High School Accomplishments Essay

4 Best Topics For An Accomplishment Essay

A popular choice for an essay is to write about an accomplishment. This seems like it should be easy enough; after all, it’s likely that every one of us has done something that we feel proud of having achieved. In fact many people find it difficult to think of something that qualifies. If you fall into this group, what’s a good topic to write about?

  1. Overcoming a disadvantage - Many people face disadvantages in life. It might be a physical disability, lack of access to education or even discrimination. Examples could be recovering from an injury and getting fit enough to go back to a favourite sport, teaching yourself a subject that you weren’t able to do at school or organising a campaign to change an unjust law. A story like this can motivate other people who face similar challenges; it might even give them practical information on how to overcome them.
  2. Achieving an ambition - Practically everyone has things that they long to do in life; most of us have succeeded in doing at least a few of them. Whether you struggled to the peak of the highest mountain in your country or worked every weekend to save up for a trip to Legoland, you had an ambition and you achieved it. Tell your readers how.
  3. Learning a new skill - It’s always great to learn something new. It might be a foreign language, a challenging hobby or a field of science that you found as fascinating as it was baffling; it doesn’t matter, because learning it was an accomplishment. Telling people how you did it might inspire them to learn the same skill - or another one - themselves.
  4. Helping someone - Accomplishments don’t always make things better for you; they could make things better for someone else. Perhaps you raised money for a local charity, or organised an event to buy sports equipment for a school. Maybe you can talk about how you gave a shy child confidence by teaching them to sail or play tennis. We’ve all done things for other people, often things that change lives.

Whatever accomplishment you’re writing about you should use a clear structure to describe it. A common structure is known as the SAR model; it stands for Situation, Action, Result. Describe the situation first; explain what it was you wanted to accomplish.  Next say what you did about it. Do this in a logical sequence and include your preparation, anything you had to learn in the process and obstacles you faced along the way. End by telling the reader about your accomplishment. Without boasting, make it clear how you achieved your goal.

On Monday, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya won the 115th Boston Marathon — and in so doing, ran the fastest marathon ever. Meanwhile, Desiree Davila set a course record for American female runners. What do you think it takes for runners to excel at this grueling, 26.2-mile event? How much preparation do you think it takes? What about sacrifice? What in your own life — athletically or otherwise — have you worked hard to achieve?

In “In the Boston Marathon, Speed Must Contend With Hills and the Weather,” The Associated Press reports:

Boston has always been considered a challenging course, a reputation that feeds on itself by discouraging those interested in fast times from entering. Those who do run Boston hear the legends of near winners who slowed to a crawl in the Newton hills and dropped back to the pack, or out of the race entirely.

… If runners start slow over the first few miles, waiting to see who breaks from the pack first, by the time they make their move it might already be too late for a fast time. And if they break too early and can’t keep up the pace, their assault on the clock will have backfired.

And that, the four-time Boston winner Bill Rodgers said, is why the records should not matter at all to the runners.

“Time isn’t the ultimate parameter,” he said. “The ultimate parameter is victory. And that’s how it’s always been.”

Students: Tell us about your own hard-won victories — in sports, school, your personal life or anywhere else. What did you achieve? How did you do prepare? What did your success mean to you at the time — and what does it mean to you now? What advice you do have for people who want to follow in your footsteps, but who are just starting to work toward that goal?


Students 13 and older are invited to comment below. Please use only your first name. For privacy policy reasons, we will not publish student comments that include a last name.

Teachers: Our lesson “Good Sport: Creating Handbooks About Athletics.”

Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.

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