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Story2 Unveiled - Step 1: Find a Moment

by Jocelyn Johnson, on Nov 10, 2014 6:23:00 PM

Students working on college admission essays often stumble at the beginning, when trying to pick a topic. Story2 makes starting your essay as easy as taking a quiz on Facebook or Buzzfeed.

1.  First you choose a trait that helps focus your essay on you.


2.  Then you select a picture that expands on the trait you’ve chosen.


3.  From there, Story2 teaches you to translate your initial ideas into a specific moment that brings that trait to life. 


What makes a good topic for an admissions essay?

Try this exercise: Ask yourself how many other students could write about the same topic that you have chosen. For example, you may want to write about winning the state championship football game. There are at least 10,000 people in the US who could write about winning a football championship (not to mention other sports). The same goes for essays about community service, traveling abroad, or other common experiences among high school students. You just won’t reveal your unique character that way.

When admissions officers tell us that over 80% of students’ essays do not help them decide who to admit, they are referring to this common trap of being too generic.

This is why Story2 coaches you to write about moments, not topics. A specific place and time. No two moments are exactly alike. Who was there? What did they say? What would we have seen? Most important, what did you do, and what does that say about your character and what you might contribute to the campus community if admitted?

Your moment doesn’t have to show you as a superhero. In fact, some of the best essays that have gotten students accepted come from everyday moments, such as cooking a meal or deciding where to sit in the cafeteria. Moments like those show colleges something about who you are as a human being. Story2 helps you find those moments and shape them into powerful, authentic essays.


This is the first post in a four-part series exploring the features of Story2. Tune in Wednesday for part two. Questions? Email us at or leave a comment below. Share your story at

Topics:college admission