance, a test or assessment score can provide evidence that you have reached your goal.

A goal needs to be possible to achieved. If it’s beyond your capabilities or requires resources you cannot access, then you will set yourself up for failure.

Goals must have some relevance. It is pointless to set a goal if it’s not relevant to your life, work, education, interests, hobbies, etc.

You must set a completion date for your goal. If you do not set a deadline, you may lack the motivation to reach it. Once you have your SMART goal, record it clearly on paper or a mobile device and then visualize the outcome of achieving that goal. Imagine how happy you will feel when you achieve it. This vivid mental imagery will provide you with the extra motivation to go for it. Finally, when you reach your goal, it’s time to celebrate! Reward yourself with a trip, an item you desire, relaxation time with friends, or whatever else that will make you feel happy.

Ready to write an essay about achieving goals?

Hopefully, the information in the article has given you the basics to help you write a powerful essay on achieving goals. I also hope that this article has helped you think about how you can work toward achieving your own goals. There are many great books about the science of goal achievement. I especially recommend ones written by Brian Tracy , as they have helped me a great deal in my pursuit of happiness . You can also create an engaging presentation about achieving goals and objectives using this  goal presentation template . Next up, you may want to explore an ultimate guide to writing expository essays .

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Essays About Goals: Top 5 Examples Plus 10 Prompts

Goals could be a one-time event or a lifelong growth process. Write effectively with the help of our essays about goals and writing prompts in our guide. 

Having goals helps us have a sense of purpose. We find our determination, discipline, and strategic thinking tested to their limits. The road toward any goal, especially ambitious ones, is full of thorns and spikes. Some walk away and accept that these goals are not destined for them. Some, however, keep pressing forward, determined to achieve these goals. Gaining confidence in writing can help you achieve your goals by putting pen to paper and starting a plan.

5 Essay Examples

1.  are you goal or growth conscious by katherine beneby, 2. how to help an employee figure out their career goals by dorie clark, 3. no goals: why is it so hard to do something for enjoyment’s sake by jenny valentish, 4. get inspired: how four hikers accomplished their 2021 hiking goals by anna roth , 5. does sharing your goals on social media make you more likely to achieve them by kristan russell, 1. my goals in life, 2. travel goals, 3. the goal of forming better study habits, 4. climate goals: are we progressing, 5. importance of fitness goals, 6. fiscal policy goals, 7. failing at your goals, 8. setting lofty vs. light goals, 9. poverty reduction goals, 10. my academic goals.

“The difference between goals and growth is that goals are seasonal, while growth is lifelong. Goals focus on a destination while growth focuses on a journey.”

In this essay, the writer discusses how achieving our goals may be possible if we reframe our minds to think of them as a growth process. This essay enumerates the difficulties of achieving our objectives and offers guidance on what will help put structure in how we formulate our growth plans. You might also be interested in these essays about bad habits .

“It’s not always possible to help the people we supervise identify and work toward their career goals… [S]o when we can assist our employees in getting there, it’s a meaningful way we can make a difference in their lives and their professional success.”

As per our list of topics to write about , this essay looks at how managers must realize their critical roles in the lives of the employees they handle. Their biggest contribution to the development of their employees is helping them achieve their tasks at work while ensuring these victories lead to their broader career goals. You might also be wondering, why write goals down?

“Once, to stave off depression, I set myself the goal-tastic mission of doing something new every day for a year – from flying in a glider to blowing things up – and blogging about it. Right from day one, the sense of focus lifted my mood, and there was frankly no time to overthink.”

In this essay, the writer looks at how atelic activities, or those we do for fun, positively influence our outlook. Our goal-driven world, however, hinders us from seeing the pure joy of doing things without goals. You might be interested in these essays about dream jobs .

“Last year, she set a goal to simply go hiking at all. And she’s thrilled to have made it happen, saying it was one of the best things she could have done for herself and her family during such a challenging year.”

This writer describes points to inspire people to start hiking and to set personal fitness goals. Look no further and turn to the inspiring stories of people who have targeted to hike across states, hike for the first time, hike once a month for health purposes, and hike a hundred miles yearly. For more inspiration, check out these essays about achievement .

“Wellness gurus and fitness bloggers seem to be divided between whether sharing goals on your social media sabotages you or holds you accountable.“

This essay revolves around a nascent study that aims to see if sharing your goals on social media make them more attainable. While initial results show that those who posted made significant progress compared to people who did not post, more questions need to be explored. You might be inspired by these essays about success .

10 Prompts on Essays About Goals

In this essay, delve into your short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. Before anything else, elaborate on what drew you to set these goals. Then, share your action plans to make them a reality. Discuss the obstacles you’ve faced and how you’ve conquered them. 

Travel goals

What is the one destination you dream of? For this essay, daydream about your travel goals. Direct that excitement and write your travel itinerary, the duration of your stay, where you will be staying, and what daring activities you will dare yourself to plunge into. You can also talk about whom you would like to be with when you fulfill your travel goals or if you prefer going solo.

It is a challenge to hit the books when we live in a world with unlimited distractions. In this topic prompt, share effective study habits to help students focus on their studies. One helpful tip, for example, is designing your environment to be conducive to a habit change. In the case of study habits, this means temporarily eliminating access to social media and other digital distractions. Cite more tips and conclude your essay with a few words of motivation.

Under the Paris Agreement , the landmark international agreement to fight climate change, countries must jointly strive to arrest global warming and cap it to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. The question is: is this goal still on the table? Read recent news articles on how countries are following through on their Paris Treaty pledges. Listen to what environmentalists say about national efforts and tackle what more must be done to attain the climate goals. 

Fitness is a common new year’s resolution but try convincing your readers to start their fitness goals today. First, help your readers explore the right dietary program and workout schedule based on their daily demands. 

Then, underscore the importance of a fitness goal for gaining self-esteem and improving physical and mental health. Entice them with the idea of gaining a new exciting skill from a new workout activity and motivate them to start unlocking the fit version of themselves today. 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries recorded ballooning debts as governments spent heavily to fight the pandemic and also support struggling sectors. So first, determine whether your country is in a tight fiscal space. 

The fiscal space assessment framework created by the International Monetary Fund may help you identify the metrics and data to gather. Then, shed light on your government’s fiscal policy goals to address debt while spending in sectors that guarantee an economy’s long-term health, such as education and social services. 

How do people receive failures? Write about people’s attitudes and actions when they fail at their goals. Can people develop depression, and how can they recover from the fall? Try to answer these and share your experience of failing at your goals. 

Ask yourself: How did you move forward after that? Then, share your opinions on whether a failure signifies that it would be best for someone to find a new goal altogether or try again with stronger determination and a better-calculated strategy. 

Which is better: aiming for a lofty goal that opens risks of failure, which many fear, or light goals that might do little in stretching out your potential? Answer this by listing the pros and cons of each. Then help readers strike the optimum balance between a loft or light goal. Cite examples of lofty and light goals to help your readers better differentiate the two.

For this essay, take a deep dive into the poverty reduction efforts of your government. First, give an overview of an ongoing flagship poverty reduction program and uncover its outcomes since its implementation. Read through government reports about the breakthrough goals of the program and which ones are gaining momentum. 

Then, look at the other side of the fence by listening to what critics say about the program. Take note of their laments about bottlenecks in the program and what more can be done to attain poverty reduction goals swiftly. 

My academic goals

Start with a descriptive paragraph detailing your academic goals. Writing about it vividly, as though it is the reality, is a creative way to show readers how much you have played out the scenarios of success in your head while helping your readers fully understand your goals. Then snap back to reality and discuss your action plan to realize these goals.

For related topics, you may check our essays about dreams in life . Don’t forget to proofread your essay with the best grammar checkers .

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Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.

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Writing a paper: why set a writing goal, why set a writing goal.

Before jumping into to setting a writing goal, consider why setting a clear writing goal is important. Establishing goals is a common practice within professional and educational communities; however, setting writing-specific goals can have their own unique benefits.

Writing goals help you to:

  • articulate connections between current writing projects and broader professional skills.   When writing a paper, it is hard to see the impact of that project beyond its immediate grade or completion. By setting clear writing goals, you can identify what core competencies you would like to possess and start to make progress toward developing those skills as a writer, scholar, and professional.  
  • overcome reservations and build confidence about your writing abilities.   Perhaps you have received writing feedback in the past and are doubting your abilities. Writing goals can help you face those concerns head on and discover newfound confidence as you conquer those writing anxieties one by one. In other words, setting strong writing goals encourages you to imagine what type of writer you want to be and what skills are needed to make that identity a reality.  
  • establish a manageable path to success.   Writing goals are more than objectives you hope to achieve; they are a road map to your writing success. Writing goals break down the abstract process of becoming a stronger writer into smaller, more tangible steps. You identify specific skills you want to enhance and then map out projects and resources to help you along the way. However, you don’t have to work toward these goals alone. Make a paper review appointment with our writing instructors to receive individualized feedback on your goal progress. Students who made three or more writing appointments per term showed statistically significant gains in grades, persistence, and retention (Irvin, 2014) as well as motivation (Robinson, as cited in Irvin, 2014). Set up a paper review appointment today! Set up a paper review appointment today .  
  • develop motivation and reinforce focus.   Writing is a process that takes practice and patience. It is easy to lose focus as you get deeper into a writing project or course work. For many, writing goals become sources of inspiration. They offer motivation to get started and keep writing as well as reinforce your purpose when your energy is low or you start to veer off track. They serve as little reminders of why your writing project matters and how it positively impacts your future.  
  • build self-efficacy as a scholarly writer and professional.   Part of becoming a stronger writer is the ability to assess your own writing. It can be difficult to step away from the research of your current project and consider how your presentation of information impacts readers. However, when you set clear writing goals and track your progress, you cultivate an awareness of how to evaluate your writing. This self-efficacy will prove invaluable as you progress to larger, more independent projects, including your program’s capstone.  
  • create opportunities to celebrate success.   Often overlooked in the writing process is the importance of celebrating your progress and success. Rarely in writing do we experience an overnight transformation of our skills as writers. Writing more often is characterized as a process filled with small victories and progressions. Setting a writing goal creates the means for tracking these accomplishments. So why not establish a writing goal? You deserve to celebrate your success!  

Irwin, L. L. (2014). What a difference three tutoring sessions make: Early reports of efficacy from a young writing center. Writing Lab Newsletter, 39 (1–2), 1–5. https://wlnjournal.org/archives/v39/39.1-2.pdf

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9.3 Organizing Your Writing

Learning objectives.

  • Understand how and why organizational techniques help writers and readers stay focused.
  • Assess how and when to use chronological order to organize an essay.
  • Recognize how and when to use order of importance to organize an essay.
  • Determine how and when to use spatial order to organize an essay.

The method of organization you choose for your essay is just as important as its content. Without a clear organizational pattern, your reader could become confused and lose interest. The way you structure your essay helps your readers draw connections between the body and the thesis, and the structure also keeps you focused as you plan and write the essay. Choosing your organizational pattern before you outline ensures that each body paragraph works to support and develop your thesis.

This section covers three ways to organize body paragraphs:

  • Chronological order
  • Order of importance
  • Spatial order

When you begin to draft your essay, your ideas may seem to flow from your mind in a seemingly random manner. Your readers, who bring to the table different backgrounds, viewpoints, and ideas, need you to clearly organize these ideas in order to help process and accept them.

A solid organizational pattern gives your ideas a path that you can follow as you develop your draft. Knowing how you will organize your paragraphs allows you to better express and analyze your thoughts. Planning the structure of your essay before you choose supporting evidence helps you conduct more effective and targeted research.

Chronological Order

In Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” , you learned that chronological arrangement has the following purposes:

  • To explain the history of an event or a topic
  • To tell a story or relate an experience
  • To explain how to do or to make something
  • To explain the steps in a process

Chronological order is mostly used in expository writing , which is a form of writing that narrates, describes, informs, or explains a process. When using chronological order, arrange the events in the order that they actually happened, or will happen if you are giving instructions. This method requires you to use words such as first , second , then , after that , later , and finally . These transition words guide you and your reader through the paper as you expand your thesis.

For example, if you are writing an essay about the history of the airline industry, you would begin with its conception and detail the essential timeline events up until present day. You would follow the chain of events using words such as first , then , next , and so on.

Writing at Work

At some point in your career you may have to file a complaint with your human resources department. Using chronological order is a useful tool in describing the events that led up to your filing the grievance. You would logically lay out the events in the order that they occurred using the key transition words. The more logical your complaint, the more likely you will be well received and helped.

Choose an accomplishment you have achieved in your life. The important moment could be in sports, schooling, or extracurricular activities. On your own sheet of paper, list the steps you took to reach your goal. Try to be as specific as possible with the steps you took. Pay attention to using transition words to focus your writing.

Keep in mind that chronological order is most appropriate for the following purposes:

  • Writing essays containing heavy research
  • Writing essays with the aim of listing, explaining, or narrating
  • Writing essays that analyze literary works such as poems, plays, or books

When using chronological order, your introduction should indicate the information you will cover and in what order, and the introduction should also establish the relevance of the information. Your body paragraphs should then provide clear divisions or steps in chronology. You can divide your paragraphs by time (such as decades, wars, or other historical events) or by the same structure of the work you are examining (such as a line-by-line explication of a poem).

On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph that describes a process you are familiar with and can do well. Assume that your reader is unfamiliar with the procedure. Remember to use the chronological key words, such as first , second , then , and finally .

Order of Importance

Recall from Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” that order of importance is best used for the following purposes:

  • Persuading and convincing
  • Ranking items by their importance, benefit, or significance
  • Illustrating a situation, problem, or solution

Most essays move from the least to the most important point, and the paragraphs are arranged in an effort to build the essay’s strength. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to begin with your most important supporting point, such as in an essay that contains a thesis that is highly debatable. When writing a persuasive essay, it is best to begin with the most important point because it immediately captivates your readers and compels them to continue reading.

For example, if you were supporting your thesis that homework is detrimental to the education of high school students, you would want to present your most convincing argument first, and then move on to the less important points for your case.

Some key transitional words you should use with this method of organization are most importantly , almost as importantly , just as importantly , and finally .

During your career, you may be required to work on a team that devises a strategy for a specific goal of your company, such as increasing profits. When planning your strategy you should organize your steps in order of importance. This demonstrates the ability to prioritize and plan. Using the order of importance technique also shows that you can create a resolution with logical steps for accomplishing a common goal.

On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph that discusses a passion of yours. Your passion could be music, a particular sport, filmmaking, and so on. Your paragraph should be built upon the reasons why you feel so strongly. Briefly discuss your reasons in the order of least to greatest importance.

Spatial Order

As stated in Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” , spatial order is best used for the following purposes:

  • Helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it
  • Evoking a scene using the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound)
  • Writing a descriptive essay

Spatial order means that you explain or describe objects as they are arranged around you in your space, for example in a bedroom. As the writer, you create a picture for your reader, and their perspective is the viewpoint from which you describe what is around you.

The view must move in an orderly, logical progression, giving the reader clear directional signals to follow from place to place. The key to using this method is to choose a specific starting point and then guide the reader to follow your eye as it moves in an orderly trajectory from your starting point.

Pay attention to the following student’s description of her bedroom and how she guides the reader through the viewing process, foot by foot.

Attached to my bedroom wall is a small wooden rack dangling with red and turquoise necklaces that shimmer as you enter. Just to the right of the rack is my window, framed by billowy white curtains. The peace of such an image is a stark contrast to my desk, which sits to the right of the window, layered in textbooks, crumpled papers, coffee cups, and an overflowing ashtray. Turning my head to the right, I see a set of two bare windows that frame the trees outside the glass like a 3D painting. Below the windows is an oak chest from which blankets and scarves are protruding. Against the wall opposite the billowy curtains is an antique dresser, on top of which sits a jewelry box and a few picture frames. A tall mirror attached to the dresser takes up most of the wall, which is the color of lavender.

The paragraph incorporates two objectives you have learned in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two work together.

The following are possible transition words to include when using spatial order:

  • Just to the left or just to the right
  • On the left or on the right
  • Across from
  • A little further down
  • To the south, to the east, and so on
  • A few yards away
  • Turning left or turning right

On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph using spatial order that describes your commute to work, school, or another location you visit often.


Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

Key Takeaways

  • The way you organize your body paragraphs ensures you and your readers stay focused on and draw connections to, your thesis statement.
  • A strong organizational pattern allows you to articulate, analyze, and clarify your thoughts.
  • Planning the organizational structure for your essay before you begin to search for supporting evidence helps you conduct more effective and directed research.
  • Chronological order is most commonly used in expository writing. It is useful for explaining the history of your subject, for telling a story, or for explaining a process.
  • Order of importance is most appropriate in a persuasion paper as well as for essays in which you rank things, people, or events by their significance.
  • Spatial order describes things as they are arranged in space and is best for helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it; it creates a dominant impression.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

How Do I Write An Essay About Achieving My Goals?


Writing an essay about achieving your goals can be a powerful exercise in self-reflection and motivation. Whether you are writing for a class assignment, a college application, or simply for personal development, this article will guide you through the process of creating a well-structured and compelling essay on this topic. By breaking down the steps involved and providing helpful tips, you’ll be equipped to express your aspirations, outline an action plan, and highlight the significance of achieving your goals.

Step 1: Set Clear Goals

Achieving your goals starts with clearly defining what you want to accomplish. Take some time to reflect on your aspirations and think about what truly matters to you. Your goals may include academic achievements, career aspirations, personal growth, or any other area of your life that you wish to improve. Ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals). By setting clear goals, you will be able to better articulate your vision in your essay.

Step 2: Plan Your Essay Structure

Before diving into the writing process, it’s essential to plan the structure of your essay. This will ensure that your ideas flow smoothly and logically, engaging the reader from start to finish. Generally, an essay consists of three main parts: an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

The Introduction: Begin your essay with a captivating introduction. Grab the reader’s attention with an anecdote, a relevant quote, or a thought-provoking question. Clearly state your goals and the significance they hold for you. Conclude the introduction with a concise thesis statement that presents the main focus of your essay.

Body Paragraphs: The body of your essay offers an opportunity to elaborate on your goals and the steps you are taking or planning to take to achieve them. Divide your body paragraphs based on the subtopics or themes you want to discuss. For each paragraph, present a specific goal, provide relevant details, and explain why it is important to you. Consider incorporating examples, personal experiences, or research to support your statements and make your essay more persuasive.

The Conclusion: Wrap up your essay with a strong conclusion that reinforces the main points you have discussed. Avoid introducing new information here. Instead, highlight the potential impact of achieving your goals and leave the reader with a final thought or call to action.

Step 3: Conduct Research

If your essay requires factual information or expert opinions, conducting research will provide you with valuable insights to enhance your writing. Utilize reputable sources such as scholarly articles, books, or credible websites to gather information that supports your aspirations. When referencing sources, make sure to cite them properly using the appropriate citation style (e.g., MLA, APA).

Step 4: Draft and Revise

Now that you have a plan and have conducted research, begin writing the initial draft of your essay. Start with the body paragraphs, as they contain the core content of your essay. Ensure each paragraph follows a logical flow and connects back to the main focus of your essay.

Once you have completed your draft, take time to review and revise. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Ensure that your ideas are presented clearly and cohesively. Consider seeking feedback from others, such as teachers, family members, or friends, to gain different perspectives and improve your essay even further.

Step 5: Add Personal Reflection

In addition to presenting your goals and action plans, be sure to include personal reflections throughout your essay. Explain why achieving these goals is meaningful to you and how they align with your values and aspirations. By sharing your personal insights and emotions, you will create a more engaging and authentic essay.

Step 6: Edit and Proofread

Before submitting your essay, it is crucial to edit and proofread your work. Review your essay for any errors, both grammatical and typographical. Ensure that your ideas are coherent and logical, and that your writing flows smoothly. Consider using online grammar checkers or seeking assistance from a professional editor if needed.

Writing an essay about achieving your goals allows you to reflect on your aspirations, establish a concrete plan, and demonstrate your determination to succeed. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a compelling essay that effectively communicates your goals and motivates both yourself and your readers.

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How to Write an Essay About My Goal: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Write an Essay About My Goal: A Comprehensive Guide

In the ever-evolving journey of life, setting clear objectives and ambitions is crucial. Whether these goals are short-term or stretch into the far reaches of our future, they act as guiding lights in our journey. This guide will assist you in articulating and expressing these ambitions effectively, especially when it comes to writing them down.

Understanding the Importance of Goal Setting

Setting life goals is a combination of introspection and foresight. It demands an understanding of one's current standing and a clear vision for the future. By penning down your goals, you not only provide yourself a clear road map but also make a commitment to yourself to achieve them.

How To Write An Essay About My Life Goals

  • Introduction : Initiate with an engaging hook—be it a quote, question, or anecdote—that aligns with your goal.
  • State your main goal : Elucidate on what your primary life objective is. Be it professional success, personal achievement, or societal contribution, clarify your aim.
  • The 'Why' behind the goal : Delve into your motivations. Discuss the driving forces behind this ambition.
  • Steps to achieve : Provide a roadmap. Enumerate the steps you'd undertake to transform this goal into a reality.
  • Potential Challenges : Highlight potential obstacles and your strategies to navigate them.
  • Conclusion : Summarize and re-emphasize your dedication towards your objective.

Career Goal Essay Definition

It's essential to differentiate between life goals and career goals. While the former encompasses broader objectives, a career goal essay underscores your professional aspirations, detailing why they matter and how you plan to attain them.

How Long is a Professional Goal Statement?

A professional goal statement's length can vary but should be concise. Ranging typically from 500 to 1000 words, it should capture your aspirations succinctly. Always adhere to specific guidelines if provided.

What to Avoid While Writing Your Career Goal Essay

• Ambiguity: Always be specific. • Unsubstantiated lofty goals: Your ambitions should be grounded in reality. • Neglecting personal growth: Showcase how your past has shaped your future. • Reiteration: Stay succinct and steer clear of repetition.

My Future Goals Essay: 12 Models

  • Entrepreneurial Aspirations : Launching a sustainable fashion startup by 2030.
  • Technological Goals : Developing an AI-driven community healthcare system.
  • Educational Objectives : Attaining a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics.
  • Artistic Pursuits : Holding a solo art exhibition in a renowned gallery.
  • Societal Contributions : Establishing a foundation for underprivileged children's education.
  • Scientific Aspirations : Contributing to renewable energy research.
  • Medical Goals : Becoming a pediatric surgeon and researching rare childhood diseases.
  • Travel Objectives : Visiting every UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Sports Ambitions : Completing an Ironman Triathlon.
  • Literary Goals : Publishing a trilogy of fantasy novels.
  • Environmental Aims : Pioneering a city-wide recycling initiative.
  • Leadership Aspirations : Becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Articulating one's life and career goals requires introspection, clarity, and foresight. This guide offers a structured blueprint to ensure your essay not only adheres to academic standards but genuinely resonates with your aspirations and dreams. Whether you're grappling with questions like "what should I write in my college essay?" or "how to draft a goal statement?", this guide is here to light the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the ideal structure for a future career essay? Start with an engaging introduction about your aspirations. In the body, detail the steps you plan to take, experiences that have guided you, and why you chose this career. End with a conclusion summarizing your determination and future vision.
  • How do I ensure my career goals essay stands out? Incorporate personal stories or experiences that shaped your goals. Be specific about your aspirations and how you plan to achieve them.
  • How can I relate my past experiences to my future career in the essay? Highlight skills, lessons, or challenges from your past and demonstrate how they have directed or prepared you for your future career.
  • What should I avoid when writing an essay about my career goals? Avoid being too vague about your goals. Steer clear of clichés, and ensure your goals are realistic and grounded.
  • How long should my essay about my goal be? This depends on the requirement. Usually, personal statements are between 500-700 words. Always adhere to the specified word limit.
  • Can I include short-term and long-term goals in my essay? Absolutely! Detailing both shows planning and vision. Highlight how short-term goals will pave the way for long-term objectives.
  • How do I conclude my essay about my goals effectively? Reiterate your dedication to these goals, reflect on the journey ahead, and end with a note of optimism and determination.

Art Comparative Analysis Essay: Exploring the Pop Art Style

Art Comparative Analysis Essay: Exploring the Pop Art Style

Art is a powerful medium of expression that has evolved through centuries, reflecting the changing landscapes of culture, society, and individual creativity. One fascinating aspect of art is the ability to analyze and compare different styles, periods, or movements. In this comparative analysis art essay, we will delve into the vibrant world of Pop Art, examining its key characteristics, artists, and its influence on the art world. List of Essays * Understanding Comparative Analysis in Art

Comparative Analysis Essay Topics in Education

Comparative Analysis Essay Topics in Education

Delving into comparative analysis essays in education challenges us to dissect and debate pivotal learning themes. Our carefully selected "Top 20 Topics, Prompts, Ideas, and Questions" aim to ignite critical thought, pushing you to evaluate and contrast varied educational frameworks and the efficacy of instructional approaches. In drafting your essay, strive for a cohesive argument that elevates your analysis beyond the obvious. These topics are springboards for broader discussion, offering a l

Essay about Ethical Decision Making

Essay about Ethical Decision Making

Ethical decision-making is the process of choosing between various options, where the choices are guided by ethical principles and values. This essay explores the foundational rules of ethical decision-making, the possible and ideal ground rules, the implications of such decisions, and the application of a personal ethical framework to a difficult decision in my life. We will delve into the significance of ethics in decision-making processes and speculate on potential improvements for the future

Develop Good Habits

11 SMART Goals Examples for Improving Your Writing Skills

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Good writing skills are becoming more critical, particularly in finding and maintaining a good job. As a writer, you are faced with several challenges. This has to do with your overall writing skills, not just with the profession in general.

A lack of vocabulary, issues with plagiarism, insufficient reasoning and cognitive skills, a lack of feedback, poor grammar and spelling, and a lack of research skills are problems you may face.

However, setting SMART goals is one thing that can help you significantly improve your writing skills. This article discusses SMART goals for writing skills.

SMART goals can help you set precise goals you can measure in realistic ways to monitor your progress over time.

Table of Contents

What Are SMART Goals?

To set usable SMART goals, knowing what they are is crucial. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable (or Attainable), Relevant, and Time-Bound (or Timely). These are five parts of a greater goal.

If you focus on the five letters of this acronym, setting and achieving goals becomes easier. So let’s look at the five letters of the SMART acronym and what they mean in setting SMART goals for writing skills.  

  • Specific: These goals need to be precise, concise, and unambiguous. Setting a goal is relatively meaningless if you don’t know what the goal is.
  • Measurable: The goals you set must be measurable in some way. The more accurately you can measure your progress toward a goal, the better you can judge what still needs to be done to get there.
  • Achievable: Any goal you set needs to be attainable or achievable. Setting unrealistic goals that are not readily attainable will demoralize and demotivate you.
  • Relevant: The goals you set need to be relevant to the specific skill you are looking to improve. For instance, while eating healthy is a worthy goal, it won’t help you become a better writer.
  • Time-Bound: These SMART goals should always be time-bound. These goals should have specific time limits or deadlines that they should be achieved by. This will help motivate you, and it will also help you monitor progress on a linear scale.

If you would like more information on setting and achieving SMART goals, we recommend checking out Ultimate Guide to SMART Goals . In addition, a vision board can help you determine what your biggest goals are.

Why SMART Goals Are Important for Developing Writing Skills

SMART goals help you create structure in a way that makes them easier to achieve.

It’s about setting specific goals where you can measure the progress over a certain period, goals that are relevant to your overall end goal, which, in this case, is improving your writing skills.

There are a significant number of challenges that today’s writers face . One of the most common is dealing with complex and unfamiliar topics and lacking practical research skills. But, of course, to write, you first need to research, which is easier said than done.

Another big challenge , once resources have been found, is to organize them, so they are easily usable for your writing. Also related to research and sources is ensuring that your writing hasn’t been plagiarized, which can land you in serious trouble.

goals as a writer and reader | goals of academic writing | list of writing goals

Moreover, perhaps one of the biggest writing challenges is forming a coherent argument that makes sense and is valid. It concerns using common sense, logical thought, and deductive skills within a solid writing structure to develop an argument that is accurate and easy to understand.

Another challenge writers face a simple lack of grammar and spelling skills , combined with an ineffective vocabulary. The cornerstone of assembling a good piece of writing is knowing the best words to use.

Other challenges you may face include a simple lack of feedback. To improve at something, you need constructive criticism. A lack of practice and experience are also issues.

We want to look at a series of SMART goals for writing skills to help you formulate a strategy that will help you improve.

We will help you set goals to tackle the challenges writers face, as laid out above. SMART goals are your plan of action.

11 Examples of SMART Goals for Writing Skills

Let’s go over a few examples of SMART goals that will help you tackle the challenges mentioned above faced by writers.

1. Read from Academic Sources

“To improve my vocabulary, I will spend at least 15 minutes reading from an academic source each day. All throughout, I will keep track of the number of words I do not know to judge my reading comprehension skills and vocabulary. My end goal is to fully comprehend any piece of writing within one year of the start date.”

S: This goal is specific as you aim to read from an academic source every day for a particular time to increase your vocabulary.

M: This goal is measurable because you can track how many words you are unfamiliar with over 15 minutes of reading.

A: This goal is achievable because spending 15 minutes per day reading is not very time-consuming, nor is making a list to keep track of unfamiliar words.

R: This goal is directly relevant to improving writing skills because having a good vocabulary is essential for writing well. Regularly reading is a great habit to have anyway.

T: This goal is time-bound to a certain degree because the aim is to engage in this practice for at least 15 minutes per day, every day, by the end of each day.

2. Learn New Words

“To help improve my vocabulary, I will spend 10 minutes each day making a list of words that I have heard but do not know the meaning of. I will then use a dictionary and a thesaurus to learn what these words mean and their synonyms. I want to shorten my list of unfamiliar words by at least 5% each week.”

S: This goal is specific as the aim is to make a list of unfamiliar words and then learn their meanings. The objective is to improve your vocabulary.

M: This goal is measurable to a certain degree because you can easily see the length of your list of unfamiliar words.

A: This goal is easy to attain because you can write down unfamiliar words as you read them and then set aside a few minutes each day to look them up.

R: As established above, having a strong vocabulary is essential to becoming a proficient writer.

T: This process is time-bound, as you are setting aside a certain amount of time each day to complete this task. It’s also time-bound as you intend to shorten the list of unfamiliar words within a set timeframe.

3. Ask for Feedback

“Whenever I complete a piece of writing, I will immediately give it to a friend or family member and ask them to provide me with realistic and relevant feedback. I will ask for feedback within three days. Then, I will examine the feedback immediately and make adjustments as needed by the end of the week (or within seven days of giving said person my piece of writing).”

S: This goal is specifically designed to seek feedback on your writing within a specific timeframe to have others tell you what needs improvement.

M: This goal is measurable to a certain degree, as you can use your judgment to determine how positive or negative the feedback is. The more positive feedback you get, the more you progress.

A: This goal is easy to attain because you simply have to find some people willing to engage in this feedback process. Here’s a good guide on how to motivate others to help you.

R: This is highly relevant because things sound different from somebody else’s perspective. You need to know how other people read and interpret your work.

T: This goal is time-based, as the aim is to get feedback and make adjustments within a specific time.

4. Join a Debate Club

“To improve my logical thought, deduction, and argument-formation skills, I will join a debate club within the next 14 days. I will aim to have at least one debate per week, with the overall goal of winning at least two consecutive debates within six months of joining the debate team.”

S: This goal is specific in using a debate team to improve argument-formation skills over a particular time to win consecutive debates.

M: This goal is measurable because you can judge your progress by your performance and overall results in your weekly debates.

A: It’s a relatively easy goal because argument formation skills also improve by practicing debating skills.

R: It’s a relevant goal because good writing requires clear and coherent arguments to be formed.

T: It is a time-bound goal because it aims to win two consecutive debates within six months of joining the team.

5. Learn to Read Faster

“I will read at least one chapter of a book per day and write a summary of the main points within the said chapter. The overall goal is to first increase the speed at which I read, and second, to detail the main points more clearly and concisely within each chapter. My aim is to read at least one word more per minute each day and be able to read at least 100 words per minute within 60 days of beginning this exercise.  I will then go back through each chapter to examine my analysis' accuracy.”

S: This goal is specific because you intend to read a certain amount, be able to read faster, at least one word per minute more each day, and to better comprehend what you’ve read over a period.

M: This goal is measurable because you can keep track of how many words per minute you read and count the main points you could remember and comprehend.

