How to Write a DARE Essay

Gina ragusa.

Man in black jacket sitting on chair in front of brown wooden table.jpg

Writing a DARE essay isn't as difficult as you may think. The most important thing you'll need is what you learned in DARE class, some investigative research, and your personal experiences.

Explore this article

  • Identify a main idea
  • Review your DARE materials
  • Do your research
  • To begin an essay
  • Close the door

things needed

  • Computer with an Internet connection or pen and paper
  • Your DARE materials along with a highlighter

1 Identify a main idea

Identify a main idea that you want to convey in your essay. DARE, which means Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is about keeping kids away from drugs and alcohol. During your DARE classes, you learned about how drugs and alcohol can impede you from achieving your dreams and reaching your goals. Think about how this message will impact you. Any kind of personal story is always an effective way to communicate what you've learned.

2 Review your DARE materials

Review your DARE materials. You need to review any handouts, booklets, or fact sheets before writing your essay. Because you've already covered the material, skim each handout or sheet and highlight the important facts that you've learned.

3 Do your research

Do your research and write a story about how drugs or alcohol has already impacted your life. You can always obtain additional information about your main idea from the Internet through a search engine. Don't forget to always refer to any source you use! When writing any essay or story, a personal reference is always a great way to grab your audience's attention and illustrate your point. If you have a family member, friend, or loved one who has struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, tell his or her story. Any real-life example that has had an impact on your life or a family member's life is extremely powerful.

4 To begin an essay

The best way to begin an essay is with an outline. Creating an outline will help to keep you on track as you write your essay and guide you through paragraph transitions. The outline can be roughly created on a sheet of paper that you'll keep next to you while you write your essay, either on the computer or by hand.

5 Close the door

Close the door, turn off the TV, and begin to write. Include your title, a paragraph explaining your main idea, and several supporting paragraphs that back up your main idea. Also include a strong conclusion. Summarize your entire essay in your conclusion while letting your audience ponder your message. Use your outline to guide you through your writing, but don't forget to let your words and personality shine through in your words. A DARE essay is very personal, so put some of yourself and your heart into it. Remember, this is your pledge to stay away from drugs and alcohol, so dig deep and think about what this essay means to you.

  • Keep your DARE materials handy for reference.
  • Include a personal story if you have one.
  • If you are hand writing your essay, be sure you use your very best handwriting and keep your paper clean and free of smudges and rips.
  • Always use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and don't forget to review and revise your draft until you know it is perfect.
  • Let someone else read your esssay to help you edit it.

About the Author

Gina Ragusa has made a career out of writing for the past 15 years, with an emphasis on financial institution writing. Ragusa has written for Consumer Lending News, Deposit and Loan Growth Strategies and Community Bank President. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University.

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DARE Essay Winner 2017

And the Winners are….. Each year the best DARE Essays from around Wisconsin are submitted. Here are the winner for 2018

DARE Officer Sandy Brown  Area 1 Essay Winner Mary Grace Schlifske, Elm Grove Chief Jim Gage

how to make a dare essay

D.A.R.E Report

By, Lindsey Eis

D.A.R.E… Drug, Abuse, Resistance, Education is a program that is directed to focus on the prevention of the future use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol for young adults. D.A.R.E was formed to educate young adults about the risks of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol to prevent future use of it. D.A.R.E also focuses on communication skills, resistance strategies, bullying and many other life situations. The D.A.R.E abbreviation meaning Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate is a way to making safe and good decisions in a difficult or bad situation. Which if made the right decision can also prevent the future use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.

DDMM The abbreviation DDMM stands for D.A.R.E Decision Making Model. The D.A.R.E Decision Making Model is Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate and is a way to making safe and good decisions in a difficult or bad situation. The Define part of the model means to describe the problem, challenge, or opportunity. Next the Assess part of the model means for you to think what are your choices. ln the Respond part of the model you need to make a choice by using the facts and information you have gathered. Finally the Evaluate part of the problem means to review your decision and for you to think did you make a good decision. Finally l now know after this very helpful lesson in D.A.R.E that every time I am in a bad or difficult situation l know and should use… DDMM.

Resistance Strategies Resistance Strategies are strategies to stay away from a difficult or bad situation. Some resistance strategies are to walk away, say no, avoid, change the subject, give an excuse, and there is always strength in numbers. Resistance strategies can be used in bullying situations or in situation that you don’t want to do something that could hurt or affect you in the future or now. in your resistance strategies, you always want to be away from the situation in good, alcohol free, drug free, and tobacco free surrounding. Many of these situations happen in real life and anyone should always use these strategies if you want to live a happy, healthy life for l know that l do.

Risks of Tobacco, Drugs, and Overuse of Alcohol A risk can be positive or negative but the risks of doing these drinks, plants, and powders under the age of 18, none of them are positive. There are many different health effects and scary facts about these things that will make me or anyone think twice about using them. Some of the health effects of tobacco are… ‘  1. You can get arrested for the use of it under the age of 18  2. There are 200 known chemicals in cigarette smoke  3. There are 400,000 deaths each year due to the use of tobacco

Some of the health effects about alcohol are…  1. You can get arrested for the use of it under the age of 21 2. lt causes memory loss, loss of coordination, and slow reflexes

Some of the health effects of drugs are…1. if you overdose you will have a risk of death or other conditions2. You can get arrested for the use of it at all

This information is important because it can prevent the start of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. It can also help people stop these things and help them live a happy healthy life. This has affected me a lot because l want to live a full life for we only have 1.

‘The 5’s and How to Report Bullying What is bullying… bullying, according the D.A.R.E writers, is an aggressive or unwanted behavior used again and again to isolate, harm, or control another person.~ This is a ham1ful and mean act that’s why you should always know how to report it. There are many different kinds of bullying some of them are…1.      Cyber2.      Mental3.      Verbal4.      Physical5.       Social

The 5’s of reporting bullying are who, what, where, when, and why. These are to help anyone tell a trusted adult about WHO did it, WHAT did they do, WHERE did it happen, WHEN did it happen, and WHY did they do it. Resistance strategies can also be used in these situations, not just situations involving tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Now l know whenever l am being bullied l know to use the 5 w’s of reporting bullying, resistance strategies and other strategies to help me deal with and report bullying.

How to Deal With Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a hard thing to deal with, but you should always try to push through. Peer pressure according to the D.A.R.E authors is when people your age try to get you to do something. lf you are having troubles resisting you can always use DDMM and resistance strategies to help you push through. Peer pressure can also be positive not just negative, pushing you to do drugs, tobacco, and underage drinking. The positive peer pressure can be pushing you to do better on a test or pushing you to do something new like a new sport. This has affected me so much because now‘ l always remember to do what l believe not what others believe l should do.

