The College Transfer Essay: How to Begin and How to End

The introduction and conclusion are often the hardest parts of the transfer essay to write.  The introduction needs to “hook” the reader while the conclusion serves to end the essay “with a bang.”  We recommend saving the introduction and the conclusion to write after you have written the body paragraphs.  We think the best way to conclude your essay is to tie it back to your introduction to give your essay a feeling of completeness and roundness.

We came across some great tips on writing conclusions in the book, College Writing 4 (English for Academic Success) (Bk. 4), by Li-Lee Tunceren and Sharon Cavusgil.  Consider how you might apply these tips to your transfer essays:

One way to write a successful concluding paragraph is to make a clear reference to a specific idea from the introduction. Mentioning an example or detail from the start of your essay gives your paper a sense of wholeness and finality. For example:

  • lf you started with a quotation, return to that quote or add another relevant one by the same person in your conclusion
  • lf you started with a brief story, you might relate how the story ends
  • lf you used numbers or statistics in your introduction, you can mention those in your conclusion as well
  • lf you developed your introduction in a chronological manner, you might end with a prediction for the future
  • lf you began with an interesting statement or comment, you might state the action you want the readers to take
  • lf you focused on a problem, you can suggest a solution to that problem

To start you off, here are some examples of the application of this tie-back model to the transfer essay:


  • Something you accomplished at your current college
  • How elements of that accomplishment would fit in with the college you want to transfer to
  • Who you were when you first started your undergrad career
  • Who you are now and how the college you want to transfer to will help you become who you want to be
  • Your first arrival to your current college
  • Your readiness and enthusiasm to continue with your journey elsewhere (i.e. another college)
  • An anecdote from your childhood
  • An anecdote that fast-forwards to where you are now and where you want to go or what you want to do (e.g. which college and why)

How have you applied the tie-back model to your transfer essays?  Drop us a comment!

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