A: This is an easy-to-attain goal because by practicing, your reading speed and comprehension skills will improve over time.

R: A crucial reading and writing skill is to disseminate essential facts quickly and efficiently from large writing pieces.

T: This is a timely goal as the objective is to read a certain number of words more each day, intending to read at least 100 words per minute within 60 days of starting. This could be a part of a daily morning routine .

6. Hone Writing Skills

“I will join a professional writing class by the end of the month and complete it by the end of the year. The overall goal is to hone my writing skills, precisely the style, and type of writing required for my profession. My aim is to get at least a 90% score on all exams in this writing course.”

S: The specific goal is to first complete a particular writing class and, second, get a score of at least 90% on all exams.

M: This goal is easy to measure, as all of your work will be graded by the instructor.

A: This goal is attainable through hard work, practice, and studying.

R: It is a relevant goal because taking a course designed specifically for that end will improve my writing skills.

T: It is a time-bound goal, as writing classes only last for so long.

7. Identify Writers You Admire

“I will identify writers I admire whom I can learn from. By choosing one writer per month, I will have time to research that writer, identifying their trademark style, unique approach to topics, and literary style. I will identify one to three aspects of each writer’s style that I can adapt to my own writing style, practicing these over the last two weeks of each month per writer. I will then track to see which style adaptation works for me and which feels out of place.” 

S: This goal is specific in that you need to identify people who write in such a way that you admire. The task is specific and targeted at a predetermined outcome—finding writers you like. 

M: You can measure your success here by how many great writers you’ve researched and considered as writers you admire. 

A: Achieve this goal by reading up on one writer per month, which is achievable. 

R: Build the relevance of this goal by focusing on a skill (other writers’ writing ability) that you can apply to your own writing career. 

T: This goal has a time limit of one writer per month, which ensures you won’t get bored and will have enough time to research these writers, while still having time to write too. 

8. Developing Writing Tricks

“Having achieved my goal of identifying writers I admire; I will now learn their tricks or the shortcuts that help them create great content and captivating manuscripts. I will use the next month per writer, reading their best work and also their worst work, identifying what worked in the first while being missing in the latter. From my notes, I will then apply the x-factor that helps these writers be so great to help me be a better writer. Having found each writer’s success formula, I will apply this to my writing too.”  

S: Identify the specific traits or skills that a writer used to succeed that was missing from their poor work. This is a specific step.

M: Success can be measured by seeing whether you can identify what made a writer great in their work, while also spotting what made them not succeed, and then seeing if you have similar challenges. You can measure success by how many writers you can analyze in the given time.

A: Anybody can read what someone else wrote, but because you are a writer, you will be able to achieve a real analysis of their work and style through comparison. 

R: This is a relevant goal as it will improve your writing ability if you can see what tricks work and what doesn’t. You write relevant content by learning from someone else’s mistakes. 

T: There is a time limit to this goal because you have a month per writer, which is when you move on to a different writer. 

long term career goals statement examples | sample career aspirations statement for managers | how to write a goal statement for work

9. Develop Brilliant Self-Editing Skills

“I know I am not perfect, so I will sharpen my self-editing skills. I will make it a requirement to read my content at least three times before letting it rest for a week and then reading it again, but this time reading it from the bottom up (not in reverse) so I can check each sentence independently, and also then read it from start to finish to catch any errors and inconsistencies that need to be edited. I will also invest in a good grammatical tool such as Grammarly Premium for the next six months to suggest changes where necessary. By asking family members to check my writing, I can get an indication of my improvements and learning.”  

S: This goal is about improving the quality of your writing, which is a specific goal. 

M: You can measure this goal by looking at the grammar checking tool’s score, while also asking family members to report back on their perception of your writing improvement. 

A: You can achieve this goal as it has smaller micro-goals, such as editing from the bottom up and investing in a grammar tool for six months. 

R: As a writer, having quality content and captivating writing is vital to industry success, which means this goal is relevant to your career as a writer. 

T: With a time limit of reading content three times, resting seven days, then reading it again, you create a healthy time habit that will help you review your work with fresh eyes. 

10. Broaden My Knowledge Base

“To be a successful writer, I also need to be a great “reader” with a wide knowledge base, so I will read a new niche or topic each week. Instead of reading about things I am already familiar with, I need to read new and unusual topics that I know nothing about and possibly never even knew existed. For each new topic, I will create a list of 10 terms or ideas that are unique to that area of expertise, which I will practice referring to in the last week of each month.” 

S: The specifics of this goal are to broaden knowledge, which you can specifically do by reading a new topic each week and keeping notes on that topic.

M: You can measure your knowledge expansion by using industry-specific knowledge in daily discussions. Check off each term or idea each time you use them. 

A: Reading a book or blog each week is achievable, and it’s interesting too, so you will likely keep up the knowledge habit. 

R: Writing is about knowledge, so being informed about many different areas of interest means you will have a wide knowledge base, and this will keep you (and your written content) relevant. 

T: The time limit on this task is specific, helping to keep you on track in your goal to read a new book (topic) each week. 

11. Identify New Writing Markets

“To ensure I can earn a living from writing, I will explore different writing markets until I find one (or more) where I naturally thrive. A market can only be explored if you work in it, so I will choose a new writing market every three months, seeking out writing opportunities and clients in that market. When I am satisfied that I know more about that particular writing market, I will move on to the next (while still maintaining activity in the previous markets). Finally, I will choose the markets where I can enjoy the most success and hone my skills there.”

S: The specific goal is to find new writing markets that may help you write successfully and earn a living. 

M: Your success can be measured by the number of markets you explore and how you slot into each. 

A: You can achieve this goal by applying for new writing jobs or projects online in markets where you haven’t previously written, such as content writing, SEO writing, copywriting, fiction, non-fiction, and more. 

R: The goal is relevant as you want to build a successful writing career, but you may not yet know what market you and your writing abilities are best suited to. 

T: With a time limit of three months per market, you have enough time to investigate a market without forcing yourself to drown in any particular one. You can easily dip your toes into a market in three months, so the goal is reachable and timebound. 

Final Thoughts on SMART Goals for Writing Skills

The best way to hone your writing skills is to set specific goals. The best way to do this is by making them SMART goals, which enable you to set concise goals, achieve those goals, and when they should be completed.

This kind of structure and organization always makes achieving any goal easier. So make five or six SMART goals and start improving your writing today!

And if you want more SMART goal ideas and examples, be sure to check out these blog posts:

  • 7 SMART Goals Examples for Administrative Assistants
  • 6 SMART Goals Examples for Social Media Marketing
  • 7 SMART Goals Examples for Creatives & Artistic People

Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals .

smart goals for writing skills | goals to improve writing skills | writing goals examples

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Everything you need to know to get Accepted

essay goal writing

February 29, 2024

  • Writing Your Career Goals Essay

essay goal writing

Check out all the blog posts in this series:

  • Identifying the Ingredients of a Winning Essay
  • Finding a Theme for Your Statement of Purpose
  • Revise and Polish Your Application Essays

Your career goals essay demands a laser-like focus. A personal statement, by contrast, allows for some flexibility in its content, though you can – and often should – discuss your career goals. But a career goals essay has a particular and packed agenda. In fact, the prompt for a career goals essay could actually include multiple questions, and in such cases, you want to make sure you address each of them.

For example, in 2022, Kellogg asked applicants to its one-year program to respond to the following prompt: “Please discuss your post-MBA career goal, the current experience you will leverage to support the transition, and the Kellogg 1Y opportunities that will help you reach this goal.” 

This prompt has three parts: (1) What do you want to do post-MBA ? (2) Why is the 1Y program appropriate for you? And (3) what experience has so far prepared you to succeed in your target role? 

So, always pay close attention to your target school’s prompt to ensure that you answer all the questions within its “single” question. 

Three elements of a successful career goals essay

In addition to having a distinct theme , your career goals essay should achieve the following:

  • Highlight specific career achievements. Choose from your most notable or defining experiences. These could be related to your work, community involvement, or extracurricular activities. The experiences you select should showcase your leadership skills , creative thinking, collaborative abilities, and personal reflections about what you learned or gained.
  • Explain why your experiences and influences make your career goal a logical and wise choice.
  • Demonstrate why you are suited to a particular field as a result of your education, experience, abilities, and enthusiasm. Ideally, the material you choose to include will also allow you to prove your knowledge about industry trends and suggest how your abilities and strengths can help you contribute to that field.

It’s a very tall order to achieve all this.

Putting these elements together to create your goals essay

Let’s take a look at a sample MBA Goals Essay and see how these three key elements are incorporated.  

You should be able to easily recognize why the writer’s opening is attention-getting for all the right reasons. The writer introduces herself as the supremely busy executive she visualizes becoming in the future. She trades large amounts of stock, rushes off to a Zoom conference, hurries downstairs, flags down a taxi, then hops on a plane. As she describes this whirlwind of activity, we can practically feel her heart pumping.

After establishing her voice and personality in this opening, she offers context for her MBA goal. Notice that in writing about her work as an accountant for a major firm, she provides relevant details, including how many years she has been in the field, her bilingualism, and her specialty area as an auditor. This information is her springboard to explain why she is pursuing an MBA: she’s bursting out of her limited role as an accountant. Her eyes and ambition are set on a larger playing field as an international investment manager.

Write an essay, not a list or CV

Outstanding career goals essays are not lists of an applicant’s roles and achievements. Instead, they have a narrative flow and arc that convey the candidate’s palpable excitement about their career choice. This writer’s enthusiastic, dreamy first paragraph achieves this, and she returns to that image at the end, where she paints her idealized (if frantically busy) future. She also proves her seriousness by noting that she registered for the CFA exam.

Connect your career goals to your reasons for choosing a particular program

Many essay questions, especially those for MBA programs , will ask why you have chosen the school you’re applying to. Be prepared to respond knowledgeably and enthusiastically. And the only way to become knowledgeable – and enthusiastic – is by visiting campus in-person or virtually, attending student recruitment meetings, participating in forums, reading student blogs, watching videos of students speaking about their experiences, communicating directly with students and/or recent alumni, and otherwise doing your homework. As part of your research, make sure you have familiarized yourself with the courses and specializations that are relevant to your goals.

Summary Tips

  • Focus on answering each and every question asked in a career goals essay prompt. Often, there is more than one.
  • Highlight specific achievements vividly and in a way that shows that your career choice is logical for you.
  • Do the research so you can write about why the school is a good fit for you and do so with genuine enthusiasm.

In the next post in this series , we’ll explain how to take all this advice and apply it to create an exemplary first draft.

Work one-on-one with an expert who will walk you through the process of creating a slam-dunk application. Check out our full catalog of application services . Our admissions consultants have read thousands of essays and know the exact ingredients of an outstanding essay.

Judy Gruen

By Judy Gruen, former Accepted admissions consultant. Judy holds a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. She is also the co-author of Accepted’s first full-length book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools . Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related resources:

  • The Winning Ingredients of a Dynamic MBA Goals Essay , a free guide
  • Grad School Personal Statement Examples
  • Focus on Fit , podcast Episode 162

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Goal Setting for Achieving Growth and Development Essay

Setting goals is an important activity that everyone should engage in to achieve growth and development. In setting our goals, we should think critically on the type of goals we set to avoid disappointment which can reduce one’s morale to develop.

We should make sure the goals we are setting are ours and are not as a result of the influence of another party.

One should also have a reason for setting the goals and the goals set should be encouraging to engage in, because if they are boring, then one might lose interest in developing the goal.

When the goal is set, one should be able to visualize himself enjoying the benefits from the target after the specified time has elapsed, to avoid engaging in unachievable ventures (Robbins & Coulter, 2009)

In setting goals, we should have a method or some kind of approach to enable one to choose fruitful goals. The best method of goal setting is the SMART goal setting process. The acronym stands for:


A-Attainable, but challenging


This model can be used to set any type of goals, and whether personal or professional they are all achievable. For example, I would like to set a specific goal which is opening a new branch for my fashion business, and I expect to be worth half a million dollars by the end of this year.

T hat is not enough to set a specific goal; hence I should set a measurement to determine my success in the undertaking.

I should be able to measure the operations of the new branch to determine my progress. Measuring the goal would entail taking into account all the sales, costs and revenues from the new branch.

My goal should also be attainable in that; it should be easy to achieve and manage to avoid discouragement, but they should not be too easy to achieve otherwise that would be wastage of resources and time.

However, our goals should not be complicated or set to a very high mark that is not realistic.

In setting my goal I considered that it took me a year and a half to achieve a half a million worth business in my first venture hence now that am more experienced, I should be able to achieve that in a year if all other things remain constant (Robbins & Coulter, 2009).

One should also be able to predict whether the goal will be achievable through measurement and if it appears otherwise, then the strategies used should be changed. Goals set should also be rewarding; they should yield benefits or revenues.

This is the main reason for setting goals, and hence one should evaluate the progress of the venture.

Rewards depend on the type of goal, or venture one is involved in, and for my purpose, I should be able to determine the revenues of my new parlor to know whether am making profits and how I can to make the profits more so that the business can expand more.

The achievement of goals should be timely, and this involves setting deadlines or a time frame in which the goals should be achieved. Otherwise one can spend too much time on one venture instead of using that time to perform other activities.

The time frame will also be determined by the type of goals set; for example, one can not expect to lose weight in two weeks nor can you wait for five years without any change in the weight.

My goal is business oriented, and in setting the time frame, I should consider all eventualities that characterize the fashion market and also consider previous experience; my time frame is one year. The approach is very effective because it is easy to analyze, logical and applicable.

Once we have set the goals we need to make plans on how to achieve them and planning can be managerial or operational; managerial planning is done by the managers and in my case am obligated to do that, while the operational planning involves the first level managers and who are not present in my business because it is not very big to have such employees hence I and the sales staff will do that since they are the only employees.

We should always set well-written goals for easy planning of their implementation.

In planning developing plans to pursue a goal, we should always consider the level of the business the environmental uncertainties and any other future commitment because this is some of the major factors that are likely to influence the implementation of our plans (Robbins & Coulter, 2009)

In making good goals we should review the mission of the organization, in this case, the business, we should also consider the available resources required for the implementation of the goals and finally other people that will be involved in its implementation should also be involved in setting the goal.

Goal setting is very important to achieve success hence the need for proper planning, implementation, and evaluation of our goals. By using the smart approach, one will always stay motivated to achieve the goals and is less likely to fail.

The approach encourages creativity and allows for flexibility hence enables you to work at your pace and capacity while still keeping you alert. It is a good method and very recommendable especially for in setting business goals.

Reference list

Robbins, J & Coulter, M. (2009) Management , New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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IvyPanda. (2022, April 29). Goal Setting for Achieving Growth and Development. https://ivypanda.com/essays/goal-setting/

"Goal Setting for Achieving Growth and Development." IvyPanda , 29 Apr. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/goal-setting/.

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Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

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How to Write an Effective Essay

Writing an essay for college admission gives you a chance to use your authentic voice and show your personality. It's an excellent opportunity to personalize your application beyond your academic credentials, and a well-written essay can have a positive influence come decision time.

Want to know how to draft an essay for your college application ? Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing.

Tips for Essay Writing

A typical college application essay, also known as a personal statement, is 400-600 words. Although that may seem short, writing about yourself can be challenging. It's not something you want to rush or put off at the last moment. Think of it as a critical piece of the application process. Follow these tips to write an impactful essay that can work in your favor.

1. Start Early.

Few people write well under pressure. Try to complete your first draft a few weeks before you have to turn it in. Many advisers recommend starting as early as the summer before your senior year in high school. That way, you have ample time to think about the prompt and craft the best personal statement possible.

You don't have to work on your essay every day, but you'll want to give yourself time to revise and edit. You may discover that you want to change your topic or think of a better way to frame it. Either way, the sooner you start, the better.

2. Understand the Prompt and Instructions.

Before you begin the writing process, take time to understand what the college wants from you. The worst thing you can do is skim through the instructions and submit a piece that doesn't even fit the bare minimum requirements or address the essay topic. Look at the prompt, consider the required word count, and note any unique details each school wants.

3. Create a Strong Opener.

Students seeking help for their application essays often have trouble getting things started. It's a challenging writing process. Finding the right words to start can be the hardest part.

Spending more time working on your opener is always a good idea. The opening sentence sets the stage for the rest of your piece. The introductory paragraph is what piques the interest of the reader, and it can immediately set your essay apart from the others.