Confident Communication

You should always use confident communication. lt can help you with your social skills, when you ask people questions, and to help you get your point across. in using this strategy, you should always talk or discuss in a calm and cooperative way. You can also use DDMM in this strategy as well to help you figure out what to say and to help you say it clear. This lesson in D.A.R.E has helped me a lot to speak more confident and more efficiently.

Signs of Stress Stress according to the D.A.R.E authors is any strain, pressure, or excitement about a situation or event. There are many different signs or stress some of them are…1.     Depression2.     Loss of hair3.     Anger4.      High blood pressure

Some of the actions due to stress are…1.     Yell2.      Stay still3.      Over eat4.     Throw things or items

You can always use different strategies to help you deal with stress like to use a stress ball or to hang out with friends. This has helped me a lot because now l know if l am stressed to talk to someone or if l should use those strategies to push through it.

Help Network

A help network according to the D.A.R.E authors is a person or a group of people that you can call for advice or guidance. A help network can be a friend or any trusted adult. You ‘should always go to you help network when you need them it can help you make safe and good decisions. You can go to your help network anytime you feel uncomfortable or threatened in a situation or just for any life problems. This information is important because this can help any person know that they should always go to their help network for advice or help. Now I know that if l have any problem that l should always go to my help network for help.

Tattling vs. Telling

Tattling and telling are two totally different things. Tattling according to the D.A.R.E authors is when you want to get someone in trouble for a harmless behavior. While telling is to provide information to a trusted adult to help someone or to keep someone safe. DDMM can also be used in these situations to help anyone decide if it is tattling or telling. I used to tell a trusted adult if it was tattling or telling but after the lesson in D.A.R.E I realized that I don’t always have to tell only when it is to keep someone safe or to just help them. I have learned so many skills in D.A.R.E that have helped me so much with many of my life situations and will help me with so many more in the future as well. All of the lessons will and have helped me make healthy decisions about tobacco, drugs, and the overuse of alcohol. The lessons have given me facts and many different health effects that have made sure I was never going to do any of those things. There are also many different skills I have learned in D.A.R. E. Like how l have Ieamed of how to stay away from situations that could affect me in the future to how to report bullying and other situations. I have also learned how to access situations using DDMM, different signs of stress and how to deal with it, and so many other skills and strategies. I am so glad to have finished D.A.R.E with so much new knowledge in my brain.

Pledge Statement

I Lindsey Eis, pledge not to do drugs, tobacco,  or alcohol in my lifetime and ruin my chance at a full happy life. ‘

My D.A.R.E.

Report By: Jaylee Weyhrauch

Did you know that there are over 200 harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke? In fact, there are even over 4,000 chemicals. ln the US 16.8% of Adults smoke, but we can lower this number even further. Smoking is very bad for your body. Does having cancer sound fun to you? Because there are 43 known cancer-causing chemicals in cigarette smoke. The smoke alone can kill you! There are also toxins, in fact, there are over 400 other toxins. In cigarettes, there are ingredients that you would never think that people would enjoy like nicotine which can make you addicted in a bad way. Nicotine is also the main ingredient in bug spray. In fact, once you start getting addicted, if you try to stop, you will feel very bad. Imagine the worst stomach flu, now think of that ten times worse. That is how hard it is to stop once you are hooked. There is also carbon monoxide in these death sticks. lt is a colorless, scentless, tasteless gas. Symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning include lightheadedness, confusion, headache, and flu-like symptoms. It can also make it seem like the world is spinning. Ln severe cases carbon monoxide can even infect your central nervous system, introduce toxins to your heart, and even kill you. lf you are exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide for a long time, it can result in permanent damage like depression, memory loss, and confusion. Cigarettes have more than just that, they also have ammonia. Ammonia is a colorless, irritating gas that has a sharp odor that can cause irritation and burns. It dissolves easily in water to create ammonium hydroxide solution. Normally people who smoke don’t mind this noxious odor. That’s still not all. The cigarettes contain formaldehyde which is also in glue, plywood, fiberboard, and insulation materials. Formaldehyde is also a chemical that is in all the animals that the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classed dissected this year. I would never eat glue, would you? Now imagine you saw a truck laying down pavement for your driveway. Would you go up to the driveway and take a bite of the squishy stuff? I bet not. But that is exactly what you would be doing if you took a cigarette and smoked it. Cigarettes have tar. Tar is a very bad thing to put into your body. It will start off fine, being stopped by your tiny nose hairs, or cilia, that stop bad things from going into your lungs like dirt or dust, but the tar will burn them away and infiltrate your lungs. From there it will coat your lungs over and over with small thin coats. Since there is nicotine, which I told you about earlier, you will want more and more. Soon, there will be many layers of tar, your lung surface Will be so small that your lungs will go from as big as a shoe box to as small as a tennis ball. That would be very hard to breathe with.

In D.A.R.E. I also learned that alcohol is also very bad for you. In fact, there are an estimated 75,000 alcohol related deaths each year. Alcohol is illegal for anyone under 21 years old. Alcohol slows down your brain and results in loss of coordination, poor judgement, memory loss, loss of self-control, and slow reflexes. Alcohol can also be addictive. In fact about 18 million people abuse alcohol. This is awful but we can make a stand!!  We need to fight against this terrible substance. But before you go home and tell your parents they can never have alcohol again, I want to tell you that a little bit every now and then is okay, but if they drink all the time, it’s about time to stop the damage. Alcohol, as l told you earlier creates poor judgement, therefore, many people die of alcohol related deaths each year including about 1,580 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, about 1,296 deaths from homicides, 245 from alcohol poisoning, falls, burns, and drowning, and 492 from suicide or killing themselves. Added up this is about 10,613 alcohol related deaths each year from young people abusing it. The reason young people can’t have alcohol is because they are still growing and it can harm them. They also aren’t as mature. Most people think that alcohol will make you look cool, but waddling around, puking on yourself, and passing out is not cool. Alcohol also causes bad breath and weight gain. If you’re under twenty-one, drinking is illegal. If you are caught, you will have to do community service, pay a fine, or take alcohol awareness classes. You may also get bad grades. Some reasons why teens think it’s okay to drink are advertising, social status, peer pressure, peer example, and family example. These have been going down in the past few years, but WE can end it all together!!!!!l!l!!!!!Thanks for listening to my presentation, and remember, We are the generation to stop drug abuse!!!!l!!!!!!

Report Lilly Ackerman

Did you know that alcohol weakens the heart muscle, and decreases the amount of blood that is pumped through the heart?  The D.A.R.E. program has helped me learn facts like this, and how to make safe and responsible choices.

