Joseph Campbell, who spent his life’s work decoding the mythological structure, called it the “Hero’s Journey.” The basic elements if this college essay format are: This college essay format can work especially well for students who have faced challenges in their lives.She also sets up an objective correlative (the shovel) that will come back later.When my parents finally revealed to me that my grandmother had been battling liver cancer, I was twelve and I was angry--mostly with myself.Here’s how it works: Status Quo: This the very beginning of the story, which establishes the world of the main character (that’s you). Inciting Incident/Status Quo: Something big happens: a new club, your family moves to a new city, a death in the family--this thing will change your life forever.Raise the stakes: Then, the changes get even bigger!We don’t see every single interaction; instead, we see: He surprises her at work with flowers. We’ve had too many students try to write “soundtrack” or “mix-tape” essays in which their favorite songs provide the soundtrack for their lives. No essay (or college essay format) will, on its own, get a student into a college.The problem with writing this type of essay, however, is that the reader can’t hear the music (and often doesn’t know or have the same emotional connection to the songs referenced). Many different students are accepted to colleges each year with many different types of essays.the Status Quo), which helps us understand her world.It also helps us to better understand the impact of her grandmother’s death and raises a question: how will she prevent such blindness from resurfacing?And as I began to consider my future, I realized that what I learned in school would allow me to silence that which had silenced my grandmother.However, I was focused not with learning itself, but with good grades and high test scores. This Raises the Stakes because we as readers sense intuitively (and she is giving us hints) that this is not the way to get over her grandmother’s death.