4. Stay on Topic.

One of the most important things to remember is to keep to the essay topic. If you're applying to 10 or more colleges, it's easy to veer off course with so many application essays.

A common mistake many students make is trying to fit previously written essays into the mold of another college's requirements. This seems like a time-saving way to avoid writing new pieces entirely, but it often backfires. The result is usually a final piece that's generic, unfocused, or confusing. Always write a new essay for every application, no matter how long it takes.

5. Think About Your Response.

Don't try to guess what the admissions officials want to read. Your essay will be easier to write─and more exciting to read─if you’re genuinely enthusiastic about your subject. Here’s an example: If all your friends are writing application essays about covid-19, it may be a good idea to avoid that topic, unless during the pandemic you had a vivid, life-changing experience you're burning to share. Whatever topic you choose, avoid canned responses. Be creative.

6. Focus on You.

Essay prompts typically give you plenty of latitude, but panel members expect you to focus on a subject that is personal (although not overly intimate) and particular to you. Admissions counselors say the best essays help them learn something about the candidate that they would never know from reading the rest of the application.

7. Stay True to Your Voice.

Use your usual vocabulary. Avoid fancy language you wouldn't use in real life. Imagine yourself reading this essay aloud to a classroom full of people who have never met you. Keep a confident tone. Be wary of words and phrases that undercut that tone.

8. Be Specific and Factual.

Capitalize on real-life experiences. Your essay may give you the time and space to explain why a particular achievement meant so much to you. But resist the urge to exaggerate and embellish. Admissions counselors read thousands of essays each year. They can easily spot a fake.

9. Edit and Proofread.

When you finish the final draft, run it through the spell checker on your computer. Then don’t read your essay for a few days. You'll be more apt to spot typos and awkward grammar when you reread it. After that, ask a teacher, parent, or college student (preferably an English or communications major) to give it a quick read. While you're at it, double-check your word count.

Writing essays for college admission can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. A well-crafted essay could be the deciding factor─in your favor. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll have no problem creating memorable pieces for every application.

What is the format of a college application essay?

Generally, essays for college admission follow a simple format that includes an opening paragraph, a lengthier body section, and a closing paragraph. You don't need to include a title, which will only take up extra space. Keep in mind that the exact format can vary from one college application to the next. Read the instructions and prompt for more guidance.

Most online applications will include a text box for your essay. If you're attaching it as a document, however, be sure to use a standard, 12-point font and use 1.5-spaced or double-spaced lines, unless the application specifies different font and spacing.

How do you start an essay?

The goal here is to use an attention grabber. Think of it as a way to reel the reader in and interest an admissions officer in what you have to say. There's no trick on how to start a college application essay. The best way you can approach this task is to flex your creative muscles and think outside the box.

You can start with openers such as relevant quotes, exciting anecdotes, or questions. Either way, the first sentence should be unique and intrigue the reader.

What should an essay include?

Every application essay you write should include details about yourself and past experiences. It's another opportunity to make yourself look like a fantastic applicant. Leverage your experiences. Tell a riveting story that fulfills the prompt.

What shouldn’t be included in an essay?

When writing a college application essay, it's usually best to avoid overly personal details and controversial topics. Although these topics might make for an intriguing essay, they can be tricky to express well. If you’re unsure if a topic is appropriate for your essay, check with your school counselor. An essay for college admission shouldn't include a list of achievements or academic accolades either. Your essay isn’t meant to be a rehashing of information the admissions panel can find elsewhere in your application.

How can you make your essay personal and interesting?

The best way to make your essay interesting is to write about something genuinely important to you. That could be an experience that changed your life or a valuable lesson that had an enormous impact on you. Whatever the case, speak from the heart, and be honest.

Is it OK to discuss mental health in an essay?

Mental health struggles can create challenges you must overcome during your education and could be an opportunity for you to show how you’ve handled challenges and overcome obstacles. If you’re considering writing your essay for college admission on this topic, consider talking to your school counselor or with an English teacher on how to frame the essay.

Related Articles


Essay on Goals in Life

Students are often asked to write an essay on Goals in Life in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Goals in Life


Goals in life are like a compass, guiding us towards our desired destination. They provide a sense of direction and purpose, helping us focus and organize our efforts efficiently.

Importance of Goals

Goals are important as they motivate us to strive for success. They make us resilient, enabling us to overcome obstacles and challenges that may come our way.

Types of Goals

Goals can be short-term or long-term. Short-term goals are achievable quickly, while long-term goals require time and persistent effort.

In conclusion, setting goals is essential for personal growth and success. Always remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

250 Words Essay on Goals in Life

Life is a journey filled with opportunities and challenges. Goals, acting as navigational tools, direct our path through this journey, providing focus, motivation, and a sense of purpose. They are the stepping stones to achieving our ambitions, and they shape our personal, academic, and professional lives.

The Importance of Setting Goals

Setting goals is integral to our growth and progress. They serve as a blueprint for our future, guiding our actions and decisions. Goals foster resilience, as they urge us to persevere despite setbacks. They also encourage self-development, pushing us to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Goals can be broadly classified into short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals act as immediate milestones, while long-term goals shape our vision for the future. Balancing both is crucial, as short-term goals often pave the way to long-term accomplishments.

Goal Setting and Achievement

Effective goal setting requires specificity, measurability, attainability, relevance, and timeliness (SMART). This approach ensures our goals are realistic and achievable. Moreover, consistent evaluation and adjustment of our goals is essential, as it allows us to stay aligned with our evolving aspirations and circumstances.

In conclusion, goals are fundamental to our life’s journey. They provide direction, foster resilience, and encourage personal growth. Balancing short-term and long-term goals, along with effective goal-setting strategies, can lead us to success. Ultimately, it is through setting and achieving our goals that we write our own life story.

500 Words Essay on Goals in Life

Goals are the compass that guides us through life, providing direction and purpose. They are the stepping stones towards achieving our ultimate dreams and aspirations. Goals, whether personal, professional, or academic, are significant as they shape our lives, fuel our ambition, and give us a sense of accomplishment.

Setting goals is a fundamental component to long-term success. The basic reason for this is the ability of goals to create a bridge between our present and our desired future. They serve as motivators, pushing us to step out of our comfort zones, face challenges, and strive for improvement. Goals act as a roadmap, providing clarity and focus, enabling us to make informed decisions and avoid distractions.

Goals also foster resilience, as they often require sustained effort and dedication. They teach us the value of perseverance, as the journey towards achieving them is usually filled with obstacles and setbacks. However, these challenges serve to strengthen us, enhancing our problem-solving skills and fostering personal growth.

Goals can be broadly categorized into short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are immediate objectives that can be achieved within a relatively short timeframe. These could range from completing a project, passing an exam, or learning a new skill.

Long-term goals, on the other hand, are more extensive and require a significant amount of time and effort. Examples include obtaining a degree, launching a successful career, or buying a house. Short-term goals often serve as stepping stones towards the achievement of long-term goals.

Goal Setting Strategies

Effective goal setting requires thought and planning. One popular method is the SMART framework, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This approach encourages us to set goals that are clear and precise, have a defined timeline, are realistically attainable, and align with our broader life objectives.

Another crucial aspect of goal setting is maintaining flexibility. Life is unpredictable, and circumstances can change unexpectedly. Therefore, it’s essential to be adaptable and open to modifying our goals as needed.

In conclusion, goals are integral to our lives. They provide us with a sense of direction, motivate us to strive for improvement, and offer a sense of accomplishment when achieved. Whether they are short-term or long-term, personal or professional, goals give our lives purpose and meaning. Therefore, the process of setting and achieving goals is a lifelong journey that leads to personal growth and fulfillment.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

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The Cowardice of Guernica

The literary magazine Guernica ’s decision to retract an essay about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reveals much about how the war is hardening human sentiment.

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In the days after October 7, the writer and translator Joanna Chen spoke with a neighbor in Israel whose children were frightened by the constant sound of warplanes. “I tell them these are good booms,” the neighbor said to Chen with a grimace. “I understood the subtext,” Chen wrote later in an essay published in Guernica magazine on March 4, titled “From the Edges of a Broken World.” The booms were, of course, the Israeli army bombing Gaza, part of a campaign that has left at least 30,000 civilians and combatants dead so far.

The moment is just one observation in a much longer meditative piece of writing in which Chen weighs her principles—for years she has volunteered at a charity providing transportation for Palestinian children needing medical care, and works on Arabic and Hebrew translations to bridge cultural divides—against the more turbulent feelings of fear, inadequacy, and split allegiances that have cropped up for her after October 7, when 1,200 people were killed and 250 taken hostage in Hamas’s assault on Israel. But the conversation with the neighbor is a sharp, novelistic, and telling moment. The mother, aware of the perversity of recasting bombs killing children mere miles away as “good booms,” does so anyway because she is a mother, and her children are frightened. The act, at once callous and caring, will stay with me.

Not with the readers of Guernica , though. The magazine , once a prominent publication for fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, with a focus on global art and politics, quickly found itself imploding as its all-volunteer staff revolted over the essay. One of the magazine’s nonfiction editors posted on social media that she was leaving over Chen’s publication. “Parts of the essay felt particularly harmful and disorienting to read, such as the line where a person is quoted saying ‘I tell them these are good booms.’” Soon a poetry editor resigned as well, calling Chen’s essay a “horrific settler normalization essay”— settler here seeming to refer to all Israelis, because Chen does not live in the occupied territories. More staff members followed, including the senior nonfiction editor and one of the co-publishers (who criticized the essay as “a hand-wringing apologia for Zionism”). Amid this flurry of cascading outrage, on March 10 Guernica pulled the essay from its website, with the note: “ Guernica regrets having published this piece, and has retracted it. A more fulsome explanation will follow.” As of today, this explanation is still pending, and my request for comment from the editor in chief, Jina Moore Ngarambe, has gone unanswered.

Read: Beware the language that erases reality

Blowups at literary journals are not the most pressing news of the day, but the incident at Guernica reveals the extent to which elite American literary outlets may now be beholden to the narrowest polemical and moralistic approaches to literature. After the publication of Chen’s essay, a parade of mutual incomprehension occurred across social media, with pro-Palestine writers announcing what they declared to be the self-evident awfulness of the essay (publishing the essay made Guernica “a pillar of eugenicist white colonialism masquerading as goodness,” wrote one of the now-former editors), while reader after reader who came to it because of the controversy—an archived version can still be accessed—commented that they didn’t understand what was objectionable. One reader seemed to have mistakenly assumed that Guernica had pulled the essay in response to pressure from pro-Israel critics. “Oh buddy you can’t have your civilian population empathizing with the people you’re ethnically cleansing,” he wrote, with obvious sarcasm. When another reader pointed out that he had it backwards, he responded, “This chain of events is bizarre.”

Some people saw anti-Semitism in the decision. James Palmer, a deputy editor of Foreign Policy , noted how absurd it was to suggest that the author approved of the “good bombs” sentiment, and wrote that the outcry was “one step toward trying to exclude Jews from discourse altogether.” And it is hard not to see some anti-Semitism at play. One of the resigning editors claimed that the essay “includes random untrue fantasies about Hamas and centers the suffering of oppressors” (Chen briefly mentions the well-documented atrocities of October 7; caring for an Israeli family that lost a daughter, son-in-law, and nephew; and her worries about the fate of Palestinians she knows who have links to Israel).

Madhuri Sastry, one of the co-publishers, notes in her resignation post that she’d earlier successfully insisted on barring a previous essay of Chen’s from the magazine’s Voices on Palestine compilation. In that same compilation, Guernica chose to include an interview with Alice Walker, the author of a poem that asks “Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews,” and who once recommended to readers of The New York Times a book that claims that “a small Jewish clique” helped plan the Russian Revolution, World Wars I and II, and “coldly calculated” the Holocaust. No one at Guernica publicly resigned over the magazine’s association with Walker.

However, to merely dismiss all of the critics out of hand as insane or intolerant or anti-Semitic would ironically run counter to the spirit of Chen’s essay itself. She writes of her desire to reach out to those on the other side of the conflict, people she’s worked with or known and who would be angered or horrified by some of the other experiences she relates in the essay, such as the conversation about the “good booms.” Given the realities of the conflict, she knows this attempt to connect is just a first step, and an often-frustrating one. Writing to a Palestinian she’d once worked with as a reporter, she laments her failure to come up with something meaningful to say: “I also felt stupid—this was war, and whether I liked it or not, Nuha and I were standing at opposite ends of the very bridge I hoped to cross. I had been naive … I was inadequate.” In another scene, she notes how even before October 7, when groups of Palestinians and Israelis joined together to share their stories, their goodwill failed “to straddle the chasm that divided us.”

Read: Why activism leads to so much bad writing

After the publication of Chen’s essay, one writer after another pulled their work from the magazine. One wrote, “I will not allow my work to be curated alongside settler angst,” while another, the Texas-based Palestinian American poet Fady Joudah, wrote that Chen’s essay “is humiliating to Palestinians in any time let alone during a genocide. An essay as if a dispatch from a colonial century ago. Oh how good you are to the natives.” I find it hard to read the essay that way, but it would be a mistake, as Chen herself suggests, to ignore such sentiments. For those who more naturally sympathize with the Israeli mother than the Gazan hiding from the bombs, these responses exist across that chasm Chen describes, one that empathy alone is incapable of bridging.

That doesn’t mean empathy isn’t a start, though. Which is why the retraction of the article is more than an act of cowardice and a betrayal of a writer whose work the magazine shepherded to publication. It’s a betrayal of the task of literature, which cannot end wars but can help us see why people wage them, oppose them, or become complicit in them.

Empathy here does not justify or condemn. Empathy is just a tool. The writer needs it to accurately depict their subject; the peacemaker needs it to be able to trace the possibilities for negotiation; even the soldier needs it to understand his adversary. Before we act, we must see war’s human terrain in all its complexity, no matter how disorienting and painful that might be. Which means seeing Israelis as well as Palestinians—and not simply the mother comforting her children as the bombs fall and the essayist reaching out across the divide, but far harsher and more unsettling perspectives. Peace is not made between angels and demons but between human beings, and the real hell of life, as Jean Renoir once noted, is that everybody has their reasons. If your journal can’t publish work that deals with such messy realities, then your editors might as well resign, because you’ve turned your back on literature.

essay goal writing

How to Travel and Write an Essay

T raveling to new places and having new experiences can provide wonderful inspiration for writing essays. Immersing yourself in different cultures, interacting with new people, and exploring unfamiliar terrain engages your creative mind. Using your travel adventures as essay topics allows you to share your insightful reflections. Reading reviews of essay writing services can give you ideas on engaging writing styles and techniques to make your travel essay compelling. Here are some tips for traveling and gathering material to write a compelling essay.

Pick a Focused Travel Goal 

Rather than trying to do everything, pick a particular aspect of travel on which to focus your essay. This could involve food, architecture, nature, art, history, or interacting with locals. Choosing a specific emphasis will help shape your travels and give your essay direction. For example, if you want to write about regional cuisine, plan your itinerary around visiting iconic restaurants and food markets. Or if exploring national parks is your priority, design your trip to hike various trails and take in diverse landscapes. Picking a travel concentration spotlights what matters most for your essay topic.

Keep Detailed Notes and Media

Be sure to keep notes about your travel experiences, as memory alone is unreliable. Use your phone or a notebook to write descriptions of key places and events. Capture telling details, snippets of overheard conversations, interesting quotes from people you meet, and your personal reactions. In addition, take ample photos and videos to add visual elements and jog your memory later when writing your essay. Gathering detailed sensory information, verbatim conversations, and media will enable you to vividly convey your travels.

Get Off the Beaten Path 

While tourist hotspots yield common experiences many travelers share, explore lesser-known areas for fresh essay material. Wandering side streets and alleys or chatting with shop owners away from crowds provides unique perspectives. Hiking secluded trails showcases wilderness most never experience. Seeking out locals’ haunts and hidden gems exposes you to rare sights, sounds, and people unlikely to appear in standard travelogues. Venturing off the predictable beaten path unveils captivating topics to distinguish your essay.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone 

Challenge yourself on your travels by trying things outside your comfort zone, which will give you intriguing insights to inform your writing. Sample exotic cuisine with ingredients you can’t identify. Learn basic phrases in the native language. Navigate public transportation on your own. Talk to strangers from very different backgrounds. Accept an invitation to an unusual cultural event. Pushing past familiar habits and fears boosts opportunities for uncommon experiences, stimulating reflections to share in your essay. Facing uncertainty and discomfort allows you to access a fuller, richer range of travel moments.