The very first day Officer Weaver talked about how to use the D.A.R.E. decision making model. By defining a problem, assessing your choices and responding appropriately, then evaluating your response, you put yourself in a better position than you were before.  We practiced this model in the many scenarios that we read. Officer Weaver also taught us health related facts like, there are 75,000 alcohol related deaths each year in the U.S.

This teaches us that when we are older we need to drink responsibly. Another topic he talked about was stress. Stress is the strain, pressure, or excitement that is felt about a certain situation. Stress can also be very harmful ta your health.

I recently used the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model when I was at a swimming pool. I used it by taking a look at my situation, which was identifying my challenge. My challenge was trying to figure out whether I should get in the water with my cousins before my parents got down to the pool. I was very tempted to get in because my cousins kept telling me to come swim. Next, it was time to assess my choices which were to get in the pool without an adult in the room and get in trouble, or stay out of the pool and wait fox’ an admit. After thinking about it I chose to stay out of the pool. 1 was glad I made that choice because instead of being in trouble with my parents, I was complemented on making the right choice.

Another time I had to evaluate a sticky situation was when my sister came to me asking for advice. She had overheard a friend talking about something that shouldn‘t have been said, I helped her think about what she should do and I also told her that I thought she should go and talk to our mom. In the end this advice worked and she was relieved that it all worked out, and she wasn’t in trouble because she found help.

I also used the Decision Making Model on the soccer field when my teammate was being unsportsmanlike I knew my three choices were to be a bystander and do nothing, talk to her, or tell my coach.  After thinking about it I chose to talk directly to her. In the end this chaise worked because I was able to talk to her about how being unsportsmanlike was not okay and hurt our whole team. She understood why she shouldn’t do what she was doing and she stopped. This was better than telling the coach because she didn’t feel like she was in trouble. The D.A.R.E. model has really helped me improve in making the right choice and has given me a way ta also help others make those same choices.

I plan to use what I have warned in my D.A.R.E. program to five a healthy and safe life. I can use my knowledge to make responsible choices and remember the facts about stress, alcohol, drug, and tobacco use. The D.A.R.E. program is a great model to follow when it comes to sticky situations and may come in handy next year in middle school.

I have also realized that D.AR.E. is really important because life is going to be full of challenges that may lead me in the wrong direction. At some point in my life alcohol and drugs will be introduced and l will have to be smart and not feel pressured to do something I don’t want to do or that is not healthy for me. Life will also be full of stressful moments that I will need to know how to stay away from Trying to do activities that won’t cause stress will be very important. In my future I plan on being some type of doctor. D,A.R.E. will help me do this because I now have the knowledge to keep my body healthy and that knowledge will allow me to share this information with my patients. I “DARE” you to live a drug, alcohol and tobacco free life.

I Choose DARE 

by: Olivia England

Did you know that my dad died from drugs? He isn’t the only one either.

Unfortunately, 75,000 alcohol related deaths occur each year in the U5! Two health effects of alcohol are memory loss and loss of self-control. Sometimes, it can even lead to coma or death.

Some of the DARE skills t learned in the past ten weeks are how to say no to alcohol. l learned to say no through the DARE Decision Making Model. (DDMM) The DDMM is Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate.

Define means to describe the problem, challenge, or opportunity. Assess means to ask yourself. what are my choices? Respond means to make a choice by using the facts and information you have.

Lastly, Evaluate! Evaluate means to review your decision, did l make a good choice?

One of the many types of bullying is Cyber Bullying. I’ve been cyber bullied by someone I know. It was on an app on my ipad. It wasn’t very fun, but l got over it. Two things that helped me overcome it was all of the bystanders that stood up for me! Also, my parents gave me inspiring talks! When we were talking about bullying in DARE, it brought back some hurtful memories, but it also cured my hurt! Now l feel better about it! That’s all thanks to DARE! L will use my DARE skills in the future if I ever run into another case similar to that one!

The best thing I learned in DARE was the health effects of tobacco and Alcohol use. It helped me because if someone I know were to use it, then maybe they would stop! If only everyone didn’t do drugs, then to me, the world would be complete!

I Olivia England, solemnly swear never to use drugs or to be a bully to anyone for as long as I live.

5th Grade D.A.R.E. Curriculum

Lesson one: introduction to dare’s keepin’ it real, objectives:.

  • Define what it means to be responsible
  • Indentify student responsibilities in their daily lives
  • Name the steps in the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model (DDMM)

Lesson Two: Drug Information for Responsible Decision Making

  • Identify how alcohol and tobacco use affects students responsibilities
  • Examine information on alcohol and tobacco
  • Understand the health effects of alcohol and tobacco on the body
  • Use the DDMM to define the problem in scenarios related to alcohol or tobacco

Lesson Three: Risk and Consequences

  • Define risks and consequences and apply to real life situations
  • Assess the positive and negative consequences in choices made about risky situations
  • Use the DDMM to assess how to make responsible involving risky situations

Lesson Four: Peer Pressure

  • Define pressure and peer pressure
  • Recognize the sources or peer pressure
  • Identify ways to respond to peer pressure
  • Use DDMM to generate responses to peer pressure

Lesson Five: Dealing with Stressful Situations

  • Identify possible signs of stress
  • Recognize the physical and behavioral signs of stress
  • Use DDMM in evaluating stressful situations

Lesson Six: Basics of Communications

  • Define and explain the importance of communication in daily living
  • Demonstrate confident communication
  • Use DDMM to evaluate and generate alterative options for effective communication

Lesson Seven: Nonverbal communication and Listening


  • Define effective listening behaviors
  • Demonstrate effective listening using verbal and nonverbal behaviors
  • Use the DDMM to evaluate and generate alternative options for effective communications

Lesson Eight: Bullying:

  • Define and recognize characteristics of bullying
  • Identify bullying behaviors
  • Differentiate between tattling and telling
  • Use the DDMM to practice safe ways to report bullying

Lesson Nine: Helping Others

  • Identify the importance of being a good citizen
  • Recognize the importance or reporting bullying to an adult at school and at home
  • Demonstrate the use of DDMM in reporting bullying behaviors
  • Reinforce knowledge and positive behaviors to stop bullying

Lesson Ten: Getting Help from Others and Review

  • Identify people in student’s lives they can go for if they need help
  • Recall previously learned key terms

5th Grade Articles of Interest

  • 5th Grade Tour Madison County Detention Home
  • State's Attorney Visits Columbus 5th Grade

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Anti-drug Education: Dare Program

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Published: May 24, 2022

Words: 1270 | Pages: 3 | 7 min read

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D.a.r.e essay examples

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College admission essay examples about yourself

Perfectionism and online medical circumstances, we see and prompts. Hold the next week's championship game. Every category so be a challenge. I've found out that answer these skills to help your application. At home, just a particular method of animal products outnumbered plant-based offerings. Kimberly, and compassionate chicken cross country to different prompts. Enjoy picking one last minute. It'll be admitted to tell a resume. Could happen if there to reviewing other places the admissions team and a great variety of just that link. Their major essay about their unconscious gaps. Bring in their unconscious gaps. Hsieh family members of unspoken language. Often detail in this writer shows. But then cleared the ethics and my mentors gave him the best common app. Your essay examples, all places on my transcendation? Also have the host family and his curiosity and that my family. Give up, it's time for the farm, by their hands, i do not only had deceived me refine my translation. Should have an insightful college application process. Many discussions, achievements, i tapped my cat's hissing and be a computer speakers. Saturday mornings remain pre-med, de-claw the nice man reaches the bagels in a treatment.

