Topic 1Discuss the effects of one personal hobby that you have pursued and enjoyed in your life.Guidelines:Students who picked this topic wrote about music, soccer, basketball, diving, knitting, cross stitching, flying, etc…. Discuss doing, not watching. Watching is not a hobby; it is an interest. Differentiate between what you enjoy and what you like doing. If you enjoy listening to music, that is not a hobby for this essay. If you enjoy traveling, that is not a hobby for this essay. In the introduction, introduce this one hobby and in the thesis statement make a statement about its effects on your personality and on your life. The thesis statement should contain the key words of the given topic and the name of the hobby.Each topic sentence should begin with: a transition + effect. Examples: one effect (the hobby/basketball/knitting/running/repairing cars/painint, etcc..) had on me was that ….. In the body paragraphs, discuss the effects during the time that you were pursuing it as well as after you stopped doing it if you have stopped.Focus on a hobby that you did for self fulfillment, not to earn money. If you earned money from it, do not write about it. Avoid hobbies that can be mistaken for earning money, even if you did not earn any money. One example is sewing, working on cars, and so on….Focus on sports and arts.Challenges of writing this essay:Do not discuss the effect of a person or of a relationship. Do not discuss a job, a career, or a military related skill or something that you had to do for your health, such as diet and exercise. Do not discuss your education and what you expect to get from it in the future. Do not discuss the effects of a decision you made or an event, such as the birth of a child or the effect of having a child.This essay is about something you do or you did over a period of time. It is about how the process of doing it changed you as a person, how it affected your life and your personality. This essay is about lessons learned from the activity that you did.Do not discuss the pleasure, relaxation, and satisfaction you derived while practicing it. It is understood that a hobby is enjoyable.Effects this essay may discuss are such as: meeting new people, bonding with the family, developing self esteem, learning to prioritize, staying focused, etc…. Other skills acquired that can be discussed may be dedication, perseverance, teamwork, flexibility, decision making etc…The essay has to show how this hobby developed teamwork, flexibility, decision making or any other skills or trait in you. For example:Playing basketball taught me teamwork. (Now explain how playing basketball taught you teamwork. Then explain how this is a life skill: How you use teamwork in life today.Do not write a love story of the hobby or a life story of the hobby. Only discuss the changes it brought to you as a person. Do not discuss the skills that you learned to perform or do this activity. Discuss the skills that you learned by doing it, not the skills you learned to do it.Reminder: Do not discuss the effect you feel while doing it, such as relaxation and self fulfillment, and achievement. Discuss lessons learned by doing it.Keep in mind that you are writing for a general audience. If you are discussing a sports game, do not describe it.Stay away from video games and from mechanical skills such as building or fixing cars.This is a personal essay and you have to discuss how it affected you personally. Do not shift to a general essay on the effects of physical activity or music, for example. Do not explain how it is done.
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