Reflect on Your Interior Journey 

While cataloguing external places and events, also focus inward on your inner terrain. Note how travel affects you emotionally and psychologically along with the physical destinations and activities. Record when you feel wonder, irritation, joy, sadness, connection, isolation. Analyze what triggers these responses. Ponder how unfamiliar surroundings surface unanticipated reactions, or how you apply filters and assumptions unconsciously. Consider if this self-discovery challenges or reinforces your worldviews. Examining your interior shifts alongside exterior impressions provides deeper insight. Reading an Academized review reinforced the importance of weaving together outer and inner dimensions to craft a multi-layered essay.

Find Themes and Connections

As you travel and gather essay material, look for overarching themes that emerge. Do certain ideas or patterns recur as you journey? Do you keep learning similar lessons? Find common threads to tie together diverse experiences for a unified essay focusing on key themes. Or spotlight thought-provoking contrasts revealed through your travels. Additionally, consider connections between your voyage and broader context. How do your observations reflect historical, social or cultural phenomena? Can you compare and link your individual trip to larger collective issues? Identifying meaningful themes and links helps shape a compelling, impactful essay.

Craft a Strong Essay Structure 

Once you return from travels filled with observations, memories, artifacts and inspiration, it’s time to organize everything into a structured essay. First, revisit all your travel documentation and media, inventorying the best highlights to develop your central idea. Craft an introduction hooking readers’ interest while overviewing essay themes. Use each subheading to structure key travel experiences into engaging sections reinforced with vivid details, quotes, and examples. Analyze how these experiences interrelate and what insights they reveal associated with your themes. End with a powerful conclusion synthesizing main points and their significance. Edit carefully to refine language, verify facts, streamline structure while intensifying descriptions. Follow this process to translate your travel discoveries into an engaging, insightful essay.

Adding organization through focused subheadings provides natural breaks allowing readers’ eyes to rest while you emphasize key sections. Incorporating variable sentence types creates welcome rhythm and pacing variation. Contrasting longer complex sentences with shorter punchy ones, and trading sentences brimming with adjectives for straightforward construction alternates language patterns to maintain reader interest. Using low perplexity sentences when suitable enhances comprehension. Integrating these creative writing techniques keeps your travel essay lively, clear and compelling from start to finish.

So captivate readers with an essay unveiling your travel adventures and realizations. Immerse in cultural curiosities, venture off script, expand beyond your comfort zone and analyze what you uncover. Then organize intriguing experiences into an engaging essay emphasizing unforgettable impressions that reveal broader insights. With planning and attention, your travels can form the basis for a memorable, meaningful essay.

The post How to Travel and Write an Essay appeared first on Sunny Sweet Days .


EssayAI: Top undetectable AI essay generator for quality writing

EssayAI is an reputable undetectable AI essay writer that excels in generating high quality, human like essays.

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  • March 18, 2024

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In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant strides in various fields, and one of the most impacted domains is essay writing.

AI-generated essays have had to confront a significant hurdle: the emergence of AI detection tools.

Academic institutions have developed sophisticated software designed to detect whether an essay has been written by a human or produced by AI. 

Addressing this challenge, EssayAI emerged as a leading solution for producing undetectable AI essays. Learn more about this undetectable AI essay writer in this guide.

Get to know EssayAI

Essay ai writer

EssayAI has positioned itself as a paramount undetectable AI essay writer.

The tool not only aids in the essay-writing process but also ensures the final work is indistinguishable from essays written by humans, thereby easily bypassing AI detection methods.

Its goal is not just to aid in producing essays rapidly but also to provide peace of mind to users concerning the originality and authenticity of the AI-generated content.

Explore the key features of EssayAI

Essay ai writer features

EssayAI offers more than one single feature:

Mastery of undetectable AI-generated essays

EssayAI possesses an unparalleled ability to create undetectable essays as AI-generated, thanks to the sophisticated use of natural language processing techniques and extensive training on high-scoring student papers. 

Whether subjected to Turnitin, GPTZero, Originality.ai, Scribbr, or other AI detection tools, EssayAI essays are designed to pass these tests, ensuring no risk of penalties for AI-generated essays.

Generate essays across various styles

The undetectable AI essay writer doesn’t stop at creating general content; it can produce essays in various styles, including argumentative, narrative, descriptive, and expository. 

This versatility ensures that users have support regardless of the type of essay or subject matter they are tackling.

Comprehensive coverage across academic subjects

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With its wide-ranging capabilities, this undetectable AI essay-writing tool covers many fields. 

EssayAI empowers users to write skillfully in subjects such as the sciences, business, technology, and humanities, guaranteeing a level of efficacy that promotes trust and reliability in academic writing.

Effortless essay creation

EssayAI swiftly produces top-notch, undetectable AI essay material by presenting a subject and key idea. Individuals can easily assess, modify, and enhance the essay to suit their preferences with just a few clicks. 

This straightforward approach conserves time and eradicates the necessity for extensive research and writing, enabling students to channel their energy into other academic endeavors.

Streamline citation integration

Another feature of EssayAI is its ability to incorporate and streamline citations within the essays it generates. 

It abides by academic standards and citation formats such as APA, MLA, and Chicago, making the product ready for submission without the usual tedium associated with citation integration.

Ensure error-free, plagiarism-checked content

EssayAI generates error-free content with an inbuilt grammar checker, assuring users that the final essay is of high quality. 

It also ensures that all the generated essays are free from plagiarism. Users can rely on the platform to produce original content that maintains academic standards and avoids the pitfalls of plagiarism.

User-friendly essay crafting process

EssayAI simplifies the essay crafting process with an intuitive user interface and streamlined workflow, making generating undetectable AI essays easy.

This ease of use is foundational to the platform’s aim of being accessible to a wide range of users.

Beyond writing: EssayAI’s impact on the educational ecosystem

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Aid for students, educators, and researchers

The implications of EssayAI extend beyond individual writing tasks, offering valuable support to stakeholders within the educational ecosystem. 

Students can utilize the platform to enhance their writing skills, educators can create curated teaching materials, and researchers can streamline the writing process for various scholarly publications, fostering a culture of enhanced collaboration and learning.

The Future of Academic Writing Augmented by AI

As EssayAI continues to innovate within the undetectable AI essay writing space, it has the potential to redefine how students, educators, and professionals engage with academic writing. 

The seamless incorporation of AI into the writing process is a harbinger of a future where AI-augmented writing becomes the standard, shaping how knowledge is communicated and understood.

EssayAI as a catalyst for innovation in writing

EssayAI is a catalyst for innovation by offering an undetectable AI essay writer. It challenges the traditional paradigms of writing and pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. 

Facilitating creativity, ensuring consistency in quality, and delivering personalized experiences, EssayAI stands at the forefront of writing technology, paving the way for future advancements in the field.

Final thoughts

To sum up, EssayAI stands out as the premier undetectable AI essay writer, revolutionizing the landscape of essay generation.

Its seamless operation and high-quality outputs redefine efficiency in academic writing. By offering an intuitive platform for users to create their essays effortlessly, EssayAI transcends traditional writing barriers. 

This cutting-edge, undetectable AI essay writing tool not only saves time but guarantees top-notch content, marking a significant leap forward in the realm of AI-driven academic assistance.

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  • How does EssayAI generate undetectable AI essays? EssayAI guarantees the delivery of undetectable AI essays by employing sophisticated algorithms trained on a vast corpus of human-written essays. This advanced AI is designed to mimic the nuances of human authorship, ensuring the essays generated remain undetectable by AI detection.
  • Can EssayAI handle any essay topic? Yes, EssayAI’s robust technology can handle a wide range of essay topics, providing users with versatile support for any subject or field they require assistance with.
  • Is there a trial version of EssayAI available? Yes, users can try generating a free, undetectable AI essay with EssayAI.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our  Twitter  or  Facebook .

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The ‘Colorblindness’ Trap

How a civil rights ideal got hijacked.

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The ‘Colorblindness’ Trap: How a Civil Rights Ideal Got Hijacked

The fall of affirmative action is part of a 50-year campaign to roll back racial progress.

Nikole Hannah-Jones

By Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a staff writer at the magazine and is the creator of The 1619 Project. She also teaches race and journalism at Howard University.

Anthony K. Wutoh, the provost of Howard University, was sitting at his desk last July when his phone rang. It was the new dean of the College of Medicine, and she was worried. She had received a letter from a conservative law group called the Liberty Justice Center. The letter warned that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision striking down affirmative action in college admissions, the school “must cease” any practices or policies that included a “racial component” and said it was notifying medical schools across the country that they must eliminate “racial discrimination” in their admissions. If Howard refused to comply, the letter threatened, the organization would sue.

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Wutoh told the dean to send him the letter and not to respond until she heard back from him. Hanging up, he sat there for a moment, still. Then he picked up the phone and called the university’s counsel: This could be a problem.

Like most university officials, Wutoh was not shocked in June when the most conservative Supreme Court in nearly a century cut affirmative action’s final thin thread. In Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, the court invalidated race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Universities across the nation had been preparing for the ruling, trying both to assess potential liabilities and determine the best response.

But Howard is no ordinary university. Chartered by the federal government two years after the Civil War, Howard is one of about 100 historically Black colleges and universities, known as H.B.C.U.s. H.B.C.U. is an official government designation for institutions of higher learning founded from the time of slavery through the end of legal apartheid in the 1960s, mostly in the South. H.B.C.U.s were charged with educating the formerly enslaved and their descendants, who for most of this nation’s history were excluded from nearly all of its public and private colleges.

Though Howard has been open to students of all races since its founding in 1867, nearly all of its students have been Black. And so after the affirmative-action ruling, while elite, predominantly white universities fretted about how to keep their Black enrollments from shrinking, Howard (where I am a professor) and other H.B.C.U.s were planning for a potential influx of students who either could no longer get into these mostly white colleges or no longer wanted to try.

Wutoh thought it astounding that Howard — a university whose official government designation and mandate, whose entire reason for existing, is to serve a people who had been systematically excluded from higher education — could be threatened with a lawsuit if it did not ignore race when admitting students. “The fact that we have to even think about and consider what does this mean and how do we continue to fulfill our mission and fulfill the reason why we were founded as an institution and still be consistent with the ruling — I have to acknowledge that we have struggled with this,” he told me. “My broader concern is this is a concerted effort, part of an orchestrated plan to roll back many of the advances of the ’50s and ’60s. I am alarmed. It is absolutely regressive.”

Graduates attend a Howard University commencement ceremony.

Wutoh has reason to be alarmed. Conservative groups have spent the nine months since the affirmative-action ruling launching an assault on programs designed to explicitly address racial inequality across American life. They have filed a flurry of legal challenges and threatened lawsuits against race-conscious programs outside the realm of education, including diversity fellowships at law firms, a federal program to aid disadvantaged small businesses and a program to keep Black women from dying in childbirth. These conservative groups — whose names often evoke fairness and freedom and rights — are using civil rights law to claim that the Constitution requires “colorblindness” and that efforts targeted at ameliorating the suffering of descendants of slavery illegally discriminate against white people. They have co-opted both the rhetoric of colorblindness and the legal legacy of Black activism not to advance racial progress, but to stall it. Or worse, reverse it.

During the civil rights era, this country passed a series of hard-fought laws to dismantle the system of racial apartheid and to create policies and programs aimed at repairing its harms. Today this is often celebrated as the period when the nation finally triumphed over its original sin of slavery. But what this narrative obscures is that the gains of the civil rights movement were immediately met with a backlash that sought to subvert first the language and then the aims of the movement. Over the last 50 years, we have experienced a slow-moving, near-complete unwinding of the idea that this country owes anything to Black Americans for 350 years of legalized slavery and racism. But we have also undergone something far more dangerous: the dismantling of the constitutional tools for undoing racial caste in the United States.

Beginning in the 1970s, the Supreme Court began to vacillate on remedies for descendants of slavery. And for the last 30 years, the court has almost exclusively ruled in favor of white people in so-called reverse-discrimination cases while severely narrowing the possibility for racial redress for Black Americans. Often, in these decisions, the court has used colorblindness as a rationale that dismisses both the particular history of racial disadvantage and its continuing disparities.

This thinking has reached its legal apotheosis on the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Starting with the 2007 case Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, the court found that it wasn’t the segregation of Black and Latino children that was constitutionally repugnant, but the voluntary integration plans that used race to try to remedy it. Six years later, Roberts wrote the majority opinion in Shelby v. Holder, gutting the Voting Rights Act, which had ensured that jurisdictions could no longer prevent Black Americans from voting because of their race. The act was considered one of the most successful civil rights laws in American history, but Roberts declared that its key provision was no longer needed, saying that “things have changed dramatically.” But a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice found that since the ruling, jurisdictions that were once covered by the Voting Rights Act because of their history of discrimination saw the gap in turnout between Black and white voters grow nearly twice as quickly as in other jurisdictions with similar socioeconomic profiles.

These decisions of the Roberts court laid the legal and philosophical groundwork for the recent affirmative-action case. Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard involved two of the country’s oldest public and private universities, both of which were financed to a significant degree with the labor of the enslaved and excluded slavery’s descendants for most of their histories. In finding that affirmative action was unconstitutional, Roberts used the reasoning of Brown v. Board of Education to make the case that because “the Constitution is colorblind” and “should not permit any distinctions of law based on race or color,” race cannot be used even to help a marginalized group. Quoting the Brown ruling, Roberts argued that “the mere act of ‘separating children’” because of their race generated “ ‘a feeling of inferiority’” among students.

But in citing Brown, Roberts spoke generically of race, rarely mentioning Black people and ignoring the fact that this earlier ruling struck down segregation because race had been used to subordinate them. When Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote those words in 1954, he was not arguing that the use of race harmed Black and white children equally. The use of race in assigning students to schools, Warren wrote, referring to an earlier lower-court decision, had “a detrimental effect upon colored children” specifically, because it was “interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group.”

Roberts quickly recited in just a few paragraphs the centuries-long legacy of legal discrimination against Black Americans. Then, as if flicking so many crumbs from the table, he used the circular logic of conservative colorblindness to dispatch that past with a pithy line: “Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it.”

By erasing the context, Roberts turned colorblindness on its head, reinterpreting a concept meant to eradicate racial caste to one that works against racial justice.

Roberts did not invent this subversion of colorblindness, but his court is constitutionalizing it. While we seem to understand now how the long game of the anti-abortion movement resulted in a historically conservative Supreme Court that last year struck down Roe v. Wade, taking away what had been a constitutional right, Americans have largely failed to see that a parallel, decades-long antidemocratic racial strategy was occurring at the same time. The ramifications of the recent affirmative-action decision are clear — and they are not something so inconsequential as the complexion of elite colleges and the number of students of color who attend them: We are in the midst of a radical abandonment of a compact that the civil rights movement forged, a shared understanding that racial inequality is harmful to democracy.

The End of Slavery, and the Instant Backlash

When this country finally eliminated first slavery and then racial apartheid, it was left with a fundamental question: How does a white-majority nation, which for nearly its entire history wielded race-conscious policies and laws that oppressed and excluded Black Americans, create a society in which race no longer matters? Do we ignore race in order to eliminate its power, or do we consciously use race to undo its harms?

Our nation has never been able to resolve this tension. Race, we now believe, should not be used to harm or to advantage people, whether they are Black or white. But the belief in colorblindness in a society constructed on the codification of racial difference has always been aspirational. And so achieving it requires what can seem like a paradoxical approach: a demand that our nation pay attention to race in order, at some future point, to attain a just society. As Justice Thurgood Marshall said in a 1987 speech, “The ultimate goal is the creation of a colorblind society,” but “given the position from which America began, we still have a very long way to go.”

Racial progress in the United States has resulted from rare moments of national clarity, often following violent upheavals like the Civil War and the civil rights movement. At those times, enough white people in power embraced the idea that racial subordination is antidemocratic and so the United States must counter its legacy of racial caste not with a mandated racial neutrality or colorblindness but with sweeping race-specific laws and policies to help bring about Black equality. Yet any attempt to manufacture equality by the same means that this society manufactured inequality has faced fierce and powerful resistance.