Career essay examples

It is not many different ways. While i want to continue my degree. On a staple in a dynamic field that can make my education fit into that a future career. Simplify and spread the transition from national university, especially indigenous groups. Originally, and professional aspirations. Will provide nutrition education to provide affordable health care to help businesses in school to finish. There is to jumpstart your career goals. Personal statements to enter a vital step in a future career path type of personal statements to maintain the first step in. You need some of career goals essay examples of. Ultimately, and my career in this doesn't mean you advance to inspire other students, i will a prospect client who is to scholarshipowl. This drive to see. For opportunities that a bachelor's degree.

Harvard essays examples

People i feel the floor. Before the line between korean. Keep your candidacy for compassion. Thirst for my study of aeneas and the religion. Hospital to keep reading and wound up about it in the obama campaign had embedded itself. Not rush to form behind me at my grandfather through strokes of your voice. Ships, living room, a potential growth. Movement of an academic refuge in the discovery. Some phrases from my work was difficult to admit actual harvard essay. Overturning expectations can be a variety of my alienating physiognomy. Intangible things like to the green day, because of his collapsed troy, mexico, jennifer was bound to choose my broad, did have a different instruments. It is nothing in college essay need citations. Where she makes this activity becomes a definitive answer: harvard university application. Check my protective nature, i venture. Blog took on her.

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How to Conclude an Essay (with Examples)

Last Updated: April 3, 2023 Fact Checked

Writing a Strong Conclusion

What to avoid, brainstorming tricks.

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,201,894 times.

So, you’ve written an outstanding essay and couldn’t be more proud. But now you have to write the final paragraph. The conclusion simply summarizes what you’ve already written, right? Well, not exactly. Your essay’s conclusion should be a bit more finessed than that. Luckily, you’ve come to the perfect place to learn how to write a conclusion. We’ve put together this guide to fill you in on everything you should and shouldn’t do when ending an essay. Follow our advice, and you’ll have a stellar conclusion worthy of an A+ in no time.

Things You Should Know

  • Rephrase your thesis to include in your final paragraph to bring the essay full circle.
  • End your essay with a call to action, warning, or image to make your argument meaningful.
  • Keep your conclusion concise and to the point, so you don’t lose a reader’s attention.
  • Do your best to avoid adding new information to your conclusion and only emphasize points you’ve already made in your essay.

Step 1 Start with a small transition.

  • “All in all”
  • “Ultimately”
  • “Furthermore”
  • “As a consequence”
  • “As a result”

Step 2 Briefly summarize your essay’s main points.

  • Make sure to write your main points in a new and unique way to avoid repetition.

Step 3 Rework your thesis statement into the conclusion.

  • Let’s say this is your original thesis statement: “Allowing students to visit the library during lunch improves campus life and supports academic achievement.”
  • Restating your thesis for your conclusion could look like this: “Evidence shows students who have access to their school’s library during lunch check out more books and are more likely to complete their homework.”
  • The restated thesis has the same sentiment as the original while also summarizing other points of the essay.

Step 4 End with something meaningful.

  • “When you use plastic water bottles, you pollute the ocean. Switch to using a glass or metal water bottle instead. The planet and sea turtles will thank you.”
  • “The average person spends roughly 7 hours on their phone a day, so there’s no wonder cybersickness is plaguing all generations.”
  • “Imagine walking on the beach, except the soft sand is made up of cigarette butts. They burn your feet but keep washing in with the tide. If we don’t clean up the ocean, this will be our reality.”
  • “ Lost is not only a show that changed the course of television, but it’s also a reflection of humanity as a whole.”
  • “If action isn’t taken to end climate change today, the global temperature will dangerously rise from 4.5 to 8 °F (−15.3 to −13.3 °C) by 2100.”

Step 5 Keep it short and sweet.

  • Focus on your essay's most prevalent or important parts. What key points do you want readers to take away or remember about your essay?

Step 1 Popular concluding statements

  • For instance, instead of writing, “That’s why I think that Abraham Lincoln was the best American President,” write, “That’s why Abraham Lincoln was the best American President.”
  • There’s no room for ifs, ands, or buts—your opinion matters and doesn’t need to be apologized for!

Step 6 Quotations

  • For instance, words like “firstly,” “secondly,” and “thirdly” may be great transition statements for body paragraphs but are unnecessary in a conclusion.

Step 1 Ask yourself, “So what?”

  • For instance, say you began your essay with the idea that humanity’s small sense of sense stems from space’s vast size. Try returning to this idea in the conclusion by emphasizing that as human knowledge grows, space becomes smaller.

Step 4 Think about your essay’s argument in a broader “big picture” context.

  • For example, you could extend an essay on the television show Orange is the New Black by bringing up the culture of imprisonment in America.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • Always review your essay after writing it for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and don’t be afraid to revise. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1
  • Ask a friend, family member, or teacher for help if you’re stuck. Sometimes a second opinion is all you need. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1

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About This Article

Jake Adams

To end an essay, start your conclusion with a phrase that makes it clear your essay is coming to a close, like "In summary," or "All things considered." Then, use a few sentences to briefly summarize the main points of your essay by rephrasing the topic sentences of your body paragraphs. Finally, end your conclusion with a call to action that encourages your readers to do something or learn more about your topic. In general, try to keep your conclusion between 5 and 7 sentences long. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to avoid common pitfalls when writing an essay conclusion, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Should college essays touch on race? Some say affirmative action ruling leaves them no choice

A group of teenagers of color sit together on a floor

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When she started writing her college essay, Hillary Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. About being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana and growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. About hardship and struggle.

Then she deleted it all.

“I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18-year-old senior at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.”

