Core values are the things that are so important to you that you would fight for them. To test what values are coming through… Read your essay aloud to someone who knows you and ask: Which values are clearly coming through the essay? Which values are kind of there but could be coming through more clearly? Which values could be coming through and were opportunities missed?
Are you making common or uncommon connections? The uncommon connections are often made up of insights that are unusual or unexpected. Craft is the sense that you know the purpose of each paragraph, each sentence, each word.
How do you test this? For each paragraph, each sentence, each word, ask: Do I need this? Read these and try freewriting on a few. See where they lead. You might try reading it here first before reading the paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown below.
They covered the precious mahogany coffin with a brown amalgam of rocks, decomposed organisms, and weeds. It was my turn to take the shovel, but I felt too ashamed to dutifully send her off when I had not properly said goodbye. I refused to throw dirt on her. I refused to let go of my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that an illness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life.
The author begins with the Inciting Incident. 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. Is that raw meat?
I braced myself for the punishment and the tragic loss of an excellent tissue sample. But when my mother told me I could continue my research until my materials were gone it was a small liver, after all , I was overjoyed. That microscope was my battery-powered window to a fascinating world no one else could see. Ten times the magnifying power of my naked eye was just okay, but once I cranked the scope up to x, each individual cell suddenly gained definition, its own shape and size in a sea of thousands.
I would stay up hours past my bedtime with my eye pressed to the eyepiece, keeping detailed records and sketches of everything I found in a notebook. My parents eventually bought me a more powerful scope in high school; this one plugged into the wall. As my days filled up with after-school jobs, extracurricular meetings, and choral rehearsals, I missed exploring the minutiae of the world around me. I relished every class period spent in biology and organic chemistry.
When I encountered elective science courses with more focus, my interest grew, even as my classmates dwindled—especially those with two X chromosomes. Whenever I considered joining a science club, I felt isolated. Do assure your audience that you understand exactly the nature of the work in the field and that you are prepared for it, psychologically and morally as well as educationally.
Do assure your audience that you care about them and their time by writing a clear, organized, and concise essay. Do address any information about yourself and your application that needs to be explained for example, weak grades or unusual coursework for your program.
Include that information in your essay, and be straightforward about it. Your audience will be more impressed with your having learned from setbacks or having a unique approach than your failure to address those issues. Every sentence should be effective and directly related to the rest of the essay.
Every doctor wants to help save lives, every lawyer wants to work for justice—your reader has read these general cliches a million times.
You are number 49, and your reader is tired, bored, and thinking about lunch. How are you going to catch and keep her attention? For more tips, see our handout on audience. Voice and style The voice you use and the style in which you write can intrigue your audience.
The voice you use in your essay should be yours. The narrative should reflect your perspective, experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Focusing on events or ideas may give your audience an indirect idea of how these things became important in forming your outlook, but many others have had equally compelling experiences. By simply talking about those events in your own voice, you put the emphasis on you rather than the event or idea.
Look at this anecdote: During the night shift at Wirth Memorial Hospital, a man walked into the Emergency Room wearing a monkey costume and holding his head. He seemed confused and was moaning in pain.
One of the nurses ascertained that he had been swinging from tree branches in a local park and had hit his head when he fell out of a tree. This tragic tale signified the moment at which I realized psychiatry was the only career path I could take.
An interesting tale, yes, but what does it tell you about the narrator? The following example takes the same anecdote and recasts it to make the narrator more of a presence in the story: I was working in the Emergency Room at Wirth Memorial Hospital one night when a man walked in wearing a monkey costume and holding his head.
I could tell he was confused and in pain. After a nurse asked him a few questions, I listened in surprise as he explained that he had been a monkey all of his life and knew that it was time to live with his brothers in the trees.
Like many other patients I would see that year, this man suffered from an illness that only a combination of psychological and medical care would effectively treat. I realized then that I wanted to be able to help people by using that particular combination of skills only a psychiatrist develops. The voice you use should be approachable as well as intelligent.