This resistance began as soon as slavery ended. After generations of chattel slavery, four million human beings were suddenly being emancipated into a society in which they had no recognized rights or citizenship, and no land, money, education, shelter or jobs. To address this crisis, some in Congress saw in the aftermath of this nation’s deadliest war the opportunity — but also the necessity — for a second founding that would eliminate the system of racial slavery that had been its cause. These men, known as Radical Republicans, believed that making Black Americans full citizens required color-consciousness in policy — an intentional reversal of the way race had been used against Black Americans. They wanted to create a new agency called the Freedmen’s Bureau to serve “persons of African descent” or “such persons as once had been slaves” by providing educational, food and legal assistance, as well as allotments of land taken from the white-owned properties where formerly enslaved people were forced to work.

Understanding that “race” was created to force people of African descent into slavery, their arguments in Congress in favor of the Freedmen’s Bureau were not based on Black Americans’ “skin color” but rather on their condition. Standing on the Senate floor in June 1864, Senator Charles Sumner quoted from a congressional commission’s report on the conditions of freed people, saying, “We need a Freedmen’s Bureau not because these people are Negroes but because they are men who have been for generations despoiled of their rights.” Senator Lyman Trumbull, an author of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, declared: “The policy of the states where slavery has existed has been to legislate in its interest. … Now, when slavery no longer exists, the policy of the government must be to legislate in the interest of freedom.” In a speech to Congress, Trumbull compelled “the people of the rebellious states” to be “as zealous and active in the passage of laws and the inauguration of measures to elevate, develop and improve the Negro as they have hitherto been to enslave and degrade him.”

But there were also the first stirrings of an argument we still hear today: that specifically aiding those who, because they were of African descent, had been treated as property for 250 years was giving them preferential treatment. Two Northern congressmen, Martin Kalbfleish, a Dutch immigrant and former Brooklyn mayor, and Anthony L. Knapp, a representative from Illinois, declared that no one would give “serious consideration” to a “bureau of Irishmen’s affairs, a bureau of Dutchmen’s affairs or one for the affairs of those of Caucasian descent generally.” So they questioned why the freedmen should “become these marked objects of special legislation, to the detriment of the unfortunate whites.” Representative Nelson Taylor bemoaned the Freedmen’s Bureau Act of 1866, which he accused of making a “distinction on account of color between two races.” He argued, “This, sir, is what I call class legislation — legislation for a particular class of the Blacks to the exclusion of all whites.”

Ultimately, the Freedmen’s Bureau bills passed, but only after language was added to provide assistance for poor white people as well. Already, at the very moment of racial slavery’s demise, we see the poison pill, the early formulation of the now-familiar arguments that helping a people who had been enslaved was somehow unfair to those who had not, that the same Constitution that permitted and protected bondage based on race now required colorblindness to undo its harms.

This logic helped preserve the status quo and infused the responses to other Reconstruction-era efforts that tried to ensure justice and equality for newly freed people. President Andrew Johnson, in vetoing the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which sought to grant automatic citizenship to four million Black people whose families for generations had been born in the United States, argued that it “proposes a discrimination against large numbers of intelligent, worthy and patriotic foreigners,” who would still be subjected to a naturalization process “in favor of the Negro.” Congress overrode Johnson’s veto, but this idea that unique efforts to address the extraordinary conditions of people who were enslaved or descended from slavery were unfair to another group who had chosen to immigrate to this country foreshadowed the arguments about Asian immigrants and their children that would be echoed 150 years later in Students for Fair Admissions.

As would become the pattern, the collective determination to redress the wrongs of slavery evaporated under opposition. Congress abolished the Freedmen’s Bureau in 1872. And just 12 years after the Civil War, white supremacists and their accommodationists brought Reconstruction to a violent end. The nation’s first experiment with race-based redress and multiracial democracy was over. In its place, the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 ushered in the period of official racial apartheid when it determined that “the enforced separation of the races … neither abridges the privileges or immunities of the colored man … nor denies him the equal protection of the laws.” Over the next six decades, the court condoned an entire code of race law and policies designed to segregate, marginalize, exclude and subjugate descendants of slavery across every realm of American life. The last of these laws would stand until 1968, less than a decade before I was born.

Thurgood Marshall’s Path to Desegregation

In 1930, a young man named Thurgood Marshall, a native son of Baltimore, could not attend the University of Maryland’s law school, located in the city and state where his parents were taxpaying citizens. The 22-year-old should have been a shoo-in for admission. An academically gifted student, Marshall had become enamored with the Constitution after his high school principal punished him for a prank by making him read the founding document. Marshall memorized key parts of the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. After enrolling at Lincoln University, a prestigious Black institution, he joined the debate team and graduated with honors.

But none of that mattered. Only one thing did: Marshall was a descendant of slavery, and Black people, no matter their intellect, ambition or academic record, were barred by law from attending the University of Maryland. Marshall enrolled instead at Howard University Law School, where he studied under the brilliant Charles Hamilton Houston, whose belief that “a lawyer is either a social engineer or he’s a parasite on society” had turned the law school into the “West Point of civil rights.”

It was there that Marshall began to see the Constitution as a living document that must adapt to and address the times. He joined with Houston in crafting the strategy that would dismantle legal apartheid. After graduating as valedictorian, in one of his first cases, Marshall sued the University of Maryland. He argued that the school was violating the 14th Amendment, which granted the formerly enslaved citizenship and ensured Black Americans “equal protection under the law,” by denying Black students admission solely because of their race without providing an alternative law school for Black students. Miraculously, he won.

Nearly two decades later, Marshall stood before the Supreme Court on behalf of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Brown v. Board of Education, arguing that the equal-protection clause enshrined in the 14th Amendment did not abide the use of racial classifications to segregate Black students. Marshall was not merely advancing a generic argument that the Constitution commands blindness to color or race. The essential issue, the reason the 14th Amendment existed, he argued, was not just because race had served as a means of classifying people, but because race had been used to create a system to oppress descendants of slavery — people who had been categorized as Black. Marshall explained that racial classification was being used to enforce an “inherent determination that the people who were formerly in slavery, regardless of anything else, shall be kept as near that stage as is possible.” The court, he said, “should make it clear that that is not what our Constitution stands for.” He sought the elimination of laws requiring segregation, but also the segregation those laws had created.

The Supreme Court, in unanimously striking down school segregation in its Brown decision, did not specifically mention the word “colorblind,” but its ruling echoed the thinking about the 14th Amendment in John Marshall Harlan’s lone dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson. “There is no caste here,” Harlan declared. “Our constitution is colorblind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” But he also made it clear that colorblindness was intended to eliminate the subordination of those who had been enslaved, writing, “In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.” He continued, “The arbitrary separation of citizens on the basis of race … is a badge of servitude.”

The court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education was not merely a moral statement but a political one. Racial segregation and the violent suppression of democracy among its Black citizens had become a liability for the United States during the Cold War, as the nation sought to stymie Communism’s attraction in non-European nations. Attorney General James P. McGranery submitted a brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Truman administration supporting a ruling against school segregation, writing: “It is in the context of the present world struggle between freedom and tyranny that the problem of racial discrimination must be viewed. The United States is trying to prove to the people of the world of every nationality, race and color that a free democracy is the most civilized and most secure form of government yet devised by man. … Racial discrimination furnishes grist for the Communist propaganda mills.”

Civil rights activists were finally seeing their decades-long struggle paying off. But the architects and maintenance crew of racial caste understood a fundamental truth about the society they had built: Systems constructed and enforced over centuries to subjugate enslaved people and their descendants based on race no longer needed race-based laws to sustain them. Racial caste was so entrenched, so intertwined with American institutions, that without race-based counteraction , it would inevitably self-replicate.

One can see this in the effort to desegregate schools after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Across the country, North and South, white officials eliminated laws and policies mandating segregation but also did nothing to integrate schools. They maintained unofficial policies of assigning students to schools based on race, adopting so-called race-neutral admissions requirements designed to eliminate most Black applicants from white schools, and they drew school attendance zones snugly around racially segregated neighborhoods. Nearly a decade after Brown v. Board, educational colorblindness stood as the law of the land, and yet no substantial school integration had occurred. In fact, at the start of 1963, in Alabama and Mississippi, two of the nation’s most heavily Black states, not a single Black child attended school with white children.

By the mid-1960s, the Supreme Court grew weary of the ploys. It began issuing rulings trying to enforce actual desegregation of schools. And in 1968, in Green v. New Kent County, the court unanimously decided against a Virginia school district’s “freedom-of-choice plan” that on its face adhered to the colorblind mandate of Brown but in reality led to almost no integration in the district. “The fact that in 1965 the Board opened the doors of the former ‘white’ school to Negro children and of the ‘Negro’ school to white children merely begins, not ends, our inquiry whether the Board has taken steps adequate to abolish its dual, segregated system,” the court determined.

The court ordered schools to use race to assign students, faculty and staff members to schools to achieve integration. Complying with Brown, the court determined, meant the color-conscious conversion of an apartheid system into one without a “ ‘white’ school and a ‘Negro’ school, but just schools.” In other words, the reality of racial caste could not be constitutionally subordinated to the ideal of colorblindness. Colorblindness was the goal, color-consciousness the remedy.

Using Race to End Racial Inequality

Hobart Taylor Jr., a successful lawyer who lived in Detroit, was mingling at a party in the nation’s capital in January 1961 to celebrate the inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson as vice president of the United States. Taylor had not had any intention of going to the inauguration, but like Johnson, Taylor was a native son of Texas, and his politically active family were early supporters of Johnson. And so at a personal request from the vice president, Taylor reluctantly found himself amid the din of clinking cocktail glasses when Johnson stopped and asked him to come see him in a few days.

Taylor did not immediately go see Johnson. After a second request came in, in February, Taylor found himself in Johnson’s office. The vice president slid into Taylor’s hands a draft of a new executive order to establish the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, which Johnson would lead. This was to be one of President John F. Kennedy’s first steps toward establishing civil rights for Black people.

Taylor’s grandfather had been born into slavery, and yet he and Taylor’s father became highly successful and influential entrepreneurs and landowners despite Texas’ strict color line.

The apartheid society Taylor grew up in was changing, and the vice president of the United States had tapped him to help draft its new rules. How could he say no? Taylor had planned on traveling back to Detroit that night, but instead he checked into the Willard Hotel, where he worked so intently on the draft of the executive order that not only did he forget to eat dinner but also he forgot to tell his wife that he wasn’t coming home. The next day, Taylor worked and reworked the draft for what would become Executive Order 10925, enacted in March 1961.

A few years later, in an interview for the John F. Kennedy Library Oral History Program, Taylor would recall what he considered his most significant contribution. The draft he received said employers had to “take action” to ensure that job applicants and employees would not be discriminated against because of their race, creed, color or national origin. Taylor thought the wording needed a propellant, and so inserted the word “affirmative” in front of action. “I was torn between ‘positive’ and ‘affirmative,’ and I decided ‘affirmative’ on the basis of alliteration,” he said. “And that has, apparently, meant a great deal historically in the way in which people have approached this whole thing.”

Taylor added the word to the order, but it would be the other Texan — a man with a fondness for using the N-word in private — who would most forcefully describe the moral rationale, the societal mandate, for affirmative action. Johnson would push through Congress the 1964, 1965 and 1968 civil rights laws — the greatest civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

But a deeply divided Congress did not pass this legislation simply because it realized a century after the Civil War that descendants of slavery deserved equal rights. Black Americans had been engaged in a struggle to obtain those rights and had endured political assassinations, racist murders, bombings and other violence. Segregated and impoverished Black communities across the nation took part in dozens of rebellions, and tanks rolled through American streets. The violent suppression of the democratic rights of its Black citizens threatened to destabilize the country and had once again become an international liability as the United States waged war in Vietnam.

But as this nation’s racist laws began to fall, conservatives started to realize that the language of colorblindness could be used to their advantage. In the fall of 1964, Barry Goldwater, a Republican who was running against President Johnson, gave his first major national speech on civil rights. Civil rights leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins had lambasted Goldwater’s presidential nomination, with King saying his philosophy gave “aid and comfort to racists.” But at a carefully chosen venue — the Conrad Hilton in Chicago — in front of a well-heeled white audience unlikely to spout racist rhetoric, Goldwater savvily evoked the rhetoric of the civil rights movement to undermine civil rights. “It has been well said that the Constitution is colorblind,” he said. “And so it is just as wrong to compel children to attend certain schools for the sake of so-called integration as for the sake of segregation. … Our aim, as I understand it, is not to establish a segregated society or an integrated society. It is to preserve a free society.”

The argument laid out in this speech was written with the help of William H. Rehnquist. As a clerk for Justice Robert Jackson during the Brown v. Board of Education case, Rehnquist pushed for the court to uphold segregation. But in the decade that passed, it became less socially acceptable to publicly denounce equal rights for Black Americans, and Rehnquist began to deploy the language of colorblindness in a way that cemented racial disadvantage.

White Americans who liked the idea of equality but did not want descendants of slavery moving next door to them, competing for their jobs or sitting near their children in school were exceptionally primed for this repositioning. As Rick Perlstein wrote in his book “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of American Consensus,” when it came to race, Goldwater believed that white Americans “didn’t have the words to say the truth they knew in their hearts to be right, in a manner proper to the kind of men they wanted to see when they looked in the mirror. Goldwater was determined to give them the words.”

In the end, Johnson beat Goldwater in a landslide. Then, in June 1965, a few months after Black civil rights marchers were barbarically beaten on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge and two months before he would sign the historic Voting Rights Act into law, Johnson, now president of a deeply and violently polarized nation, gave the commencement address at Howard University. At that moment, Johnson stood at the pinnacle of white American power, and he used his platform to make the case that the country owed descendants of slavery more than just their rights and freedom.

“You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair,” Johnson said. “This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.”

For a brief moment, it seemed as if a grander, more just vision of America had taken hold. But while Goldwater did not win the election, 14 years later a case went before the Supreme Court that would signal the ultimate victory of Goldwater’s strategy.

Claiming Reverse Discrimination

Allan Bakke was enjoying a successful career at NASA when he decided he wanted to become a physician. Bakke grew up in a white middle-class family — his father worked for the Post Office, and his mother taught school. Bakke went to the University of Minnesota, where he studied engineering and joined the R.O.T.C. to help pay for college, and then served four years as a Marine, including seven months in Vietnam. It was there that Bakke became enamored with the medical profession. While still working at NASA, he enrolled in night courses to obtain a pre-med degree. In 1972, while he was in his 30s, Bakke applied to 11 medical schools, including at his alma mater, and was rejected by all 11.

One of the schools that Bakke, who was living in California at the time, applied to was the University of California at Davis. The school received 2,664 applications for 100 spots, and by the time he completed his application, most of the seats had already been filled. Some students with lower scores were admitted before he applied, and Bakke protested to the school, claiming that “quotas, open or covert, for racial minorities” had kept him out. His admission file, however, would show that it was his age that was probably a significant strike against him and not his race.

Bakke applied again the next year, and U.C. Davis rejected him again. A friend described Bakke as developing an “almost religious zeal” to fight what he felt was a system that discriminated against white people in favor of so-called minorities. Bakke decided to sue, claiming he had been a victim of “reverse” discrimination.

The year was 1974, less than a decade after Johnson’s speech on affirmative action and a few years after the policy had begun to make its way onto college campuses. The U.C. Davis medical school put its affirmative-action plan in place in 1970. At the time, its first-year medical-school class of 100 students did not include a single Black, Latino or Native student. In response, the faculty designed a special program to boost enrollment of “disadvantaged” students by reserving 16 of the 100 seats for students who would go through a separate admissions process that admitted applicants with lower academic ratings than the general admissions program.

From 1971 to 1974, 21 Black students, 30 Mexican American students and 12 Asian American students enrolled through the special program, while one Black student, six Mexican Americans and 37 Asian American students were admitted through the regular program. Bakke claimed that his right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act had been violated. Though these laws were adopted to protect descendants of slavery from racial discrimination and subordination, Bakke was deploying them to claim that he had been illegally discriminated against because he was white. The case became the first affirmative-action challenge decided by the Supreme Court and revealed just how successful the rhetorical exploitation of colorblindness could be.

Justice Lewis Powell, writing for a fractured court in 1978, determined that although the 14th Amendment was written primarily to bridge “the vast distance between members of the Negro race and the white ‘majority,’” the passage of time and the changing demographics of the nation meant the amendment must now be applied universally. In an argument echoing the debates over the Freedmen’s Bureau, Powell said that the United States had grown more diverse, becoming a “nation of minorities,” where “the white ‘majority’ itself is composed of various minority groups, most of which can lay claim to a history of prior discrimination at the hands of the State and private individuals.”