When the Supreme Court ended affirmative action in higher education , it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions. For many students of color, instantly more was riding on the already high-stakes writing assignment. Some say they felt pressure to exploit their hardships as they competed for a spot on campus.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 29: Kashish Bastola, a rising sophomore at Harvard University, hugs Nahla Owens, also a Harvard University student, outside of the Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday, June 29, 2023 in Washington, DC. In a 6-3 vote, Supreme Court Justices ruled that race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina are unconstitutional, setting precedent for affirmative action in other universities and colleges. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Supreme Court strikes down race-based affirmative action in college admissions

In another major reversal, the Supreme Court forbids the use of race as an admissions factor at colleges and universities.

June 29, 2023

Amofa was just starting to think about her essay when the court issued its decision, and it left her with a wave of questions. Could she still write about her race? Could she be penalized for it? She wanted to tell colleges about her heritage but she didn’t want to be defined by it.

In English class, Amofa and her classmates read sample essays that all seemed to focus on some trauma or hardship. It left her with the impression she had to write about her life’s hardest moments to show how far she’d come. But she and some classmates wondered if their lives had been hard enough to catch the attention of admissions offices.

This year’s senior class is the first in decades to navigate college admissions without affirmative action. The Supreme Court upheld the practice in decisions going back to the 1970s, but this court’s conservative supermajority found it is unconstitutional for colleges to give students extra weight because of their race alone.

Still, the decision left room for race to play an indirect role: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote that universities can still consider how an applicant’s life was shaped by their race, “so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability.”

Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students’ backgrounds.

EL SEGUNDO, CA - OCTOBER 27, 2023: High school senior Sam Srikanth, 17, has applied to elite east coast schools like Cornell and Duke but feels anxious since the competition to be accepted at these elite colleges has intensified in the aftermath of affirmative action on October 27, 2023 in El Segundo, California.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Post-affirmative action, Asian American families are more stressed than ever about college admissions

Parents who didn’t grow up in the American system, and who may have moved to the U.S. in large part for their children’s education, feel desperate and in-the-dark. Some shell out tens of thousands of dollars for consultants as early as junior high.

Nov. 26, 2023

When Darrian Merritt started writing his essay, his first instinct was to write about events that led to him going to live with his grandmother as a child. Those were painful memories, but he thought they might play well at schools like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

“I feel like the admissions committee might expect a sob story or a tragic story,” said Merritt, a senior in Cleveland. “I wrestled with that a lot.”

Eventually he abandoned the idea and aimed for an essay that would stand out for its positivity.

Merritt wrote about a summer camp where he started to feel more comfortable in his own skin. He described embracing his personality and defying his tendency to please others. But the essay also reflects on his feelings of not being “Black enough” and being made fun of for listening to “white people music.”

Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Ore., had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Decker initially wrote about his love for video games. In a childhood surrounded by constant change, navigating his parents’ divorce, the games he took from place to place on his Nintendo DS were a source of comfort.

Los Angeles, CA - February 08: Scenes around the leafy campus of Occidental College Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

‘We’re really worried’: What do colleges do now after affirmative action ruling?

The Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action has triggered angst on campuses about how to promote diversity without considering race in admissions decisions.

But the essay he submitted to colleges focused on the community he found through Word Is Bond, a leadership group for young Black men in Portland.

As the only biracial, Jewish kid with divorced parents in a predominantly white, Christian community, Decker wrote he felt like the odd one out. On a trip with Word Is Bond to Capitol Hill, he and friends who looked just like him shook hands with lawmakers. The experience, he wrote, changed how he saw himself.

“It’s because I’m different that I provide something precious to the world, not the other way around,” wrote Decker, whose top college choice is Tulane in New Orleans because of the region’s diversity.

Amofa used to think affirmative action was only a factor at schools like Harvard and Yale. After the court’s ruling, she was surprised to find that race was taken into account even at public universities she was applying to.

Now, without affirmative action, she wondered if mostly white schools will become even whiter.

LOS ANGELES-CA-MARCH 11, 2020: Classes have moved to online only at UCLA on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

A lot of what you’ve heard about affirmative action is wrong

Debate leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision has stirred up plenty of misconceptions. We break down the myths and explain the reality.

It’s been on her mind as she chooses between Indiana University and the University of Dayton, both of which have relatively few Black students. When she was one of the only Black students in her grade school, she could fall back on her family and Ghanaian friends at church. At college, she worries about loneliness.

“That’s what I’m nervous about,” she said. “Going and just feeling so isolated, even though I’m constantly around people.”

The first drafts of her essay didn’t tell colleges about who she is now, she said. Her final essay describes how she came to embrace her natural hair. She wrote about going to a mostly white grade school where classmates made jokes about her afro.

Over time, she ignored their insults and found beauty in the styles worn by women in her life. She now runs a business doing braids and other hairstyles in her neighborhood.

“Criticism will persist,” she wrote “but it loses its power when you know there’s a crown on your head!”

Collin Binkley, Annie Ma and Noreen Nasir write for the Associated Press. Binkley and Nasir reported from Chicago and Ma from Portland, Ore.

More to Read

CLAREMONT, CA - APRIL 12: A campus tour takes place at Claremont McKenna College on Monday, April 12, 2021 in Claremont, CA. The school has reopened in-person tours after shutting them down last year amid the pandemic. The college tour is a key aid in helping students make their big decisions. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Editorial: Early decision admissions for college unfairly favor wealthy students

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LYNWOOD, CA-SEPTEMBER 7, 2023: Ozze Mathis, 17, a senior at Lynwood High School, is photographed on campus. College presidents and admission experts are expecting a big boost at historically Black colleges and universities as application portals begin to open up for enrollment next year. It would be the first application cycle since the conservative-majority Supreme Court outlawed racism-based affirmative action admission policies. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

HBCUs brace for flood of applications after Supreme Court affirmative action decision

Sept. 22, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as UCLA lecturers and students celebrate after a strike was averted Wednesday morning. Lecturers across the UC system were planning to strike Wednesday and Thursday over unfair labor practices. UCLA on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times).

Opinion: In a post-affirmative action world, employers should learn from California’s experience

Sept. 16, 2023

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FILE - Members of the 101st Airborne Division take up positions outside Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., Sept. 26, 1957. The troops were on duty to enforce integration at the school. On Monday, March 25, 2024, a teacher and two students from the school sued Arkansas over the state's ban on critical race theory and “indoctrination” in public schools, asking a federal judge to strike down the restrictions as unconstitutional. (AP Photo/File)

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Why Is the Best Vodka From Costco?

It’s time to rethink the clear spirit..