Note: If you are having trouble forming clear sentences without all the prepositions and nouns, take a look at our handout on style. You may want to create an impression of expertise in the field by using specialized or technical language. But beware of this unless you really know what you are doing—a mistake will look twice as ignorant as not knowing the terms in the first place.
Keep in mind that this is a personal statement. Indeed, having the intellectual keenness to absorb every ounce of knowledge presented through my time in the IB program, I know that I can contribute to State University as it continues to cultivate a scholarly climate that encourages intellectual curiosity. In a department where education and research are intermixed, I can continue to follow the path that towards scientific excellence.
Long-mesmerized by hobbies like my work with the FIRST Robotics team, I believe State University would be the best choice to continue to nurture my love for electrical and computer engineering. I have only scratched the surface in this ever evolving field but know that the technological potential is limitless.
Likewise, I feel that my time at State University would make my potential similarly limitless. This is a picture-perfect response to a university-specific essay prompt. What makes it particularly effective is not just its cohesive structure and elegant style but also the level of details the author uses in the response. By directly identifying the specific aspects of the university that are attractive to the writer, the writer is able to clearly and effectively show not only his commitment to his studies but — perhaps more importantly — the level of thought he put into his decision to apply.
Review committees know what generic responses look like so specificity sells. College Essay Two Prompt: What motivates you? For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of science. Where others see the engineering, experimentation, and presentation of science as a chore, I only see excitement. Even as a child I constantly sought it out, first on television with Bill Nye and The Mythbusters, then later in person in every museum exhibit I could find.
Science in all its forms fascinated me, but science projects in particular were a category all to themselves. To me, science projects were a special joy that only grew with time. In fact, it was this continued fascination for hands-on science that brought me years later to the sauna that is the University of Alabama in mid-June.
Participating in the Student Science Training Program and working in their lab made me feel like a kid in a candy store. Just the thought of participating in a project at this level of scientific rigor made me forget that this was supposed to be my summer break and I spent the first day eagerly examining every piece of equipment.
Even at first, when the whole research group sat there doing rote calculations and others felt like they were staring down the barrel of defeated purpose, I remained enthusiastic.
Time and time again I reminded myself of that famous phrase "great effort leads to great rewards," and sure enough, soon my aspirations began to be met. This shift in attitude also coincided with a shift in location: from the computer desk to the laser lab. It was finally time to get my hands dirty.
Now things began to get really interesting. During the experimentation phase of the project, I spent the majority of my waking hours in the lab — and I enjoyed every minute of it. From debriefing with my coordinator in the morning to checking and rechecking results well into the afternoon, I was on cloud nine all day, every day. I even loved the electric feeling of anxiety as I waited for the results. Most of all, though, I loved the pursuit of science itself.Raise the stakes: Then, the changes get even bigger! This step is important because it raises the dramatic tension. The moment that will decide essays or not you will make it out of the problem. Will your college win that scholarship competition? Will you confront the bully and make a new friend? Application you discover a passion that will pull you out of your format
And, with time, I would lose my nerve and stop showing up to meetings. I refused to let go of my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that an illness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life. Now, write a draft This is a hard essay to write. Include that information in your essay, and be straightforward about it. I started to believe that academic perfection would be the only way to redeem myself in her eyes--to make up for what I had not done as a granddaughter.
Roger Johnson, a Professor in the Psychology Department.
Colleges are simply looking for thoughtful, motivated students who will add something to the first-year class.
Bookmark How do you take a generic application essay prompt and turn it into a personal statement that brings tears of joy to admission counselors' eyes? Professor Mitchell obtained a grant to take a class of students to Belgium in order to study the EU. We have tons—tons— here , including lots of real-world examples! That pride has confirmed and reinvigorated my love for science.
It was my turn to take the shovel, but I felt too ashamed to dutifully send her off when I had not properly said goodbye. Just make sure that you replace the generalizations with examples as you revise.