How to Write a Great Application Essay
By: Karen Lam
Personal statements are one way for schools to match applicants to the limited number of spaces at their school. Personal statements or application essays speak directly to the committee and demonstrate your unique fit to the program.
In order to improve your chances to being admitted to the college or university of your choice, you will need to show the admissions committee that you’re different from everyone else.
Leaving a lasting impression on someone who reads many essays every day will not be easy, but these tips may help you with the process.
- Make a list of your major accomplishments: These are any qualities you feel distinguish you from everyone else, inclusive of extracurricular activities, leadership skills and community service. Set yourself apart by describing any situations where you may have had to struggle for something and succeeded (or failed). The key is to highlight your strengths and what was needed to overcome your situation. You may also want to write about your dreams of the future and how admission to the school fits into your plans for the future.
- Be Passionate: Write about a topic that defines an aspect of your personality. The only way to write a unique essay is to have experiences that support your topic. Making your accomplishments list may help you to discover something you may not have previously realized.
- Use Concrete Examples: The admissions committee wants to learn more about you and your experiences, so use examples that help to expand upon your accomplishments. Often, relating the subject of your essay to the world around you, is a great way to show that you're thinking about how your goals fit into your future.
- Revise Your Essay Many Times: Editing takes time. Your first draft will look very different from your final submission. You may be doing a lot of reordering of ideas, deleting paragraphs and adding more information to make your ideas clearer and your experiences more relevant. Remember to give your draft to others to look over because sometimes we have a hard time catching our own mistakes.
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