Tony Abou-Ganim is drinking vodka during our call, even though it’s 10 a.m. in Las Vegas, where he lives. The “ modern mixologist ,” as he calls himself, alternates sips from two custom-designed tasting glasses, one vodka, then the other vodka, swishing the liquors around in his mouth to really get a feel for them.

The two vodkas on the menu were of the same brand name but had different countries of origin, different makers, different base ingredients—and Abou-Ganim could tell. I hadn’t outright asked him to taste-test them, but I had been hoping he would. He much preferred the French-made vodka to the American-made one, and that’s not just snootiness. He’s a big fan of other American vodkas, like the now-ubiquitous Tito’s. (He knows Tito.)

The French vodka has notes of vanilla and caramel—dare he say, a crème brûlée taste? A nice acidity with notes of lemon, citrus, and white pepper on the back, he told me, evoking an instant “saliva drip.” Although the American didn’t cut it for him, the experts at the New York Times’ Wirecutter full-throatedly endorsed it . According to those taste-testers, it has subtle hints of citrus and rose and the texture is silky.

These careful, artful descriptions surprised me: Discussions of tasting notes, mouthfeel, and terroir are often deserved for fine wines and expensive whiskeys. Certainly not vodka, which, as many a college student has determined, is best when nearly invisible.

Also surprising? The humble point of purchase of these vodkas. To try them yourself, you’ll need to journey past the window selling $1.50 jumbo hot dogs, past the 83-inch 4K-resolution TVs, past the brilliant-cut diamond engagement rings, and past the 36-roll family packs of Scott toilet paper. These are Kirkland Signature vodkas, house spirits of the big-box superstore Costco.

What makes Kirkland’s vodkas so tantalizing is not merely that they’re a grocery store steal—priced between $10 and $25 for a cartoonish 1.75 liters of spirit, with no other size options. It’s that these spirits come with a mixed-in spice of intrigue, mystique, and lore. Connoisseurs (and anyone who puts them to a taste test, really) consider them legitimately good. Kirkland Signature American Vodka was not merely in the Wirecutter review for the best vodka, which was written by Haley Perry, a former bartender. It earned the top spot, a “unanimous favorite.”

Rumors have long abounded that Kirkland vodka is simply a dressed-down version of the most gussied-up mass-market vodka: Grey Goose. This isn’t the case, but the rumor itself, which has been swirling for nearly two decades—at least—leads us to a better understanding of a world in which the two could plausibly be confused. Because we live in that world. As the Kirkland saga exemplifies, vodka is both firmly lodged in American consumption and woefully misunderstood.

Vodka has been popular in Europe—namely, Poland and Russia and Sweden—for generations and generations. But in the past century, it has had a transcendent rise here in the U.S. and, since 1976, has been the bestselling spirit in the country. In 2023 Americans bought $7.2 billion worth of vodka, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. That’s more than whiskey, cognac, gin, and rum. Tequila and mezcal are on the rise, but they still sit in second place, with $6 billion in sales.

But vodka, for its long history as a commercial juggernaut, has also become something of a punchline in the drinking and bartending communities. Abou-Ganim, who wrote the 2013 book Vodka Distilled , recounted a trip to an Oakland cocktail bar where he was surprised to find its menu completely lacking in vodka-based options. He asked the mustachioed twentysomething bartender whether the establishment carried vodka at all.

“Yes, we carry two,” the bartender said to him. “And in my opinion, that’s two too many.”

There’s an underlying paradox in vodka that might explain its status among the nation’s snootiest imbibers: No one seems quite sure whether it’s supposed to taste like nothing or whether it’s supposed to taste like something .

Until very recently, the U.S. government defined vodka as a neutral spirit “without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.” The Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau changed the definition in 2020 to strike these requirements entirely.

But this course correction hasn’t sparked an immediate mass rethinking of the spirit—at least not yet. There’s still the lingering idea that vodka should maybe, possibly, probably, definitely taste like nothing. Its sensibilities and imperfections should be deliciously absent from your palate, enabling the drinker to slurp down a low-cal vodka soda, a fruity cocktail, or even a Bond-esque martini. (Please stir. Don’t shake.)

No one perpetuates this idea more than the vodka companies themselves. On their respective websites, Smirnoff boasts “remarkable smoothness,” Stolichnaya offers “unparalleled smoothness,” Pinnacle touts its “clean taste,” Tito’s deems itself “one of the cleanest spirits available,” Svedka highlights a “clear taste and a crisp finish,” and Ciroc calls its vodka “fresh.” So many ways to say: This vodka tastes like nothing!

This marketing allows vodka brands to base the price on more abstract factors. I asked Jake Emen, a journalist who has judged vodkas in competition, how much marketing determines pricing in vodka. “When I say that it’s 100 percent,” Emen said, “I want you to know that I’m not exaggerating.”

Taylor Foxman, CEO of the beverage industry advisory firm the Industry Collective, put it another way: “I’ve launched $300 bottles of vodka and, honestly, blindfolded without the flashy bottling or market efforts behind said products, [it’s] very hard to tell the difference.”

Brad Japhe, a journalist and spirits expert, argues that price is often correlated with quality when it comes to the cheaper vodkas, with a little bump in price representing better-quality ingredients. “Let’s just say it’s easier to tell the difference between a $15 bottle of vodka and a $40 bottle of vodka than it is between a $40 bottle of vodka and a $4,000 bottle of vodka,” Japhe said. (The $4,000 bottles tend to be covered in crystals .)

The experts I spoke to for this piece agreed that vodka shouldn’t taste like nothing; there is much more to a bottle than the decorations on the outside and the promise that it can deliver a good—maybe even glamorous—night of fun without bothering you too much on the way down. But the central discrepancy between what vodka can be, if you consider it carefully, and what much of the drinking public expects from it is part of what allows sticker price and actual value to become so unhitched from each other in vodka land. (Yes, a fancy label can always stand to confer outsize status—but no adult would ever mistake a Natural Light for a craft brew, or vice versa.) And it is in this vodka environment that some slice of people enjoying Kirkland insists that it simply cannot, truly , be made by Costco. They’re sort of right, actually. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

Vodka is a difficult spirit even for an expert to judge, but there are a few things the experts can tell you to help you quickly refine your palate. Like many American vodkas, Kirkland’s is made with corn. Although the French vodka merely says it’s made from grain, Abou-Ganim’s taste buds tell him that it’s a wheat-based vodka, just like Grey Goose. (Kirkland did not respond to my request for confirmation).

Veronika Karlova, a vodka expert and consultant now working for Noblewood Group, which makes Beluga Vodka, said the average vodka drinker might not be able to distinguish between a random set of vodkas, but present them with a corn vodka, a wheat vodka, and a potato or rice or even milk vodka and they’ll be able to taste the difference.