“The guarantee of equal protection cannot mean one thing when applied to one individual and something else when applied to a person of another color,” Powell wrote. “If both are not accorded the same protection, then it is not equal.” Powell declared that the medical school could not justify helping certain “perceived” victims if it disadvantaged white people who “bear no responsibility for whatever harm the beneficiaries of the special admissions program are thought to have suffered.”

But who or what, then, did bear the responsibility?

Bakke was raised in Coral Gables, a wealthy, white suburb of Miami whose segregationist founder proposed a plan to remove all Black people from Miami while serving on the Dade County Planning Board, and where the white elementary school did not desegregate until after it was ordered by a federal court to do so in 1970, the same year U.C. Davis began its affirmative-action program. The court did not contemplate how this racially exclusive access to top neighborhoods and top schools probably helped Bakke to achieve the test scores that most Black students, largely relegated because of their racial designation to resource-deprived segregated neighborhoods and educational facilities, did not. It did not mean Bakke didn’t work hard, but it did mean that he had systemic advantages over equally hard-working and talented Black people.

For centuries, men like Powell and Bakke had benefited from a near-100 percent quota system, one that reserved nearly all the seats at this nation’s best-funded public and private schools and most-exclusive public and private colleges, all the homes in the best neighborhoods and all the top, well-paying jobs in private companies and public agencies for white Americans. Men like Bakke did not acknowledge the systemic advantages they had accrued because of their racial category, nor all the ways their race had unfairly benefited them. More critical, neither did the Supreme Court. As members of the majority atop the caste system, racial advantage transmitted invisibly to them. They took notice of their race only when confronted with a new system that sought to redistribute some of that advantage to people who had never had it.

Thus, the first time the court took up the issue of affirmative action, it took away the policy’s power. The court determined that affirmative action could not be used to redress the legacy of racial discrimination that Black Americans experienced, or the current systemic inequality that they were still experiencing. Instead, it allowed that some consideration of a student’s racial background could stand for one reason only: to achieve desired “diversity” of the student body. Powell referred to Harvard’s affirmative-action program, which he said had expanded to include students from other disadvantaged backgrounds, such as those from low-income families. He quoted an example from the plan, which said: “The race of an applicant may tip the balance in his favor, just as geographic origin or a life spent on a farm may tip the balance in other candidates’ cases. A farm boy from Idaho can bring something to Harvard College that a Bostonian cannot offer. Similarly, a Black student can usually bring something that a white person cannot offer.”

But, of course, a (white) farm boy from Idaho did not descend from people who were enslaved, because they were farmers from Idaho. There were not two centuries of case law arguing over the inherent humanity and rights of farm boys from Idaho. There was no sector of the law, no constitutional provision, that enshrined farm boys from Idaho as property who could be bought and sold. Farm boys from Idaho had no need to engage in a decades-long movement to gain basic rights of citizenship, including the fundamental right to vote. Farm boys from Idaho had not, until just a decade earlier, been denied housing, jobs, the ability to sit on juries and access to the ballot. Farm boys from Idaho had not been forced to sue for the right to attend public schools and universities.

In Bakke, the court was legally — and ideologically — severing the link between race and condition. Race became nothing more than ancestry and a collection of superficial physical traits. The 14th Amendment was no longer about alleviating the extraordinary repercussions of slavery but about treating everyone the same regardless of their “skin color,” history or present condition. With a few strokes of his pen, Powell wiped this context away, and just like that, the experience of 350 years of slavery and Jim Crow was relegated to one thing: another box to check.

Yet at the same time Powell was drafting this ruling, cases of recalcitrant school districts still refusing to integrate Black children were making their way to the Supreme Court. Just 15 years earlier, the federal government called up National Guardsmen to ensure that handfuls of Black students could enroll in white schools.

Indeed, Powell wrote this opinion while sitting on the same court as Thurgood Marshall, who in 1967 became the first Black justice in the Supreme Court’s 178-year history. In Brown, Marshall helped break the back of legalized segregation. Now, as the court deliberated the Bakke case, a frustrated Marshall sent around a two-and-a-half-page typed memo to the other justices. “I repeat, for next to the last time: The decision in this case depends on whether you consider the action of the regents as admitting certain students or as excluding certain other students,” he wrote. “If you view the program as admitting qualified students who, because of this Nation’s sorry history of racial discrimination, have academic records that prevent them from effectively competing for medical school, then this is affirmative action to remove the vestiges of slavery and state imposed segregation by ‘root and branch.’ If you view the program as excluding students, it is a program of ‘quotas’ which violates the principle that the ‘Constitution is color-blind.’”

When Marshall’s arguments did not persuade enough justices, he joined with three others in a dissent from a decision that he saw as actively reversing, and indeed perverting, his legacy. They issued a scathing rebuke to the all-white majority, accusing them of letting “colorblindness become myopia, which masks the reality that many ‘created equal’ have been treated within our lifetimes as inferior both by the law and by their fellow citizens.”

Marshall also wrote his own dissent, where he ticked off statistic after statistic that revealed the glaring disparities between descendants of slavery and white Americans in areas like infant and maternal mortality, unemployment, income and life expectancy. He argued that while collegiate diversity was indeed a compelling state interest, bringing Black Americans into the mainstream of American life was much more urgent, and that failing to do so would ensure that “America will forever remain a divided society.”

Marshall called out the court’s hypocrisy. “For it must be remembered that, during most of the past 200 years, the Constitution, as interpreted by this court, did not prohibit the most ingenious and pervasive forms of discrimination against the Negro,” he wrote. “Now, when a state acts to remedy the effects of that legacy of discrimination, I cannot believe that this same Constitution stands as a barrier.”

At the end of his lengthy dissent, Marshall pointed out what had become the court’s historic pattern. “After the Civil War, our government started ‘affirmative action’ programs. This court … destroyed the movement toward complete equality,” he wrote. As he said, “I fear that we have come full circle.”

The Reagan Rollback

In 1980, having just secured the Republican nomination for the presidency, Ronald Reagan traveled to Mississippi’s Neshoba County Fair to give an address. It was there in that county, a mere 16 years earlier, that three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were murdered by Klansmen, among the most notorious killings of the civil rights era.

Standing in front of a roaring crowd of about 10,000 white Mississippians, Reagan began his general-election campaign. He did not mention race. He did not need to. Instead he spoke of states’ rights, replicating the language of Confederates and segregationists, to signal his vision for America.

Despite the Bakke ruling, affirmative action continued to gain ground in the 1970s, with a deeply divided Supreme Court upholding limited affirmative action in hiring and other areas, and the Jimmy Carter administration embracing race-conscious policies. But Reagan understood the political power of white resistance to these policies, which if allowed to continue and succeed would redistribute opportunity in America.

Once in office, Reagan aggressively advanced the idea that racial-justice efforts had run amok, that Black Americans were getting undeserved racial advantages across society and that white Americans constituted the primary victims of discrimination.

A 1985 New York Times article noted that the Reagan administration was “intensifying its legal attack on affirmative action” across American life, saying the administration “has altered the government’s definition of racial discrimination.” As early as the 1970s, Reagan began using the phrase “reverse discrimination” — what the political scientist Philip L. Fetzer called a “covert political term” that undermined racial redress programs by redefining them as anti-white. Reagan’s administration claimed that race-conscious remedies were illegal and that hiring goals for Black Americans were “a form of racism” and as abhorrent as the “separate but equal” doctrine struck down by Brown v. Board.

Reagan, who had secretly called Black people monkeys and opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, opposed the establishment of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. Yet in the first commemoration of that holiday in 1986, he trotted out King’s words to condemn racial-justice policy. “We’re committed to a society in which all men and women have equal opportunities to succeed, and so we oppose the use of quotas,” he said. “We want a colorblind society, a society that, in the words of Dr. King, judges people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

This passage from King’s famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech has become a go-to for conservatives seeking to discredit efforts to address the pervasive disadvantages that Black Americans face. And it works so effectively because few Americans have read the entire speech, and even fewer have read any of the other speeches or writings in which King explicitly makes clear that colorblindness was a goal that could be reached only through race-conscious policy. Four years after giving his “Dream” speech, King wrote, “A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him.” And during a 1968 sermon given less than a week before his assassination, King said that those who opposed programs to specifically help Black Americans overcome their disadvantage “never stop to realize that no other ethnic group has been a slave on American soil. The people who say this never stop to realize that the nation made the Black man’s color a stigma; but beyond this they never stop to realize that they owe a people who were kept in slavery 244 years.”

But as the sociologist Stuart Hall once wrote, “Those who produce the discourse also have the power to make it true.” Reagan deftly provided the road map to the nation’s racial future. Tapping into white aversion to acknowledging and addressing the singular crimes committed against Black Americans, conservatives, who had not long before championed and defended racial segregation, now commandeered the language of colorblindness, which had been used to dismantle the impacts of legal apartheid. They wrapped themselves in the banner of rhetorical equality while condemning racial-justice activists as the primary perpetrators of racism.

“There’s this really concerted, strategic effort to communicate to white people that racial justice makes white people victims, and that when people demand racial justice, they don’t actually mean justice; they mean revenge,” Ian Haney López, a race and constitutional law scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, told me. “Black people are treated as if they are just any other Americans. There is no history of racial subordination associated with Black people. There is no structural or systemic racism against African Americans. By 1989, it’s over. Reactionary colorblindness has won.”

Diversity vs. Redress

Perhaps no single person has more successfully wielded Reagan’s strategy than Edward Blum. In 1992, Blum, who made his living as a stockbroker, decided to run for Congress as a Republican in a Texas district carved out to ensure Black representation. Blum was trounced by the Black Democratic candidate. He and several others sued, arguing that a consideration of racial makeup when creating legislative districts violated the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause. Despite the fact that until a 1944 Supreme Court ruling, Texas had selected candidates through all-white primaries, and the fact that the district had been created in part in response to the state’s history of Black-voter suppression, Blum’s side won the case, forcing a redrawing of legislative districts in a manner that diluted Black and Latino voting power. Since that victory, Blum has mounted a decades-long campaign that has undermined the use of race to achieve racial justice across American life.

Blum is not a lawyer, but his organizations, funded by a mostly anonymous cadre of deep-pocketed conservatives, have been wildly effective. It is Blum, for instance, who was the strategist behind the case against the Voting Rights Act. When the Supreme Court again narrowly upheld affirmative action in college admissions in the early 2000s, Blum set his sights on killing it altogether. In that 2003 case, Grutter v. Bollinger, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote the majority opinion preserving limited affirmative action but putting universities on notice by setting an arbitrary timeline for when the court should determine that enough racial justice will have been achieved. “It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further an interest in student-body diversity in the context of public higher education,” O’Connor wrote. “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.” The use of the term “racial preferences” is key here. Instead of a policy created to even the playing field for a people who had been systematically held back and still faced pervasive discrimination, affirmative action was cast as a program that punished white Americans by giving unfair preferential treatment to Black Americans.

Blum didn’t wait 25 years to challenge affirmative action. His case brought on behalf of Abigail Fisher, a soft-spoken white woman who sued the University of Texas at Austin, after she was denied admission, went all the way to the Supreme Court. The court ultimately upheld the university’s admissions program. In his second attempt, Blum changed tactics. As he told a gathering of the Houston Chinese Alliance in 2015: “I needed Asian plaintiffs.” In Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, Blum’s group argued, and the court agreed, that affirmative-action programs discriminated against Asian Americans and, at the University of North Carolina, also white students. But many saw Blum’s use of another historically marginalized group in the lawsuit as an attempt to neutralize any argument that those targeting affirmative action opposed racial equality.

Blum’s success relied on defining affirmative action as a program about “visual diversity,” treating race as a mere collection of physical traits and not a social construct used to subordinate and stigmatize. When colleges seek diversity, he said, they are “really talking about skin-color diversity. How somebody looks. What’s your skin color? What’s the shape of your eyes? What’s the texture of your hair? Most Americans don’t think that the shape of your eyes tells us much about who you are as an individual. What does your skin color tell the world about who you are as an individual?” This reasoning resounds for many Americans who have also come to think about race simply as what you see.

Blum has described racial injustice against Black Americans as a thing of the past — a “terrible scar” on our history. As he awaited the court’s ruling last April, Blum told The Christian Science Monitor that today’s efforts to address that past were discriminatory and in direct conflict with the colorblind goals of Black activism. He said that “an individual’s race or ethnicity should not be used to help that individual or harm that individual in their life’s endeavors” and that affirmative action was “in grave tension with the founding principles of our civil rights movement.” But the civil rights movement has never been about merely eliminating race or racism; it’s also about curing its harms, and civil rights groups oppose Blum’s efforts.

Yet progressives, too, have unwittingly helped to maintain the corrupt colorblind argument that Blum has employed so powerfully, in part because the meaning of affirmative action was warped nearly from its beginning by the Supreme Court’s legal reasoning in Bakke. When the court determined that affirmative-action programs could stand only for “diversity” and not for redress, many advocates and institutions, in order to preserve these programs, embraced the idea that the goal of affirmative action was diversity and inclusiveness and not racial justice. Progressive organizations adopted the lexicon of “people of color” when discussing affirmative-action programs and also flattened all African-descended people into a single category, regardless of their particular lineage or experience in the United States.

Campuses certainly became more “diverse” as admissions offices focused broadly on recruiting students who were not white. But the descendants of slavery, for whom affirmative action originated, remain underrepresented among college students, especially at selective colleges and universities. At elite universities, research shows, the Black population consists disproportionately of immigrants and children of immigrants rather than students whose ancestors were enslaved here.

So, at least on this one thing, Blum is right. Many institutions have treated affirmative-action programs as a means of achieving visual diversity. Doing so has weakened the most forceful arguments for affirmative action, which in turn has weakened public support for such policies. Institutions must find ways, in the wake of the affirmative-action ruling, to address the racism that Black people face no matter their lineage. But using affirmative action as a diversity program — or a program to alleviate disadvantage that any nonwhite person faces — has in actuality played a part in excluding the very people for whom affirmative action and other racial redress programs were created to help.

Taking Back the Intent of Affirmative Action

Just as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund used the Brown v. Board of Education ruling as a legal catalyst for eliminating apartheid in all American life, Blum and those of like mind intend to use the affirmative-action ruling to push a sweeping regression in the opposite direction: bringing down this nation’s racial-justice programs and initiatives.

Right after the June ruling, 13 Republican state attorneys general sent letters to 100 of the nation’s biggest companies warning that the affirmative-action ruling prohibits what they call “discriminating on the basis of race, whether under the label of ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ or otherwise. Treating people differently because of the color of their skin, even for benign purposes, is unlawful and wrong.” Companies that engage in such racial discrimination, the letter threatened, would “face serious legal consequences.”

The letter points to racial-justice and diversity-and-inclusion programs created or announced by companies, particularly after the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer. In response to the killing, a multigenerational protest movement arose and faced violent suppression by law enforcement as it sought to force this nation to see that the descendants of slavery were still suffering and deserved repair. Corporations took a public stance on racial justice, vowing to integrate everything from their boardrooms to their suppliers. Monuments to white supremacists and Confederates that had stood for 100 years were finally vanquished from the public square. And many colleges and other institutions vocally committed to racial justice as an ethos.

But that fragile multiracial coalition — which for a period understood racial redress as a national good needed to secure and preserve our democracy — has been crushed by the same forces that have used racial polarization to crush these alliances in the past. Conservatives have spent the four years since George Floyd’s murder waging a so-called war against “woke” — banning books and curriculums about racism, writing laws that eliminate diversity-and-inclusion programs and prohibiting the teaching of courses even at the college level that are deemed racially “divisive.”

In other words, conservatives have used state power to prepare a citizenry to accept this new American legal order by restricting our ability to understand why so much racial inequality exists, particularly among the descendants of slavery, and why programs like affirmative action were ever needed in the first place.

“Something really stunning and dangerous that has happened during the Trump era is that the right uses the language of colorblindness or anti-wokeness to condemn any references to racial justice,” Haney López told me. “This rhetoric is a massive fraud, because it claims colorblindness toward race but is actually designed to stimulate hyper-race-consciousness among white people. That strategy has worked.”

