The Ohio State University Honors Program and the Ohio State Scholars Program use the same essay prompt. This guide will help you write an Ohio State Honors and Scholars essay that shows off the unique traits that make you awesome.
Let’s take a look at the prompt.
To what fictional character do you most relate, and why? You may select a character from animation, art, film, literature, television, theater or any other medium. (350-500 words)
Step 1: Brainstorming characters
First, start a brainstorming list of 3-4 fictional characters who you relate to. Don’t overthink it, just go with your instincts. Who do you really feel a connection to?
Step 2: Personal Traits
Next, identify the reasons why you relate to each character. Beside each character’s name, list 1-3 reasons why you feel a strong connection to them. Try to identify personal traits you have in common – for example, maybe you’re both loyal, creative, and empathetic.
Once you’ve done this for each character, review your list. Where is the connection the strongest?
Pick a character who you relate to because of their personal traits. These connections will make a more compelling Ohio State essay than surface-level connections. For example, if you only relate to a character because you both lost a sword fight to a mysterious pirate, that’s an interesting coincidence, but probably not the best topic for your Ohio State essay. On the other hand, if you also relate to the character because of his perseverance and honorable nature, then go for it!
Step 3: Examples
So you’ve identified 1-3 traits that you have in common with your character. Before you can start writing your Ohio State essay, you’ll need to be prepared to support your argument with specific examples!
Why is your character an example of these personal traits? Try to find 1-3 supporting examples for each trait. For instance, if you say that your character is responsible, you’ll need 1-3 examples of times when they handled responsibility well.
How have you shown these personal traits? For each trait, find 1-3 specific supporting examples from your life.
Let’s take a look at an example student’s notes for Step Three:
Character: Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Examples for her:
- Started Dumbledore’s Army: broke school rules to teach essential self-defense spells to classmates
- Chose to take so many classes at once that she had to use time travel to attend all of them
Examples for me:
- When I had trouble keeping up in AP chemistry, I stayed late for all of my teacher’s extra study sessions until my grade was an A
- I was determined to make the varsity cross-country team this fall, so I worked out every day on my own over the summer
Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have all the material you need to write your Ohio State Honors College essay. The structure is up to you, but as long as you include these specific, evidence-based connections you can feel free to use your creativity!