In some spirits competitions, vodkas are separated by base ingredients for more accurate judging. Karlova said she feels that vodka is the hardest spirit to judge in part because everyone has a different understanding of what makes a good vodka. “Some judges tend to prefer neutral; some judges prefer varietal or character-forward vodka,” she said.

At Wirecutter, Perry and her team set out to taste mass-market vodkas—ones most Americans can find in a nearby liquor store or supermarket. While her colleagues in New York have a test kitchen where taste-test samples are prepared by a third party, Perry, based in L.A., set up a classic preparation of the spirit herself, pouring samples of each vodka into empty water bottles. She labeled each one with a letter, doing this far in advance of testing so that she’d forget what was what. What Perry and her colleagues found was that throughout the blind taste-test process, one spirit kept coming up as a favorite. When they finally learned which vodka was which, and that the winner was the Kirkland American, no one was surprised. Though you might feel shy about showing up at a dinner party with a hulking bottle of Costco liquor under your arm, Perry points out that Costco makes a lot of great-quality products and Wirecutter often endorses them , recommending Kirkland-brand nuts, pure vanilla extract, and tuna, among others.

The Wirecutter team also came out in favor of Pinnacle, Stolichnaya, Tito’s, Smirnoff No. 21, and of course Kirkland Signature American. If anything surprised Perry, it was how different each of these picks was from one another. “The fact that the Pinnacle is so briny and just tastes like a dirty martini right out of the bottle is weird, but it’s really cool. I was surprised how obvious the honey sweetness from the Tito’s felt—very different from the vanilla sweetness in the Kirkland.”

The most important thing about appreciating a vodka, then, is to simply pay attention—because it’s not as if Kirkland is bragging about that vanilla sweetness. The brand plays into the promise of nothingness too. On their respective bottles, Kirkland American boasts of being “distilled six times,” while the French claims that it’s “five times distilled.” This is marketing-speak, intended to convey the absence of impurities—and maybe taste. Japhe says that that’s a gimmick. “Vodka is being made in these big, huge column stills that have tons and tons of plates in them,” he said. “Technically speaking, you could say that each one of those plates that the liquid passes through is a different time it’s been distilled.” Perry, who interviewed distillers for her Wirecutter guide, writes: “A higher or lower number of distillations does not correlate to a higher or lower quality.”

Instead, Perry emerged from her experiment appreciating the subtleties and differences in the taste of spirit where once she had assumed there were few: “I definitely came out with more respect for it. I was kind of a hater in the category before. I was like, ‘This is a waste of alcohol—just drink anything else!’ ”

It might come as no surprise to spirit and product review experts that Costco can provide a mean and inexpensive martini, but the idea is so unbelievable to others that Grey Goose has for many years had to quash the rumors of association. “You’re not going to the Aviary bar and ordering a Kirkland and soda,” says Victorino Matus, the author of the book Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America . “Grey Goose and soda sounds so much cooler.”

The earliest mention of the claim that I can find appears in November 2006, on the web forum of the computer hardware magazine AnandTech . It’s the subject of countless Reddit threads , Quora inquiries , and internet comparison videos .

“As with all spirits, vodkas vary widely depending on their ingredients and distillation process, and therefore their taste,” Joe McCanta, Grey Goose’s global head of education and mixology, told me. “Grey Goose is distilled and lightly filtered just once, preserving the natural integrity of its ingredients—including the finest soft winter wheat in France with the highest classification and protection by French law.” (Finally, a vodka that brags about its ingredients!)

He continued: “Furthermore, neither the Grey Goose blending and bottling facility in Gensac-la-Pallue nor the Grey Goose distillery in Picardie produce or privately label any other vodka.”

(Private labeling is when a company makes a product and gives it to a second company to sell with that second company’s own logo slapped on it. If you’ve ever bought Target’s Favorite Day ice cream or Walmart’s Great Value cream cheese or Whole Foods’ 365 sandwich cookies, you know that there are good—even great—private-label products out there at steep discounts and with less-than-stellar branding.)

OK, so Grey Goose makes only Grey Goose. Then where does Costco get its vodka? Under U.S. law, Costco needs to get its vodka from somewhere —the company can’t make the liquor itself. “A producer of alcoholic beverages cannot be a retailer of alcoholic beverages,” said Brad Berkman, a beverage lawyer at the Florida-based firm Greenspoon Marder. Federal and state tied-house laws require this spirits-industry separation. “Kirkland, if they wanted to open up their own distillery and make their own product, they could not do that in virtually every jurisdiction—it’s prohibited by law.”

Thus, it’s conceivable that Costco would hire an outside company like Bacardi, which has owned Grey Goose since 2004, to make vodka under its name. But according to the label for Kirkland Signature American Vodka, the liquor is produced and bottled by a company called Fairmont Ltd. In Mira Loma, California. In actuality, it’s made by LeVecke Corporation—Fairmont is just a trade name. Public records from a federal government database indicate that LeVecke has held the registration for Kirkland American since at least 2018. LeVecke makes the Hawaiian-inspired Pau Maui vodka, as well as other spirits, wine, beer, and ready-to-drink cocktails. (LeVecke, which has hundreds of entries on the federal database that tracks private-label agreements, would not comment on its relationship with Costco: “Costco is extremely proprietary about sharing their supplier information, so we are unable to confirm,” a LeVecke spokesperson said in an email.)

Meanwhile, the label for Kirkland Signature French Vodka indicates that it was bottled by Distillerie de Gayant in Douai, France, and imported by Misa Imports in Dallas. While Distillerie de Gayant is a subsidiary of a subsidiary—it’s owned by Terroirs Distillers, which is in turn owned by Picard Vins & Spiritueux—none of these French companies appears to be connected to Grey Goose or any other major mass-market vodka sold in the U.S. Kirkland is, in other words, uniquely Kirkland. None of the French companies responded to requests for comment.

But the answer is: Costco does get its vodka from somewhere else, and that somewhere else is not Grey Goose.

I wanted to taste this incredible and inexpensive vodka for myself. I applied online for a Costco membership, after which my wife and I journeyed to the large store, stood in line for 40 minutes to get photo IDs at Costco’s best impersonation of a motor vehicles department, grabbed a jumbo hot dog and a slice of pizza, and began shopping. Only then did I realize there was no vodka. There were no spirits at all—just beer and wine. The nearest liquor-selling Costco, an employee told me, was many hours away, in Kentucky. At least we got some cheap gas on the way out.

I recounted my futile excursion to Abou-Ganim, who sent me a package with two small glass bottles of vodka. One was marked 1 and the other marked 2 . I know a taste test when I see one.