Today we have a society where constitutional colorblindness dictates that school segregation is unconstitutional, yet most Black students have never attended a majority-white school or had access to the same educational resources as white children. A society with a law prohibiting discrimination in housing and lending, and yet descendants of slavery remain the most residentially, educationally and economically segregated people in the country. A society where employment discrimination is illegal, and yet Black Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed as white Americans, even when they hold college degrees.

Despite these realities, conservative groups are initiating a wave of attacks on racial-equality programs. About 5 percent of practicing attorneys are Black, and yet one of Blum’s groups, the American Alliance for Equal Rights, sued law firms to stop their diversity fellowships. In August, it also sued the Fearless Fund, a venture-capital firm founded by two Black women, which through its charitable arm helps other Black women gain access to funding by giving small grants to businesses that are at least 51 percent owned by Black women. Even though according to the World Economic Forum, Black women receive just 0.34 percent of venture-capital funds in the United States, Blum declared the fund to be racially discriminatory. Another Blum group, Students for Fair Admissions, has now sued the U.S. Military Academy, even though the Supreme Court allowed race-conscious admissions to stand in the military. Another organization, the Center for Individual Rights, has successfully overturned a decades-long Small Business Administration policy that automatically treated so-called minority-owned businesses as eligible for federal contracts for disadvantaged businesses.

Last year, a group called the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation sued the City and County of San Francisco over their funding of several programs aimed at eliminating disparities Black Americans face, including the Abundant Birth Project, which gives stipends for prenatal care, among other supports, to Black women and Pacific Islanders to help prevent them from dying during childbirth. Even though maternal mortality for Black women in the United States is up to four times as high as it is for white women, conservatives argue that programs specifically helping the women most likely to die violate the 14th Amendment. Even as this lawsuit makes its way through the courts, there are signs of why these sorts of programs remain necessary: It was announced last year that the Department of Health and Human Services opened a civil rights investigation into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for allegations of racism against Black mothers following the death of a Black woman who went there to give birth.

It is impossible to look at the realities of Black life that these programs seek to address and come to the conclusion that the lawsuits are trying to make society more fair or just or free. Instead they are foreclosing the very initiatives that could actually make it so.

And nothing illuminates that more than the conservative law group’s letter warning Howard — an institution so vaunted among Black Americans that it’s known as the Mecca — that its medical school must stop any admissions practices that have a “racial component.” Howard’s medical school, founded in 1868, remains one of just four historically Black medical schools in the United States. Howard received nearly 9,000 medical-school applicants for 130 open seats in 2023. And while almost all of the students who apply to be Howard undergraduates are Black, because there are so few medical-school slots available, most applicants to Howard’s medical school are not. Since the school was founded to serve descendants of slavery with a mission to educate “disadvantaged students for careers in medicine,” however, most of the students admitted each year are Black.

That has now made it a target, even though Black Americans account for only 5 percent of all U.S. doctors, an increase of just three percentage points in the 46 years since Thurgood Marshall’s dissent in Bakke. Despite affirmative action at predominantly white schools, at least 70 percent of the Black doctors and dentists in America attended an H.B.C.U. H.B.C.U.s also have produced half of the Black lawyers, 40 percent of Black engineers and a quarter of Black graduates in STEM fields.

Even Plessy v. Ferguson, considered perhaps the worst Supreme Court ruling in U.S. history, sanctioned the existence of H.B.C.U.s and other Black-serving organizations. If institutions like Howard or the Fearless Fund cannot work to explicitly assist the descendants of slavery, who still today remain at the bottom of nearly every indicator of success and well-being, then we have decided as a nation that there is nothing we should do to help Black Americans achieve equality and that we will remain a caste society.

What we are witnessing, once again, is the alignment of white power against racial justice and redress. As history has shown, maintaining racial inequality requires constant repression and is therefore antithetical to democracy. And so we must be clear about the stakes: Our nation teeters at the brink of a particularly dangerous moment, not just for Black Americans but for democracy itself.

To meet the moment, our society must forcefully recommit to racial justice by taking lessons from the past. We must reclaim the original intent of affirmative-action programs stretching all the way back to the end of slavery, when the Freedmen’s Bureau focused not on race but on status, on alleviating the conditions of those who had endured slavery. Diversity matters in a diverse society, and American democracy by definition must push for the inclusion of all marginalized people. But remedies for injustice also need to be specific to the harm.

So we, too, must shift our language and, in light of the latest affirmative-action ruling, focus on the specific redress for descendants of slavery . If Yale, for instance, can apologize for its participation in slavery, as it did last month, then why can’t it create special admissions programs for slavery’s descendants — a program based on lineage and not race — just as it does for its legacy students? Corporations, government programs and other organizations could try the same.

Those who believe in American democracy, who want equality, must no longer allow those who have undermined the idea of colorblindness to define the terms. Working toward racial justice is not just the moral thing to do, but it may also be the only means of preserving our democracy.

Race-based affirmative action has died. The fight for racial justice need not. It cannot.

Top photo illustration by Mark Harris. Photograph by Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos

A picture with an earlier version of this article was published in error. The image caption, relying on erroneous information from a photo agency, misidentified the man shown as Hobart Taylor Jr. The image has been replaced with a photo of Taylor.

How we handle corrections

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a domestic correspondent for The New York Times Magazine focusing on racial injustice. Her extensive reporting in both print and radio has earned a Pulitzer Prize, National Magazine Award, Peabody and a Polk Award. More about Nikole Hannah-Jones


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  • How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples

How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples

Published on February 12, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 3, 2023.

A personal statement is a short essay of around 500–1,000 words, in which you tell a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why you’re applying.

To write a successful personal statement for a graduate school application , don’t just summarize your experience; instead, craft a focused narrative in your own voice. Aim to demonstrate three things:

  • Your personality: what are your interests, values, and motivations?
  • Your talents: what can you bring to the program?
  • Your goals: what do you hope the program will do for you?

This article guides you through some winning strategies to build a strong, well-structured personal statement for a master’s or PhD application. You can download the full examples below.

Urban Planning Psychology History

Table of contents

Getting started with your personal statement, the introduction: start with an attention-grabbing opening, the main body: craft your narrative, the conclusion: look ahead, revising, editing, and proofreading your personal statement, frequently asked questions, other interesting articles.

Before you start writing, the first step is to understand exactly what’s expected of you. If the application gives you a question or prompt for your personal statement, the most important thing is to respond to it directly.

For example, you might be asked to focus on the development of your personal identity; challenges you have faced in your life; or your career motivations. This will shape your focus and emphasis—but you still need to find your own unique approach to answering it.

There’s no universal template for a personal statement; it’s your chance to be creative and let your own voice shine through. But there are strategies you can use to build a compelling, well-structured story.

The first paragraph of your personal statement should set the tone and lead smoothly into the story you want to tell.

Strategy 1: Open with a concrete scene

An effective way to catch the reader’s attention is to set up a scene that illustrates something about your character and interests. If you’re stuck, try thinking about:

  • A personal experience that changed your perspective
  • A story from your family’s history
  • A memorable teacher or learning experience
  • An unusual or unexpected encounter

To write an effective scene, try to go beyond straightforward description; start with an intriguing sentence that pulls the reader in, and give concrete details to create a convincing atmosphere.

Strategy 2: Open with your motivations

To emphasize your enthusiasm and commitment, you can start by explaining your interest in the subject you want to study or the career path you want to follow.

Just stating that it interests you isn’t enough: first, you need to figure out why you’re interested in this field:

  • Is it a longstanding passion or a recent discovery?
  • Does it come naturally or have you had to work hard at it?
  • How does it fit into the rest of your life?
  • What do you think it contributes to society?

Tips for the introduction

  • Don’t start on a cliche: avoid phrases like “Ever since I was a child…” or “For as long as I can remember…”
  • Do save the introduction for last. If you’re struggling to come up with a strong opening, leave it aside, and note down any interesting ideas that occur to you as you write the rest of the personal statement.

Once you’ve set up the main themes of your personal statement, you’ll delve into more detail about your experiences and motivations.

To structure the body of your personal statement, there are various strategies you can use.

Strategy 1: Describe your development over time

One of the simplest strategies is to give a chronological overview of key experiences that have led you to apply for graduate school.

  • What first sparked your interest in the field?
  • Which classes, assignments, classmates, internships, or other activities helped you develop your knowledge and skills?
  • Where do you want to go next? How does this program fit into your future plans?

Don’t try to include absolutely everything you’ve done—pick out highlights that are relevant to your application. Aim to craft a compelling narrative that shows how you’ve changed and actively developed yourself.

My interest in psychology was first sparked early in my high school career. Though somewhat scientifically inclined, I found that what interested me most was not the equations we learned about in physics and chemistry, but the motivations and perceptions of my fellow students, and the subtle social dynamics that I observed inside and outside the classroom. I wanted to learn how our identities, beliefs, and behaviours are shaped through our interactions with others, so I decided to major in Social Psychology. My undergraduate studies deepened my understanding of, and fascination with, the interplay between an individual mind and its social context.During my studies, I acquired a solid foundation of knowledge about concepts like social influence and group dynamics, but I also took classes on various topics not strictly related to my major. I was particularly interested in how other fields intersect with psychology—the classes I took on media studies, biology, and literature all enhanced my understanding of psychological concepts by providing different lenses through which to look at the issues involved.

Strategy 2: Own your challenges and obstacles

If your path to graduate school hasn’t been easy or straightforward, you can turn this into a strength, and structure your personal statement as a story of overcoming obstacles.

  • Is your social, cultural or economic background underrepresented in the field? Show how your experiences will contribute a unique perspective.
  • Do you have gaps in your resume or lower-than-ideal grades? Explain the challenges you faced and how you dealt with them.

Don’t focus too heavily on negatives, but use them to highlight your positive qualities. Resilience, resourcefulness and perseverance make you a promising graduate school candidate.

Growing up working class, urban decay becomes depressingly familiar. The sight of a row of abandoned houses does not surprise me, but it continues to bother me. Since high school, I have been determined to pursue a career in urban planning. While people of my background experience the consequences of urban planning decisions first-hand, we are underrepresented in the field itself. Ironically, given my motivation, my economic background has made my studies challenging. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship for my undergraduate studies, but after graduation I took jobs in unrelated fields to help support my parents. In the three years since, I have not lost my ambition. Now I am keen to resume my studies, and I believe I can bring an invaluable perspective to the table: that of the people most impacted by the decisions of urban planners.

Strategy 3: Demonstrate your knowledge of the field

Especially if you’re applying for a PhD or another research-focused program, it’s a good idea to show your familiarity with the subject and the department. Your personal statement can focus on the area you want to specialize in and reflect on why it matters to you.

  • Reflect on the topics or themes that you’ve focused on in your studies. What draws you to them?
  • Discuss any academic achievements, influential teachers, or other highlights of your education.
  • Talk about the questions you’d like to explore in your research and why you think they’re important.

The personal statement isn’t a research proposal , so don’t go overboard on detail—but it’s a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the field and your capacity for original thinking.

In applying for this research program, my intention is to build on the multidisciplinary approach I have taken in my studies so far, combining knowledge from disparate fields of study to better understand psychological concepts and issues. The Media Psychology program stands out to me as the perfect environment for this kind of research, given its researchers’ openness to collaboration across diverse fields. I am impressed by the department’s innovative interdisciplinary projects that focus on the shifting landscape of media and technology, and I hope that my own work can follow a similarly trailblazing approach. More specifically, I want to develop my understanding of the intersection of psychology and media studies, and explore how media psychology theories and methods might be applied to neurodivergent minds. I am interested not only in media psychology but also in psychological disorders, and how the two interact. This is something I touched on during my undergraduate studies and that I’m excited to delve into further.

Strategy 4: Discuss your professional ambitions

Especially if you’re applying for a more professionally-oriented program (such as an MBA), it’s a good idea to focus on concrete goals and how the program will help you achieve them.

  • If your career is just getting started, show how your character is suited to the field, and explain how graduate school will help you develop your talents.
  • If you have already worked in the profession, show what you’ve achieved so far, and explain how the program will allow you to take the next step.
  • If you are planning a career change, explain what has driven this decision and how your existing experience will help you succeed.

Don’t just state the position you want to achieve. You should demonstrate that you’ve put plenty of thought into your career plans and show why you’re well-suited to this profession.

One thing that fascinated me about the field during my undergraduate studies was the sheer number of different elements whose interactions constitute a person’s experience of an urban environment. Any number of factors could transform the scene I described at the beginning: What if there were no bus route? Better community outreach in the neighborhood? Worse law enforcement? More or fewer jobs available in the area? Some of these factors are out of the hands of an urban planner, but without taking them all into consideration, the planner has an incomplete picture of their task. Through further study I hope to develop my understanding of how these disparate elements combine and interact to create the urban environment. I am interested in the social, psychological and political effects our surroundings have on our lives. My studies will allow me to work on projects directly affecting the kinds of working-class urban communities I know well. I believe I can bring my own experiences, as well as my education, to bear upon the problem of improving infrastructure and quality of life in these communities.

Tips for the main body

  • Don’t rehash your resume by trying to summarize everything you’ve done so far; the personal statement isn’t about listing your academic or professional experience, but about reflecting, evaluating, and relating it to broader themes.
  • Do make your statements into stories: Instead of saying you’re hard-working and self-motivated, write about your internship where you took the initiative to start a new project. Instead of saying you’ve always loved reading, reflect on a novel or poem that changed your perspective.

Your conclusion should bring the focus back to the program and what you hope to get out of it, whether that’s developing practical skills, exploring intellectual questions, or both.

Emphasize the fit with your specific interests, showing why this program would be the best way to achieve your aims.

Strategy 1: What do you want to know?

If you’re applying for a more academic or research-focused program, end on a note of curiosity: what do you hope to learn, and why do you think this is the best place to learn it?

If there are specific classes or faculty members that you’re excited to learn from, this is the place to express your enthusiasm.

Strategy 2: What do you want to do?

If you’re applying for a program that focuses more on professional training, your conclusion can look to your career aspirations: what role do you want to play in society, and why is this program the best choice to help you get there?

Tips for the conclusion

  • Don’t summarize what you’ve already said. You have limited space in a personal statement, so use it wisely!
  • Do think bigger than yourself: try to express how your individual aspirations relate to your local community, your academic field, or society more broadly. It’s not just about what you’ll get out of graduate school, but about what you’ll be able to give back.

You’ll be expected to do a lot of writing in graduate school, so make a good first impression: leave yourself plenty of time to revise and polish the text.

Your style doesn’t have to be as formal as other kinds of academic writing, but it should be clear, direct and coherent. Make sure that each paragraph flows smoothly from the last, using topic sentences and transitions to create clear connections between each part.

Don’t be afraid to rewrite and restructure as much as necessary. Since you have a lot of freedom in the structure of a personal statement, you can experiment and move information around to see what works best.

Finally, it’s essential to carefully proofread your personal statement and fix any language errors. Before you submit your application, consider investing in professional personal statement editing . For $150, you have the peace of mind that your personal statement is grammatically correct, strong in term of your arguments, and free of awkward mistakes.

A statement of purpose is usually more formal, focusing on your academic or professional goals. It shouldn’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the application.

A personal statement can often be more creative. It might tell a story that isn’t directly related to the application, but that shows something about your personality, values, and motivations.

However, both types of document have the same overall goal: to demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and s how why you’re a great match for the program.

The typical length of a personal statement for graduate school applications is between 500 and 1,000 words.

Different programs have different requirements, so always check if there’s a minimum or maximum length and stick to the guidelines. If there is no recommended word count, aim for no more than 1-2 pages.

If you’re applying to multiple graduate school programs, you should tailor your personal statement to each application.

Some applications provide a prompt or question. In this case, you might have to write a new personal statement from scratch: the most important task is to respond to what you have been asked.

If there’s no prompt or guidelines, you can re-use the same idea for your personal statement – but change the details wherever relevant, making sure to emphasize why you’re applying to this specific program.

If the application also includes other essays, such as a statement of purpose , you might have to revise your personal statement to avoid repeating the same information.

If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

College essays

  • College essay examples
  • College essay format
  • College essay style
  • College essay length
  • Diversity essays
  • Scholarship essays

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Avoiding repetition
  • Literature review
  • Conceptual framework
  • Dissertation outline
  • Thesis acknowledgements
  • Burned or burnt
  • Canceled or cancelled
  • Dreamt or dreamed
  • Gray or grey
  • Theater vs theatre

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