Tell STORIES to Make an Impression

You probably heard by now that 10 years from now you’re not going to remember much about all those hours you spent in high school classes.  Sure, somewhere deep down you’ll remember all those reading, writing, and analytical skills you picked up.  But those lessons that teachers presented to you day in and day out will be just blurs in your mind.

So what will you remember from high school?  The stories.  You’ll remember the funny stories your teachers told you.  You’ll remember those strange things that happened in the cafeteria.  You’ll remember the fun times you had with friends at athletic and extra-curricular activities.  You’ll remember the unique things that are worth telling about.

There’s a reason why these are the things that have made a larger impression on you.  It’s because there’s a story there.  What are you going to talk about at your 10 year high school reunion?  I can tell you from know that half of your conversations are going to begin with “Remember the time that….?” And you and your friends will recall yet another interesting experience.

Stories make impressions.  Unique moments make impression.  Interesting information makes impressions.  So, if you want to make a lasting impression on anything – even a 30 minutes ACT Writing – then you need to use stories too!


The great thing about stories is that you can use them in many different locations throughout your essay!  Here are the three top spots that stories work wonders in for your ACT Writing:


  1. Introductions:  Since stories make such strong impressions, what better what to begin your essay?  Make a strong attention getting by telling a memorable story that leads into your topic.


  1. Examples in Body Paragraphs: Examples that support your point need to be concrete – something someone can picture in their head.  One of the best and easiest ways to accomplish this is simply to tell a story that shows how what your point is arguing is true.


  1. Conclusions: Yup – even in conclusions you can include a compelling story to clinch home a point.  One technique you could consider even involves repeating, referring back to, finishing, or changing the story that you use in your introduction.

Stories make powerful, lasting impressions.  And when your ACT Writing grader reads boring essay after boring essay, then finally gets to yours, they are likely to say, “Hey, this essay is pretty interesting!”  That’s exactly what you want them to say.  Plus, stories are relatively easy to write – you just tell it, and you don’t have to overly think about structure, content, or effect.  Good stories are the easiest ones to tell!

And remember, you don’t have to write a novel.  Stories for introductions, examples, or conclusions are only a few sentences.  They are there to liven up the show, not steal it!