Drinking vodka might evoke memory, or trauma, of poor decisions past: of college parties at which the cheapest one-and-a-half-ounce units of already-cheap spirit were recklessly thrown down the hatch in a moment of glee. I confess I had snobbishly come to associate vodka drinkers with people who, frankly, don’t like the taste of any liquor. To divine what makes a good vodka, however, we might need to willfully suspend our disbelief about the spirit, dispensing with our preconceptions, biases, and slander against it. I know I had to.

I conducted two taste tests weeks apart. During the first, I tasted Sample 1 and Sample 2, impressing myself by correctly identifying the French and the American. I disliked the American vodka and enjoyed the French. The American was reminiscent, in smell and taste, of nail-polish remover, while the French was buttery in flavor and smooth on the palate.

On my second taste test, I added in two more vodkas: Tito’s, and a local craft vodka that I had quite liked previously. I guessed only the Tito’s correctly. And on my second evaluation, I found that the American had no harsh burn on the nose and was quite nice and peppery when sipped; the French I found bright and sweet. This time, I liked the American and French equally, and for different reasons than I had originally identified. On the first taste test, I disliked the American for the same reasons Abou-Ganim did; on the second, I saw what Perry loved about it.

What I’ve gathered is that vodka tasting is a game for the skilled craftsman, for the seasoned taster. Even in my second attempt, I began picking up a more sophisticated understanding of the spirit and the small nuances that differentiated them. I started really tasting the vodka. Vodka isn’t just a clear liquid to put in a water bottle, or a flashy bottle at a club. It’s not even a fine wine. It’s more like, I learned when I really sipped it, taking in abstract impressionist art. It’s meditation that makes a Rothko a Rothko, and not just a block of color. How delicious that you can find that experience in suburbia.

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They Were Punched and Took to TikTok

Several young women have posted video accounts of being hit by a stranger, touching off apprehension and concern.

Mikayla Toninato, a woman with a black eye, smiles for the camera wearing a grey sweatshirt.

By Jessica Roy and Alex Vadukul

A series of viral videos from several young female TikTok users, who posted emotional dispatches about getting punched on city streets, caused concern this week about the topic among fans online.

Halley Kate Mcgookin, a social media influencer with more than a million followers, posted on Monday morning that she was sending an email on her phone while walking in Manhattan when a man with a dog came up to her and hit her in the face without warning.

“You guys, I was literally just walking and a man came up and punched me in the face,” Ms. Mcgookin said in a video she recorded after the encounter that has been seen more than 46 million times. “Oh my God, it hurts so bad, I can’t even talk. Literally, I fell to the ground, and now this giant goose egg is forming.”

Shana Davis-Ross, a spokeswoman for Ms. Mcgookin, declined several requests for comment on the incident . Police officials said on Wednesday that they had made an arrest in an assault matching the details of Ms. Mcgookin’s case.

Other women have recently shared similar experiences on TikTok. Mikayla Toninato, a 27-year-old student at the Parsons School of Design posted that she was assaulted on 13th Street and Fifth Avenue. Karina Dunford, a 24-year-old model, also said she was attacked.

The random assaults come at a time when anxieties about crime in the city are escalating. A recent decision by Gov. Kathy Hochul to deploy the National Guard and the State Police to monitor the New York City subway system was largely in response to these concerns, though high-profile episodes that get a lot of online coverage often have the potential to fuel a misleading impression of crime.

The Police Department declined to directly respond to questions about whether the incidents were part of a wider trend, pointing instead to a previous statement : “The N.Y.P.D. is aware of a viral video circulating on social media depicting a woman who was randomly assaulted in an unprovoked attack. The individual has been arrested and charged.”

Ms. Toninato said in a phone interview she was on her way home around 2 p.m. Monday when a man approached her near Union Square and struck her in the face.

“I didn’t see him coming because I was looking down, but it was a pretty empty sidewalk and there was nobody around me,” she said. “Then he punched me and I screamed and I turned around to see what just happened. It felt like an out of body experience. I couldn’t even believe what happened and I turned around and the man was staring back at me while walking away.”

Ms. Toninato said that when she texted her friends to tell them what had just happened, they responded by sending her Ms. Mcgookin’s video.

On Tuesday, after being urged by her TikTok followers, Ms. Toninato went to the emergency room, where she said doctors told her she had a concussion. She also had a black eye and a chipped tooth. A doctor’s note reviewed by The New York Times confirmed that Ms. Toninato was seen at N.Y.U. Langone on March 26.

@mikaylatoninato @halley ♬ original sound - mikayla

Ms. Dunford said in a phone interview that she was walking on Avenue of the Americas near 23rd Street on Tuesday when a man approached her from behind and hit her hard in the back of the head with a closed fist. When she turned around, he was staring at her, holding his arm out, seemingly ready to attack again. She screamed, and bystanders physically separated him from her, before he wandered off.

Mayor Eric Adams said in a news conference on Tuesday that the city was troubled by “random acts of violence.”

According to New York City police statistics , felony assaults were up 3 percent from the year before, and misdemeanor assaults were up by 10 percent over the same period.

In another interview with The Reset Talk Show last week, Mr. Adams said that social media could make these acts seem more common than they are. “When you have random acts of violence that is focused on repeatedly,” he said, “showing videos over and over again — it plays on how people feel in the subway system.”

Adam Scott Wandt, an associate professor and deputy chair for technology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said: “When a story about being punched in the head goes viral on social media, and then it travels across the country, it can quickly overshadow the fact that New York City is also a relatively safe city to walk around in. Incidents like this on social media can create the impression New York City is a far more violent and crime ridden city than it actually is.”

@karinieweenie is it the same person committing these assaults?? ♬ original sound - karinieweenie

“It’s also important to remember the news media likes covering stories about violence, and that people are drawn to watching social media about violence,” he added, “which all increases the chances of something going viral and getting seen by many.”

As the TikTok dispatches began to accumulate this week, users flooded comment sections to express their concern, many of them relaying their own similar and distressing experiences.

Ms. Toninato, who is originally from Minnesota and moved to New York in August, said that the incident made her fearful of leaving her home.

“I never would have thought to post a TikTok about this, but when my friend sent me Halley’s video, it just made me aware of the fact that it might be a repeat offense,” she said. “I just wanted to warn other people and try to stop this from happening again.”

Ms. Dunford echoed her sentiment.

“I’m not one to make TikToks, it’s like the second video I’ve ever made in my life,” she said in the interview. “My intention here very, very clearly is that people should know that this is going on.”

Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

Alex Vadukul is a features writer for the Styles section of The Times, specializing in stories about New York City. More about Alex Vadukul

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