The Magical Power of 3

The Magical Power of 3
Copyright 2017 Roxanne Ocampo

For humans, the number 3 is magical.  Across cultures, geography and time, we humans have a strong preference for things in 3's.  For example, consider sporting events:  First, Second, and Third places.  Or, corporate entities like ABC, CBS, or AT&T.  Even our 24-hour day is broken up into three parts:  Morning, noon, and night.  Even our life cycles are segmented into threes:  infancy, adolescence, and adulthood.  What about, “Third time’s a charm.”  In classic literature we have the Three Wise Men, Three Little Pigs, and Three Musketeers. 

The importance of 3 is also critical in the business world.  Business leaders are acutely aware of the necessity to use the Power of 3 in their product pitches, selling strategies, and marketing materials.  There's even a best selling book analyzing the most successful Ted Talks, that refers specifically to the power of 3.

How does this relate to the college essay?  Three is magical in essay writing because it sounds definitive, conveys careful and thoughtful analysis, and does not overwhelm the reader.  See what I did just there?  I used the Power of 3 to explain the Power of 3 :)

The Power of 3 works magically in essays because of the good old expository format!  That means, a standard 5-paragraph essay:   First the intro (including thesis), followed by 3 paragraphs that BACK UP the thesis, and then the conclusion.  That's 5 paragraphs.

It means you'll provide 3 examples to back up your thesis.  For example, if the prompt asks how you overcame obstacles, or how you  developed a particular strategy, you will provide three examples:

"My reasons are three-fold . . .”
"There are three critical reasons I chose to . . .”
“I’ve learned three things from this experience . . .”

If you understand the power of three, you can use it effectively in your essay writing.  If you want to learn more about how to write exceptional college essays, you can get one-on-one coaching with Quetzal Mama through a phone consult, in-person workshop, college boot camp, or an essay boot camp!

If you enjoyed this quick writing tip, like this and share with others!  Hope this was helpful – Quetzal Mama

Posted November 9th, 2013 by Quetzal Mama

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