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A Thing of Beauty

Assessment Model Print

Good Personal Essay

In this effective response to a college-entrance prompt, a student humorously describes his beard, using the occasion to poke fun at himself but also reveal his unique perspective.

Title: A Thing of Beauty

Level: Grade 11, Grade 12

Mode: Narrative Writing

Form: Personal Essay

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A Thing of Beauty

Student Model

College-entrance prompt: What is something about you that gets overlooked by others? Write an essay that explains the overlooked aspect of your life and tells why it should be noticed.


A Thing of Beauty

Now, I understand this may sound odd, but I believe that facial hair can be an integral part of a person. A luxurious beard is the result of hard work, dedication, and a lot of ambition. A person without a beard is like a lion without his mane. A beard is what distinguishes men from boys. My beard often goes unnoticed in life, but it should not.

I have sported a full beard since I turned 16. It is deeply red and impressive, if I say so myself. And I do.

I should probably start by defining what exactly good facial hair is. We have all seen plenty of fibrous atrocities attached to people’s faces like dead rodents on the road. Good facial hair requires upkeep. It should not be ratty, and it most certainly should not be forced. A beard cannot be trying harder than the person wearing it.

It takes a lot of character to have facial hair. The amount of grooming and dedication that goes into a beard stands as a testament to the person himself. One must go through rigorous trimming, combing, and upkeep in order to have worthy facial hair. In the beginning, a person seeking the ultimate facial style must also withstand the itches in order to keep his beard. This is what really shows off the quality of a person with facial hair. Society agrees with me, too.

Since the times of Julius Caesar, people have shaved off their beards to look younger. However, bearded youth seem more mature and experienced in today’s job market. In American history, facial hair has been associated with great entrepreneurs who were the true leaders of their day. People like Theodore Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, and Andrew Carnegie all used their facial hair to distinguish themselves. To Americans, facial hair represents rugged individualism. At the beginning of his presidential campaign, a little girl wrote to a clean-shaved Abraham Lincoln saying he would be much more popular with a beard. Lincoln then grew out his beard, and history has never forgotten him.

I have dedicated myself to the appropriate grooming and tending of my beard. My beard represents my individualism. My beard sets me apart. It is my ambition to succeed. This is why I believe my beard should not go unnoticed. People walking past do not often say, “Hey, that is a nice beard,” but they should. People with real grit grow beards. So if you ever see a man sporting a beard in all of its glory, remember he is an individualist. He is a man who is willing to work hard to achieve greatness. Make sure you tell him how great his beard is.


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